Bibliography: New Testament Background—The Roman World


Bell, Albert A. Exploring the New Testament World: An Illustrated Guide to the World of Jesus and the First Christians. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1998.

Bruce, F. F. New Testament History. London: Nelson, 1969.

Esler, Philip F. The First Christians in Their Social World. London: Routledge, 1994.

Ferguson, Everett. Backgrounds of Early Christianity. 2nd ed. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1993.

Jagersma, Henk. A History of Israel from Alexander the Great to Bar Kochba. Philadelphia: Fortress, 1986.

Koester, Helmut. Introduction to the New Testament. Vol. 1, History, Culture, and Religion of the Hellenistic Age. Philadelphia: Fortress, 1982.

Lohse, Eduard. The New Testament Environment. Nashville: Abingdon, 1976.

Luker, Lamontte, ed. Passion, Vitality, and Foment: The Dynamics of Second Temple Judaism. Harrisburg, PA: Trinity Press International, 2001.

Malina, Bruce. Windows on the World of Jesus: Time Travel to Ancient Judea. Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 1993.

Reicke, Bo. The New Testament Era: The World of the Bible from 500 BC to AD 100. Philadelphia: Fortress, 1968.

Roetzel, Calvin J., and David L. Tiede. The World That Shaped the New Testament. Rev. ed. Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2002.

Smallwood, E. Mary. The Jews under Roman Rule: From Pompey to Diocletian: A Study in Political Relations. 2nd ed. Leiden: Brill, 1981.

Stambaugh, John, and David Balch. The New Testament in Its Social Environment. LEC. Philadelphia: Westminster, 1986.

Stegemann, Ekkehard W., and Wolfgang Stegemann. The Jesus Movement: A Social History of Its First Century. Minneapolis: Fortress, 1995.

The Roman World

Ancient Historians

Grant, Michael. Greek and Roman Historians: Information and Misinformation. New York: Routledge, 1995.

Mason, Steve. Josephus and the New Testament. 2nd ed. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2003.

Roman Empire

Carter, Warren. The Roman Empire and the New Testament: An Essential Guide. Nashville: Abingdon, 2006.

Cassidy, Richard J. Christians and Roman Rule in the New Testament: New Perspectives. New York: Crossroad, 2001.

Jeffers, James S. The Greco-Roman World of the New Testament Era: Exploring the Background of Early Christianity. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1999.

Herod the Great

Knoblet, Jerry. Herod the Great. Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 2005.

Richardson, Peter. Herod: King of the Jews and Friend of the Romans. Minneapolis: Fortress, 1996.

Herod Antipas

Hoehner, Harold W. Herod Antipas: A Contemporary of Jesus Christ. SNTSMS 17. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1972.

Pontius Pilate

Bond, Helen K. Pontius Pilate in History and Interpretation. SNTSMS 100. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998.

Carter, Warren. Pontius Pilate: Portraits of a Roman Governor. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2004.

Social Institution of Slavery

Bradley, K. R. Slavery and Society at Rome. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994.

Callahan, Allen Dwight, Richard A. Horsley, and Abraham Smith, eds. Slavery in Text and Interpretation. Semeia 83/84. Atlanta: Scholars Press, 2001.

Glancy, Jennifer A. Slavery in Early Christianity. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002.

Harrill, J. Albert. The Manumission of Slaves in Early Christianity. HUT 32. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1995.

———. Slaves in the New Testament: Literary, Social, and Moral Dimensions. Minneapolis: Fortress, 2006.

Westermann, William L. The Slave System of Greek and Roman Antiquity. Philadelphia: American Philosophy Society, 1955.

Philosophical Schools

Brennan, T. The Stoic Life: Emotions, Duties, and Fate. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005.

Engberg-Pedersen, Troels. Paul and the Stoics. Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2000.

Long, A. A. Hellenistic Philosophy: Stoics, Epicureans, Skeptics. 2nd ed. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1986.

Sharples, R. W. Stoics, Epicureans, and Skeptics: An Introduction to Hellenistic Philosophy. New York: Routledge, 1996.

Roman Religion

Feeney, Denis. Literature and Religion at Rome: Cultures, Contexts, and Beliefs. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998.

Klauck, Hans-Josef. The Religious Context of Early Christianity: A Guide to Graeco-Roman Religions. Minneapolis: Fortress, 2003.

Macmullen, Ramsay. Paganism in the Roman Empire. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1981.

Scheid, John. An Introduction to Roman Religion. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2003.

Tripolitis, Antonía. Religions of the Hellenistic-Roman Age. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2001.

Turcan, Robert. The Cults of the Roman Empire. Cambridge, MA: Blackwell, 1996.

Warrior, Valerie M. Roman Religion. CIRC. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006.

Emperor Worship

Price, S. R. F. Rituals and Power: The Roman Imperial Cult in Asia Minor. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984.

Mystery Religion

Burkett, Walter. Ancient Mystery Cults. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1987.

