Sunday 30 October 2016

NIV Cultural Backgrounds Commentary

I wrote the following mini review for EG, the quarterly magazine produced by the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity.

John H. Walton and Craig S. Keener (eds.), NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2016).

In God’s good design, the Bible comes to us via the settings in which it was originally written – whether to sixth-century bc exiles in Babylon or first-century ad Christians in Ephesus. God’s gracious mode of speaking to ordinary people in everyday places encourages us to discern how he still speaks to us today. Indeed, understanding the world in which the Bible was first addressed might help us see more easily parallels with our own time.

While this wouldn’t be the only study Bible to use, its distinct focus sheds helpful light on the cultural, historical, and literary context of the Old and New Testaments. Brought together by reputable scholars, its visuals, charts, maps, short essays and notes provide an excellent source of information that can be consulted with profit again and again.

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