Item description for Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary Set by Clinton E. Arnold, Steven M. Baugh & Peter H. Davids...
Overview Packed with colorful photographs, maps, artwork, diagrams, and charts, this informative commentary provides an eye-opening look at the culture, geography, and circumstances in which the New Testament was written. Its straightforward passage-by-passage format is accessible to pastors and laypeople alike, and the up-to-date survey of archaeological discoveries will fascinate believers.
Discover . How the springs at Hierapolis help us understand why Jesus described the church at Laodicea as lukewarm . The background and circumstances of certificates of divorce in Judaism . How Jewish dietary laws provided a powerful metaphor for God s acceptance of the Gentiles Brimming with lavish, full-color photos and graphics, the Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary walks you verse by verse through all the books of the New Testament. It s like slipping on a set of glasses that lets you read the Bible through the eyes of a first-century reader Discoveries await you that will snap the world of the New Testament into gripping immediacy. Things that seem mystifying, puzzling, or obscure will take on tremendous meaning when you view them in their ancient context. You ll deepen your understanding of the teachings of Jesus. You ll discover the close, sometimes startling interplay between God s kingdom and the practical affairs of the church. Best of all, you ll gain a deepened awareness of the Bible s relevance for your life. Written in a clear, engaging style, this beautiful set provides a new and accessible approach that more technical expository and exegetical commentaries don t offer. It features: . Commentary based on relevant papyri, inscriptions, archaeological discoveries, and studies of Judaism, Roman culture, Hellenism, and other features of the world of the New Testament . Hundreds of full-color photographs, color illustrations, and line drawings . Copious maps, charts, and timelines . Sidebar articles and insights . Reflections on the Bible s relevance for 21st-century living Written by leading evangelical contributors: Clinton E. Arnold (Ph.D., University of Aberdeen), General Editor S. M. Baugh (Ph.D., University of California, Irvine) Peter H. Davids (Ph.D., University of Manchester) David E. Garland (Ph.D., Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) David W. J. Gill (D.Phil., University of Oxford) George H. Guthrie (Ph.D., Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary) Moyer V. Hubbard (D.Phil., University of Oxford) Andreas J. Kostenberger (Ph.D., Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) Ralph P. Martin (Ph.D., University of London, King s College) Douglas J. Moo (Ph.D., University of St. Andrews) Mark L. Strauss (Ph.D., University of Aberdeen) Frank Thielman (Ph.D., Duke University) Jeffrey A. D. Weima (Ph.D., University of Toronto) Michael J. Wilkins (Ph.D., Fuller Theological Seminary) Mark W. Wilson (D.Litt. et Phil., University of South Africa) Julie L. Wu (Ph.D., Fuller Theological Seminary) Robert W. Yarbrough (Ph.D., University of Aberdeen) Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary includes Matthew, Mark, Luke (Volume One) John, Acts (Volume Two) Romans to Philemon (Volume Three) Hebrews to Revelation (Volume Four)"
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.9" Width: 8.1" Height: 5.8" Weight: 13.5 lbs.
Binding Boxed Sets
Release Date Aug 11, 2002
Publisher Zondervan Publishing
ISBN 0310217407 ISBN13 9780310217404 UPC 025986217402
Availability 0 units.
More About Clinton E. Arnold, Steven M. Baugh & Peter H. Davids
Clinton E. Arnold, professor of New Testament language and literature at Talbot School of Theology, is a noted authority on spiritual warfare. He is the author of Power and Magic: The Concept of Power in Ephesians, Powers of Darkness: Principalities and Powers in Paul's Letters, and The Colossian Syncretism: The Interface between Christianity and Folk Belief at Colossae. His Ph.D. degree is from the University of Aberdeen.
Clinton E. Arnold has an academic affiliation as follows - Biola University, California.
Clinton E. Arnold has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary Set?
Superb specialty commentary set focusing on often overlooked aspects of the Bible Dec 8, 2006
At first when I opened this set to determine how I might benefit from this commentary, I was disappointed, but not because of the content, but because of what I was looking for. I was looking for indepth information on a passage, but that is not the real value of this book. This book gives historical and cultural background information on specific passages of Scripture, and helps to explain often-misunderstood verses and passages of Scripture. The purpose of this commentary (or at least the value I glean from it) is not scholarly lexical study, or explanations of theologies in the New Testament, but instead the significance of the cultural settings often ignored by us who live 2000 years after the writing of Scripture and in vastly different cultural contexts.
