The Background of the Bible–Should You Care?

Posted: August 22, 2013 in Uncategorized

iPhoto LibraryHow much background information does one need to know in order to understand the Bible? Is it necessary to have some level of understanding of the political, religious, and socio-economic situation of NT times in order to understand the NT rightly? Do we need to be experts in Judaism, Roman governmental structure, or the economic situation of Jesus’ day?

Craig Blomberg has written that “[a]n understanding of any religion depends heavily on the historical circumstances surrounding its birth” (Jesus and the Gospels, 5). Furthermore, Blomberg asserts that “an informed reading of the NT requires some familiarity with the events of this era” (Jesus and the Gospels, 7). I want to say that Dr. Blomberg is correct in his assertion that “some familiarity” is needed, and yet I want to move ahead cautiously as many have assuredly read, understood, and event taught the Bible in exceptional ways without having ever studied OT or NT background information.

As one considers how they would answer the questions stated in the first paragraph, here are two helpful links to help as you ponder the subject:

1.  John Piper and Don Carson discuss relevant things  HERE.

2.  Andy Naselli offers his own excellent thoughts HERE.


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