Biblical Background: Bibliography

Introduction / Methodologies & Literature
The study of biblical backgrounds is a vast labyrinth of data. Within the methodologies and literature study, there are some good works to get your feet wet and start you down the path of learning the impact upon your interpretation of Scripture.

  • Dever, William G. What Did the Biblical Writers Know & When Did They Know It? What Archaeology Can Tell Us about the Reality of Ancient Israel.
    • This work gives you the best entrance into the world of backgrounds.
  • King, Philip and Lawrence Stager. Life in Biblical Israel
    • King’s work is a basic survey of what life was like in ancient Israel.
  • Levy, Thomas, ed. The Archaeology of Society in the Holy Land.
  • DeSilva, David. Honor, Patronage, Kinship, and Purity
    • Moving deeper into Israelite / ANE culture you must know the topic of Honor-Shame culture. Here DeSilva provides a basic entrance into the topic. Favorite Book in Topic
  • Sparks, Kenton L. Ancient Texts for the Study of the Hebrew Bible
    • Another direction and means of studying ANE backgrounds is through comparative literature studies. Sparks offers such a study here.

Old Testament Archaeology
  • Kenneth Kitchen. On the Reliability of the Old Testament.
    • Before delving into the archaeology works, one must ask is the OT trustworthy? Kitchen’s work handles the apologetic needs for background / archaeological studies in this work. Favorite Book in Topic
  • James Hoffmeier, The Archaeology of the Bible
    • Hoffmeier’s work is a basic study on the accomplished archaeology of the OT period.
  • BenTor, Amnon and R. Greenberg. The Archaeology of Ancient Israel
    • BenTor’s work is more in-depth than Hoffmeier, but written on more of an academic level.
  • Mazar, Amihai. Archaeology of the Land of the Bible, 10,000-586 BCE
    • This is a chronological archaeological survey.
  • Stern, Ephraim. Archaeology and the Land of the Bible, II: The Assyrian, Babylonian, and Persian Periods (732-332 BC).
    • This is the second of the chronological archaeological surveys.

ANE & Greco-Roman Religions
  • Hess, Richard. Israelite Religions: An Archaeological and Biblical Survey.
    • This is the best work concerning Israelite religion in the context of ANE religions. Hess presents theories and concepts concerning Israelite religious origins and then shows the aspects which are or aren’t brought from another religion. Favorite Book in Topic
  • Snell, David C. Religions of the Ancient Near East.
  • Malina, Bruce. The New Testament World: Insights from Cultural Anthropology
    • Malina’s work is more sociological than other works.
  • Luke Timothy Johnson, Among the Gentiles: Greco-Roman Religion and Christianity
    • Johnson’s study focuses upon comparative religious practice, not necessarily theology and mythology.
  • Walton, John. Ancient Near Eastern Thought and the Old Testament: Introducing the Conceptual World of the Hebrew Bible.
    • Walton’s work is centered upon comparative religious studies.

New Testament Archaeology

  • Jeffers, James. The Greco-Roman World of the New Testament Era
    • Jeffers’ work is more focused upon the Roman structure in which first-century Christianity existed. Favorite Book in Topic
  • McRay, John. Archaeology and the New Testament
  • Reed, Jonathan. Archaeology and the Galilean Jesus
  • Snodgrass, Anthony M. An Archaeology of Greece: The Present State and Future Scope of a Discipline.
  • Charlesworth, James, ed. Jesus and Archaeology. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2006.
  • Magness, Jodi. The Archaeology of the Holy Land: From the Destruction of Solomon’s Temple Until the Muslim Conquest.
  • Bailey, Kenneth. Jesus Through Mediterranean Eyes
    • Collection of essays covering various topics concerning Jesus’ life and ministry and middle eastern through concerning the respective topic.

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