A great example of the use of this commentary is John 7:37-44. The commentary explains why it was significant that Jesus used the phrase "streams of living water." In doing so, it explains the 7th day of the "great day of the Feast" (Feast of Tabernacles) was the pinnacle of the celebration and that each day of the Feast had the priest pouring water over the altar that symbolized the coming of the Holy Spirit. This is often lost in most commentaries, and the authors of this set spend a great deal of time focusing on the aspects of the Bible that are so often glossed over because the historical significance of the events are lost on us, who have not lived in Scriptural times and settings.
The authors show no sign (to me) of theological bias toward any tradition besides emphasizing conservative, contemporary, scholarly study of the Bible.
This set is beautifully bound, with heavy covers and reminds me of a college textbook, rather than a commentary. The books open without having to crack the spine, and the pages are very heavy glossy stock. Throughout the book are color photos and illustrations of biblical artifacts, archaeological finds, and maps/charts depicting items spoken about in Scripture.
Overall, this is a superb set for background information. This is not the best choice as a first commentary set, since it specializes in backgrounds of the text, and not strictly on exegesis. However, this set acts as a superb specialty set to help students of the Bible understand many of the tougher illustrations the biblical authors used in conveying the Truth about Jesus Christ.
Excellent colorful resources that gives you insight into each N.T. book Jun 30, 2006
This is one of the most helpful resources to me when preparing Bible studies and messages. Each N.T. book is written by a reputable, evangelical scholar who has expertise in that particular book. For each N.T. book, there is a very helpful capsule in the beginning that tells you the important facts of each book (author, date, occasion, and key themes). Next, there is a helpful brief commentary for the whole book. There are excellent, color in-text maps as you read the commentary. Furthermore, there are great feature articles that give you insights into some of the pertinent beliefs, gods/goddesses/ key terms that are featured in the N.T. book. There is also a capsule on "reflections" that help the reader ponder and meditate on key themes and concepts. Finally, there is a wonderful annotated bibliography at the end of each book for further, suggested reading.
I am a seminary trained teacher who regularly prepares and teaches presentations and Bible lessons. This is one of the most helpful resources in my library which gives me a comprehensive analysis at a N.T. book at a glance. I read through this backgrounds commentary first and then read through various scholarly commentaries on the particular N.T. book.
I give it my highest recommendation and believe that it will be an excellent resource for laypersons, seminary students, pastors, professors, and Sunday School teachers. It may be pricey but well worth the cost. I hope you'll be as blessed as I am by this outstanding resource.
good but not that good Aug 25, 2004
The title "Illustrated" compel me to expect a commentary that be tastily read through cover-to-cover. However, I found its photos are not as bright as Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary. Holding the name "Commentary", I feel like reading an extensive study bible when there is no bible text; this commentary explains selected word or phrase of almost every verse in the New Testament. And honestly, as it claims to enlighten "Bible Background", I regard NT Wright's The Challenge of Jesus gives much better cultural-historical illumination to the Gospel.
This commentary also need more proof-read, for example, when I tried to find what the bible says in 2 Chron 1:34 as Vol. 1 page 9 cited, I found 1 Chron 1:34 fit better to the passage. Its maps also do a little help. I often met with them a few pages after the text or sometimes even couldn't locate some places stated in the text.
The Note provides more information. But I feel it useless because I was too lazy to go back and forth to find out what the indication number stands for. It's supposed to be placed right bellow the text as footnote instead of as end-of-chapter note.
Yes, considering this non-technical commentary neither as expository nor critical, it gives enjoyable and insightful comments that also lavishly illustrated with full-color photos of archeological findings (not with art-works as in CEV Learning Bible). But, if you consider yourself as informed layperson, you need to wait for the next edition.
A great NT Commentary for the Newbie Mar 2, 2003
While William Barclay's set on the NT is my favorite and should be on the bookshelf of every serious student of the NT, Zondervan's Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary is probably the most friendly for the newcomer or teenage Bible student. Unlike Barclay's set, this has glossy paper and excellent illustrations, maps, and insets. These come closest to resembling college textbooks in their format and appearance. They are likely to appeal to high school and college age kids, and old guys like me who like to sit on the sofa and read a Bible commentary that just looks good and is interesting. Again, Zondervan has produced a product with mass appeal.