Cosmopoulos, Michael B. Greek Mysteries: The Archaeology of Ancient Greek Secret Cults. New York: Routledge, 2003.

Reitzenstein, Richard. Hellenistic Mystery Religions: Their Basic Ideas and Significance. Pittsburgh: Pickwick, 1978.


Aune, David E., ed. Apocalypticism, Prophecy, and Magic in Early Christianity: Collected Essays. WUNT 199. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2006.

Dickie, Matthew W. Magic and Magicians in the Greco-Roman World. New York: Routledge, 2003.

Graf, Fritz. Magic in the Ancient World. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1998.

Janowitz, Naomi. Magic in the Roman World: Pagans, Jews, and Christians. New York: Routledge, 2001.

Klauck, Hans-Josef. Magic and Paganism in Early Christianity: The World of the Acts of the Apostles. Minneapolis: Fortress, 2003.

Labahn, Michael. A Kind of Magic: Understanding Magic in the New Testament and Its Religious Environment. London: T&T Clark, 2000.

Luck, Georg. Arcana Mundi: Magic and the Occult in the Greek and Roman Worlds: A Collection of Ancient Texts. 2nd ed. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1985.


Aune, David E., ed. Apocalypticism, Prophecy, and Magic in Early Christianity: Collected Essays. WUNT 199. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2006.

———. Prophecy in Early Christianity and the Mediterranean World. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1983.

Parke, H. W. Sibyls and Sibylline Prophecy in Classical Antiquity. Edited by B. C. McGing. New York: Routledge, 1988.

Supernaturalism (Miracles)

Cotter, Wendy. Miracles in Greco-Roman Antiquity: A Sourcebook. New York: Routledge, 1999.

Kee, Howard Clark. Miracle in the Early Christian World: A Study in Socio-Historical Method. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1983.

Divine Men

Anderson, Graham. Sage, Saint, and Sophist: Holy Men and Their Associates in the Early Roman Empire. New York: Routledge, 1994.

Christian Evangelization of Roman Empire

Brown, Peter. Authority and Sacred: Aspects of the Christianisation of the Roman World. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995.

Hinson, E. Glen. The Evangelization of the Roman Empire: Identity and Adaptability. Macon, GA: Mercer University Press, 1981.

Meeks, Wayne A. The First Urban Christians: The Social World of the Apostle Paul. 2nd ed. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2003.

Roman Attitudes toward Christianity

Benko, Stephen. Pagan Rome and the Early Christians. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1984.

Whittaker, Molly. Jews and Christians: Greco-Roman Views. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984.

Wilken, Robert L. The Christians as the Romans Saw Them. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1984.

Early Christian World


King, Karen L. What Is Gnosticism? Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2003.

Makschies, Christoph. Gnosis: An Introduction. London: T&T Clark, 2003.

Pearson, Birger A. Ancient Gnosticism: Traditions and Literature. Minneapolis: Fortress, 2007.

Perkins, Pheme. Gnosticism and the New Testament. Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, 1993.

Roukema, Reimer. Gnosis and Faith in Early Christianity: An Introduction to Gnosticism. Harrisburg, PA: Trinity Press International, 1999.

Gnostic Literature (Nag Hammadi)

Evans, Craig A., Robert L. Webb, and Richard A. Wiebe, eds. Nag Hammadi Texts and the Bible: A Synopsis and Index. NTTS 18. Leiden: Brill, 1993.

Meyer, Marvin, ed. The Nag Hammadi Scriptures: The Definitive International Version. San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 2006.

Robinson, James M. The Nag Hammadi Library. 3rd ed. San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1988.

Social Systems and Cultural Values

deSilva, David. Honor, Patronage, Kinship, and Purity: Unlocking New Testament Culture. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2000.

Malina, Bruce J. The New Testament World: Insights from Cultural Anthropology. 3rd ed. Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2001.

Wealth and Poverty

Holman, Susan R., ed. Wealth and Poverty in Early Christianity. HCSPTH. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2008.


Douglas, Mary. Purity and Danger. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1966.

Wenell, Karen J. Jesus and Land: Sacred and Social Space in Second Temple Judaism. LNTS 334. London: T&T Clark, 2007.


Saller, Richard P. Personal Patronage under the Early Empire. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1982.

Wallace-Hadrill, Andrew. Patronage in Ancient Society. London: Routledge, 1989.

Honor and Shame

Campbell, Barth L. Honor, Shame and the Rhetoric of 1 Peter. SBLDS 160. Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1998.

Neyrey, Jerome H. Honor and Shame in the Gospel of Matthew. Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 1998.

Other Academic Studies

Balla, Peter. The Child-Parent Relationship in the New Testament and Its Environment. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2006.

Fitzgerald, John T., ed. Greco-Roman Perspectives on Friendship. SBLRBS 34. Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1997.

Millard, Alan R. Reading and Writing in the Time of Jesus. BibSem 69. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 2000.

Vamosh, Miriam Feinberg. Daily Life at the Time of Jesus. Nashville: Abingdon, 2003.