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New Testament History

really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating details ·  369 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
This book recounts the Roman and Jewish context of New Testament times...the lives of John and Jesus, and the history of the first two generations of the Church.
Paperback, 462 pages
Published March 15th 1983 by Galilee Trade (first published June 25th 1982)
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Susanna Grant
May 12, 2017 rated it liked it
good but definitely some long dull stretches, don't remember much of it
Jul 22, 2011 added it
Though this is an older work, I think it is still profitable since it gives alot of historical information concerning the background behind the New Testament. F.F Bruce strength's as a Classicist can clearly be seen, which can be his strength and also his weaknesses. As his strength, one can see that he is very familiar with the Roman and Greek materials that he presents, and for quite a depth into the book, he is still providing the political background of the Roman Empire. Another thing that w ...more
Mar 18, 2010 rated it it was amazing
It amazing when one starts to understand the context in which the bible was written. in this case the new testament. it made me see the people there as normal people, with complex lives just like us. it made me stop making sweeping statements about the 'good' or the 'bad' guys. I understood better the man Jesus choose to associate with - what an interesting bunch, the beginnings of the early church - its not as clean cut as we want it to be and also see Jesus through the eyes of the scribes, Sad ...more
Jun 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
Wow, what a great book. Bruce takes the centuries right before Jesus and goes through to the death of Justin Martyr. In the centuries before Jesus he goes through the ruling and waring factions in Judea and explains not just the history but the sociology of the various Jewish people groups entering into the time of Jesus which just add so much to the reading of Jesus. He then goes through the life of Jesus and brings tremendous insight into the perspective of the various groups of Jews and the h ...more
CJ Bowen
Aug 04, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Excellent clear summary situating the NT in its history context. Bruce is restrained in his judgments, judicious in his acceptance or rejection of harmonizations, and writes quite well. Jewish religious parties and sects are clearly explained, the various Herods get their due, and the uneasy relationship between Rome and Christianity is helpfully explored. Bruce also gives a more chronological account of the ministries of Peter and Paul than the NT gives, and adds many helpful contextual insight ...more
Mar 15, 2013 rated it did not like it
I tried several times to start this book and couldn't even get into the double digit pages. I suspect this would be a great read for any history enthusiasts out there but unless you are one of them you probably should pass. I was really looking forward to reading it based on the other comments that said it helped put the Biblical texts in context but it ended up being nothing like what I expected.
Dec 19, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: church-history
This is an excellent book on the history of the first century and the church at the time of Jesus and after Jesus’ ascension. It is very helpful for reading the Bible better by more clearly understanding the historical context to which each of the books in the New Testament were written. It is very academic and not an easy book to read.
David S. T.
Aug 31, 2010 rated it really liked it
This was a great read to accompany my reread of the Gospels and Acts. Its loaded with lots of information and gives a better perspective on names of the Roman rulers often mentioned and the conditions which the Gospel was originally preached.
King Haddock
Apr 17, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, religion
An in-depth examination of New Testament history: interesting and worth reading.
Seth Channell
Mar 29, 2013 rated it liked it
New Testament History is a book on the historical background of the New Testament. The book is not a page turner, but is a helpful one.
Oct 02, 2012 marked it as to-read
Shelves: bible-background
1.1 - Apologetics
Chris Comis
Feb 09, 2009 rated it liked it
Not the most exciting book I've ever read, but good scholarly historical background stuff in here.
Kingsley Layton
Aug 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reference
This book was both very helpful and very resourceful. However, not for the hard of thinking.
Stephen Bigger
Dec 10, 2016 rated it liked it
A book from my youth, Fred (FF) taught me and I can still hear his voice when I read it. Still a pretty balanced account of New Testament scholarship. Bought for a penny.
Oct 20, 2008 rated it really liked it
The book is about as entertaining as reading a math text book but it is profoundly interesting.
Michael Vincent
Apr 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
A scholarly and helpful book which gives much background for the New Testament and early church.
Charles Mckamie
Jan 12, 2017 rated it did not like it
Excellent--will continue to use as a reference.
Douglas Wilson
Mar 25, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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  • Early Christian Doctrines
  • The Christian Tradition 4: Reformation of Church & Dogma 1300-1700
  • The Gospel of Luke
  • Lexical Aids for Students of New Testament Greek
  • New Testament Introduction
  • The First Urban Christians: The Social World of the Apostle Paul
  • New Testament Background: Selected Documents: Revised and Expanded Edition
  • Echoes of Scripture in the Letters of Paul
  • The Historical Reliability of the Gospels
  • Defending Constantine: The Twilight of an Empire and the Dawn of Christendom
  • Climax of the Covenant
  • The New Testament in Antiquity: A Survey of the New Testament within Its Cultural Context
  • A History of Christianity in the United States and Canada
  • Honor, Patronage, Kinship Purity: Unlocking New Testament Culture
  • Paul: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)
  • Apostle of the Crucified Lord: A Theological Introduction to Paul and His Letters
  • An Introduction to the New Testament
  • Evangelicalism Divided: A Record of Crucial Change in the Years 1950 to 2000
Frederick Fyvie Bruce FBA was a Biblical scholar who supported the historical reliability of the New Testament. His first book, The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable? (1943), was voted by the American evangelical periodical Christianity Today in 2006 as one of the top 50 books "which had shaped evangelicals".
More about F.F. Bruce...

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