A handy reference that is easy to use Jan 4, 2003
All four books are hardcover and smith bound, measuring 8" x10". The set is a background commentary for the New Testament and includes many, many color pictures, maps, and charts (on every page there is something). Further the set is littered with interesting sidebars which are set as text boxes in the margins or as boxes set within the text. The set is written from an evangelical perspective.
Overall the set appears to be well done. Each Gospel or epistle covered has an introductory historical survey of the culture that the Gospel or epistle was written in as well as the specifics of the local customs or issues that are addressed within the Gospel or epistle.
The commentary then proceeds to address the historical-culture issues that each verse has as a backdrop. For example in the third volume the introduction to the Epistle to the Romans contains,
"Understanding Paul's own situation as he writes Romans helps us appreciate the purpose and theme of the letter. In 15:14-22, he looks at a period of ministry just concluded. "From Jerusalem all the way around Illyricum," Paul tells us, "I have fully proclaimed the gospel of Christ" (15:19). This verse indicates that Paul's ministry has reached a significant geographical turning point. As Luke tells us in Acts, Paul first preached Christ in Damascus (and perhaps Arabia) after his conversion (Acts 9:19-22; cf. Gal. 1:17). Only after three years did he go to Jerusalem to preach, and then only briefly (Gal. 1:18; cf. Acts 9:28-29). Why, then, mention Jerusalem as the starting point for his ministry? For two reasons. First, the city represents the center of Judaism, and Paul is concerned to show how the gospel spread from the Jews to the Gentiles. Second, the city stands at one geographic extremity in his missionary travels. At the other extremity is Illyricum, the Roman province occupying what is today Albania and parts of Yugoslavia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. Only here does Paul refer to missionary work in this province, although such a ministry can be fit easily into the movements of Paul on his third missionary journey (see comments on Rom. 15:19). An "arc" drawn from Jerusalem to Illyricum, therefore, passes over, or nearby, the important churches that Paul has planted in south Galatia (Pisidian Antioch, Lystra, Iconium, Derbe), Asia (Ephesus), Macedonia (Philippi, Thessalonica, Berea), and Achaia (Corinth). But what does Paul mean when he claims that he has "fully proclaimed" the gospel in these areas? The Greek has simply the equivalent of our verb "fulfill" (peplerokenai). To "fulfill" the gospel, therefore, probably means to preach it sufficiently such that viable churches are established. These churches can then carry on the task of evangelism in their own territories while Paul moves on to plant new churches in virgin gospel territory (cf. 15:20-21). In pursuit of this calling, Paul is moving on to Spain (15:24). On the way, he hopes to stop off at Rome, evidently to enlist the Roman Christians' support for his new gospel outreach (see comments on 15:24). but before he can begin his trip to the western Mediterranean, he must first return to Jerusalem (15:25). Throughout the third missionary journey, Paul has collected money from the Gentile churches he planted to bring back to the impoverished Jerusalem believers. Now he is ready to embark on this trip, and he earnestly asks the Roman Christians to pray for it (15:30-33). The collection represents for Paul a key step in what he hopes will be the reconciliation of the Jewish and Gentile Christians in the early church" (Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary, vol. 3, pp. 3-5).
An example of the commentary itself from 2 Cor. 11:14:
"Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light (11:14). In some Jewish traditions, Satan transformed himself into an angel of light and deceived Eve a second time:
'Then Satan was angry and transformed himself into the brightness of angels and went away to the Tigris River to Eve and found her weeping. And the devil himself, as if to grieve with her began to weep and said to her, "Step out of the river and cry no more...come out to the water and I will lead you to the place where your food has been prepared."'"
Largely this set appears to be written as a tool for working pastors. It's tone is conversational and does not appeal to excessive use of jargon. It provides all kinds of references and antidotal information which would be useful for sermon illustrations and story-telling. In addition, contemporary source material is referenced as well as recommended reading should a topic peak the readers interest to the point where they wish to more fully explore it. While Zondervan's Backgrounds Commentary is not a scholarly reference, it is obviously aimed at the pastor or church leader who wants to go beyond the basics of a working knowledge of the Bible, yet who also wants a reference that doesn't take a week of reading to get at the stuff that they will eventually wind up presenting in a sermon or Bible study.
A caveat I do have offhand is that the footnotes appear as endnotes at the end of each Gospel or epistle. Stylistically I can understand why this was done as footnotes would break up the overall flow of the work presented; however for footnote geeks this does involve the "Sears Roebuck" method of getting at them.