Into the World of the New Testament: Greco-Roman and Jewish Texts and Contexts
Daniel Lynwood Smith orients readers of the New Testament to itshistorical and cultural settings, introducing the cast ofcharacters, and illuminating key concepts by exploring their use inancient texts. Smith includes quotations from many primary sourcesincluding Josephus, Tacitus, the Qumran Community, Pliny theYounger, and other carefully chosen texts from lesser-known ancientsources. These texts are all carefully woven together withcommentary, to provide a narrative framework for the material andguide students through the text. A glossary of complex terms isprovided, to make everything as clear as possible for the newcomerto New Testament studies.This integrative approach both introduces the key sources to thereader and elaborates on their significance for understanding theNew Testament. In an admirably concise format Smith is able tocover the military-political history of Israel-Palestine, themessianic movements of Second Temple Judaism, the ancient practiceof crucifixion and the development of the Christian canon. Throughimmersion in these ancient Jewish, Christian, and Greco-Roman textsand contexts, contemporary readers take a step closer toexperiencing the New Testament with first-century eyes andears.