Ancient Texts for New Testament Studies: A Guide to the Background Literature

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9780801046179: Ancient Texts for New Testament Studies: A Guide to the Background Literature

One of the daunting challenges facing the New Testament interpreter is achieving familiarity with the immense corpus of Greco-Roman, Jewish, and pagan primary source materials. From the Paraphrase of Shem to Pesiqta Rabbati, scholars and students alike must have a fundamental understanding of these documents' content, provenance, and place in NT interpretation. But achieving even an elementary facility with this literature often requires years of experience or a photographic memory. Evans's dexterous survey--a thoroughly revised and significantly expanded edition of his Noncanonical Writings and New Testament Interpretation--amasses the requisite details of date, language, text, translation, and general bibliography. Evans also evaluates the materials' relevance for interpreting the NT. The vast range of literature examined includes the Old Testament apocrypha, the Old Testament pseudepigrapha, the Dead Sea Scrolls, assorted ancient translations of the Old Testament and the Targum paraphrases, Philo and Josephus, Rabbinic texts, the New Testament pseudepigrapha, the early church fathers, various gnostic writings, and more. Six appendixes, including a list of quotations, allusions, and parallels to the NT, and a comparison of Jesus' parables with those of the rabbis will further save the interpreter precious time.

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From the Back Cover:

"Evans's introduction is more than a map to terra incognita; it is a helpful companion for all who study Judaism and Christianity before the establishment of the Holy Roman Empire."
--James H. Charlesworth, George L. Collord Professor of New Testament Language and Literature, Princeton Theological Seminary

"As someone who has worked in a great number of fields cognate to New Testament studies, Craig Evans is eminently qualified to produce a guide to these various adjacent areas. . . . [He] has clearly done an excellent job of covering a vast amount of material. Each work or corpus is introduced succinctly and clearly and is accompanied by bibliographies of editions, translations, and well-chosen secondary literature. . . . This very comprehensive and clearly written book . . . will be extremely useful to a large number of students and scholars."
--Simon Gathercole, Journal of Theological Studies

"Many doctoral students would have loved to have this reference work on their desks during graduate studies. All of the standard exegetical questions (date, provenance, author, historical situation) are answered in a few enlightened sentences. . . . Evans's book is a success, providing vast amounts of information in a minuscule space with extensive leads for further study. His choice of bibliography to continue research is lean and pointed. The very scope of his introduction to Israelite and rabbinic literature make[s] this book worthy of a place on any shelf."
--Jerome H. Neyrey, Review of Biblical Literature

"This volume encompasses an amazing amount of material, and successfully orients readers to the texts under consideration. It is a major revision and expansion of the author's earlier volume Noncanonical Writings and New Testament Interpretation. . . . Even for those that possess the earlier edition this revised form is worth purchasing for the up-to-date bibliographical references, yet it also provides a more comprehensive coverage of texts. This is an important reference work that should become a standard volume in libraries and on the shelves of scholars and students alike."
--Paul Foster, Expository Times

About the Author:

Craig A. Evans, PhD, is Payzant Distinguished Professor of New Testament at Acadia Divinity College in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, Canada. He is a frequent contributor to scholarly journals and the author or editor of numerous publications.

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