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New Testament History
by F.F. Bruce
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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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
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
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
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
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.
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.
Aug 31, 2010 David S. T. 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.
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...