Discover the literary world in which the New Testament emerged. For over thirty-five years, C.K. Barrett's The New Testament Background has provided an exhaustive collection of source material from the political, religious, and social landscape of the New Testament. Far more than a history of first-century cultures, this is a compendium of the texts and documents that shaped that history. Now updated to include the revolutionary discoveries of recent decades such as Dead Sea Scrolls and Gnostic texts from Nag Hammadi, The New Testament Background includes everything from the work of towering historical figures such as Aristotle, the Caesars, and Josephus to the letters and legal documents of everyday people. Jewish, Gnostic, and Pagan religious literature complete this vivid picture of the Mediterranean world at the time of the first Christians. Carefully compiled by one of this century's premier New Testament scholars, The New Testament Background gives the reader direct access to the wider context in which Jesus preached, Paul taught, and the New Testament was written. Its documents illuminate virtually all of the canonical books of the New Testament, and its thorough index will assist with research on any related topic. This is an invaluable reference work as well as simply fascinating reading for any serious student of the New Testament, Christian origins, and world religions. - Back cover.