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New Testament History: A Narrative Account
Ben Witherington III

0801022932 Retail Price: $32.00
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Format: Paperback, 432pp.
ISBN: 9780801027697
Publisher: Baker Book House
Pub. Date: November 2003

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About the Author
Table of Contents
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From The Publisher:

Essential to an understanding of the New Testament world is a comprehension of the individuals, events, and social movements that shaped the world from which Jesus and his followers emerged. Unfortunately, the accounts of Josephus and other early historians are complex and often leave students feeling overwhelmed and confused. New Testament History provides a worthy solution to this problem. A well-known expert on the social world of the New Testament, Ben Witherington offers an engaging look into the world that birthed the Christian faith.

In this succinct yet readable narrative, Witherington carries the reader from the intertestamental Maccabean wars to the reign of Domitian and the exile of John, focusing especially upon the life of Christ. Witherington closely explores the geographical, political, social, and religious influences that shaped the leaders and social movements of the day. The inferiority complex of Alexander the Great and the stories of "Little Boots" and Nero are a few examples of such case studies.

This rich chronicle leaves readers with a better understanding of the social and political climate of the New Testament world, tackling controversies and issues with depth and clarity. Students, pastors, and interested readers will enjoy this stimulating account and appreciate its readable narrative style. New Testament History contains a number of pedagogical features, including illustrations, sidebars, "Closer Look" sections, maps, and charts.


This is a very readable and informative survey of the rise of Christianity against its historical background. I can think of no higher praise than to say that this book may well do for this generation what F. F. Bruce's New Testament History did for an earlier one.
—I. Howard Marshall, University of Aberdeen

A well written and informative overview not only for theologians and specialists but also for every educated and interested reader. It gives a fine introduction to the time of Jesus and the apostles and includes several new historical and archeological insights. The numerous illustrations are also valuable.
—Martin Hengel, University of Tόbingen

Ben Witherington's New Testament History fills a significant gap in biblical background textbooks. This well-written book, with its choice photographs, maps, and sidebars, will engage and enlighten students painlessly! I recommend it enthusiastically.
—Craig A. Evans, Trinity Western University


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About the Author

Ben Witherington III (Ph.D., University of Durham) is professor of New Testament at Asbury Theological Seminary. He is the author of over twenty books, including The Jesus Quest: The Third Search for the Jew of Nazareth.

Table of Contents

Prolegomenon: Of History, Historians, and Biographers14
1From Alexander to Alexandra and Beyond (356-67 B.C.)29
2The Rise of the Herodians, the Birth of Jesus, and the Dawn of an Empire (63-4 B.C.)49
3The Herodians and Their Prophetic Adversaries: John and Jesus (4 B.C.-A.D. 27)80
4The Coming of the Prefect and of the Perfect: Pilate of Rome and Jesus of Nazareth (A.D. 26-29)107
5The Trials and Tribulations of Jesus (A.D. 29-30)132
6The Rising of the Son and the Birth of the Church (A.D. 30-33)160
7The Roads from Jerusalem (A.D. 33-37)188
8Dark Passages (A.D. 37-47)213
9The Gentile Mission and the Jerusalem Council (A.D. 48-49)228
10Good News Heading West (A.D. 50-52)249
11The Expansion of the Enterprise (A.D. 53-57)274
12Trials and Executions: Signs upon the Earth (A.D. 58-62)301
13Through the Refiner's Fire (A.D. 63-68)333
14The Dawn of the Age of Inspiration (A.D. 68-70)356
15Beyond Jerusalem, Jamnia, and the Julio-Claudians (A.D. 70-81)370
16The Dominion of Domitian (A.D. 81-96)390
Scripture Index411
Ancient Writings419
Subject Index423

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