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How to Read the Bible in Its Ancient Context

A Guide for Exploring the Worlds of the Old and New Testaments

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This concise and practical introduction helps students read and understand the whole Bible in its ancient context with an eye toward why backgrounds study matters today.

With nearly twenty years of combined experience in teaching backgrounds courses, Jonathan and Jennifer Greer ably cover both the Old and New Testaments in a single, accessible, well-organized volume. The authors introduce readers to geography, history, archaeology, religion, social contexts, and literature to help them enter the ancient world before viewing each genre of the Bible--Old and New Testaments--through an ancient lens.

Addressing not only the why but also the how-to of engaging the ancient world, this book shows why backgrounds study is important for understanding and interpreting the Bible, provides methods and tools for engaging the text's foreignness, and explores the difference backgrounds study makes for living faithfully in our world today. Ten illustrations are included.

The Authors

  1. Jonathan S. Greer
    Courtesy of Cornerstone University

    Jonathan S. Greer

    Jonathan S. Greer (PhD, Pennsylvania State University) is associate professor of Old Testament and director of the Hesse Memorial Archaeological Laboratory at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He also serves as associate director of...

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  2. Jennifer Jackson Greer

    Jennifer Jackson Greer

    Jennifer Jackson Greer (MDiv, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary) is adjunct professor of Bible at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary and serves in various leadership roles at Madison Church: Ford Campus in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She and her husband, Jonathan...

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