Review: The Jewish World around the New Testament

This volume contains twenty-four essays on various topics related to the Jewish world surrounding the New Testament. The essays cover a considerable scope and some topics are of broader relevance than others. The author notes in the preface that the essays were written over a period of thirty years and acknowledges that the topics are rather diverse but notes that all the essays share a “basic perspective on the historical place of the New Testament writings within late Second Temple Judaism.” Indeed, Bauckham insists that “The NT student and scholar must use the Jewish literature in the first place to understand Judaism. Only someone who understands early Judaism for its own sake will be able to use Jewish texts appropriately and accurately in the interpretation of the NT” (p. 1). The various essays in this book serve as case studies demonstrating the validity of Bauckham‟s thesis, even though their relevance to the study of the New Testament varies. The quality of the contributions, as one has come to expect from this scholar, is consistently high and even stellar. Clearly, Bauckham has established himself as one of the leading New Testament scholars of our day, and this collection further showcases the enormous scope of Bauckham‟s scholarship.

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