Dictionary of New Testament Background: A Compendium of Contemporary Biblical Scholarship

Dictionary of New Testament Background: A Compendium of Contemporary Biblical Scholarship
Dictionary of New Testament Background: A Compendium of Contemporary Biblical Scholarship

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4.75 out of 5 based on 2 user ratings
Denver Seminary Journal December 5, 2009 4.5 5
This dictionary addresses those subjects that collectively make up the literary, social, and religious context of early Christianity, the study of which should inform our interpretation of the New Testament. This, the fourth in a series of reference books, is intended to complement the previous three volumes, namely, Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels, Dictionary of Paul and His Letters, and Dictionary of the Later New Testament and Its Developments. Unlike the previous members of this series, this volume is not tied to specific New Testament writings but rather focuses on their broader Jewish and Greco-Roman background. The editors, Evans and Porter, have wisely limited the number of entries to three hundred, allowing for a more thorough treatment of topics, with most entries being 1,000 to 7,500 words in length and some exceeding 10,000 words. With respect to Jewish background, the reader will find articles on Second Temple literature and later Jewish writings, including pseudepigrapha and rabbinic writings, as well as articles on various aspects of Jewish history, faith, and thought (e.g., messianism). In addition to an article on “Josephus: Interpretive Methods and Tendencies,” a second article discusses “Josephus: Value for New Testament Study.” One of the notable strengths of this dictionary is the numerous articles on the Dead Sea Scrolls. There are lengthy treatments of the Damascus Document (CD, QD), Rule of the Community (1QS), the Habakkuk Commentary (1QpHab), the Temple Scroll (11QTemple), and the Isaiah scrolls a,b(1QIsaiah ), to name a few, as well as numerous articles on lesser-known Qumran documents and an article entitled “Qumran: Place and History. [Full Review]

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