*"The Temple in the New Testament" (5-minute video) by Craig Keener (Seven Minute Seminary)
ONLINE COURSES: FREE!
*Historical Geography of Israel: A free online course by Dr. Perry Phillips at Biblical eLearning.
*Apocrypha: Witness Between the Testaments: A free online course by Dr. David deSilva at Biblical eLearning.
*The Cultural World of the New Testament: A free online course by Dr. David deSilva at Biblical eLearning. 8 lectures.
*Understanding the Background of the New Testament (38 minutes) by Dr. Craig Blomberg
*7 Lectures on the Background of the New Testament (4 hours) by Dr. Craig Blomberg. These are the first 7 lectures of his Introduction to the New Testament course.
*"Studies in the Historical Context of the Bible" by Bruce Gore
Bible Atlases & Travel in the Roman Empire Online
*BibleAtlas.org appears to me to be the most complete atlas available online and the best choice for every day study.
*ORBIS: The Stanford Geospatial Map of the Roman World: This map is very cool. The best thing I know of for understanding the ancient Roman road system and sea travel....even gives you the ability to calculate approximate travel times for custom travel routes throughout the empire.
*The Roman Empire’s Roads In Transit Map Form
*Digital Map of the Roman Empire: one of the most amazing maps of the ancient world I have ever seen.
*Get Lost in Jerusalem: An interactive resource by Ted and Zach Hildebrandt at Biblical eLearning.
*"Maps of the Ancient World": a collection of links by New Testament scholar John Kloppenborg
*Transportation In The Roman Empire: Roads, Vehicles And Water Travel
*Roman Roads and Milestones in Judaea/Palaestina by Kinneret College On The Sea Of Galilee, Department Of Holy Land Studies
*Trade Routes of Palestine at Bible Odyssey (presented by SBL)
*Map Gallery at Bible Odyssey (presented by SBL)
*Places in the Bible at Bible Odyssey (presented by SBL)
OTHER ONLINE RESOURCES
*Archaeological Confirmation Of The New Testament: Resources For Study
*Institute for the Study of the Ancient World. An amazing array of FREE resources including a digital library, 3000 free images, online coins of the Roman world, images for 50,000 papyri, an open-source map-making program and more!
*Tyndale House has a very well organized list of tons of links to books and other resources on Biblical backgrounds that are available for FREE online. This link will take you to the list of resources related to the "Jewish and Rabbinic" background. Look to the left and you will find a box with links to other aspects of "background."
*The Jewish History Resource Center: a massive, well-organized and easy-to-navigate website covering resources for every aspect of Jewish history from ancient times to the present.
*Harvards' Center for Hellenic Studies' online publications.
*"Mythology Bookshelf": An extensive list of FREE books on mythology topically arranged at Project Gutenberg.
*Encyclopedia Mythica: 7000+ articles and other resources on ancient mythologies
*Links to "Cultural Background Resources"
*The Biblical Toolkit: "Collecting Resources for Biblical, Classical, and Near Eastern Studies"
*Classics Index: "Links to Online Books....FOR THE STUDY OF GREEK AND ROMAN CLASSICS, EARLY JUDAISM, AND CHRISTIANITY"
*Palestine Exploration Quarterly: An open access journal
*IVP Dictionary of New Testament Background: This reference work deserves to be in everyone's library. And really all of the IVP Dictionary series.
*Dictionary of Daily Life in Biblical & Post-Biblical Antiquity by Edwin Yamauchi & Marvin R. Wilson. My #2 pick.
*New Testament History by F.F. Bruce. Kindle version. A classic. Highly recommended.
*Backgrounds of Early Christianity by Everett Ferguson
*The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament by Craig Keener
*The Greco-Roman World of the New Testament Era by James S. Jeffers
*Civilization of the Ancient Mediterranean: Greece and Rome (3 volumes) edited by Michael Grant and Rachel Kitzinger
*NIV Archaeological Study Bible
*Archaeology of the Bible: Boook by Book by Gaalyah Cornfeld
*The Archeology of the New Testament: The Life of Jesus and the Beginning of the Early Church by Jack Finegan
*The Archaeology Of The New Testament: The Mediterranean World Of The Early Christian Apostles by Jack Finegan
*Zondervan Handbook of Biblical Archaeology: A Book by Book Guide to Archaeological Discoveries Related to the Bible by Randall Price
*The Oxyrhynchus Papyri: 15 volumes of papyri fragments of all kinds with translations
*Handbook of Biblical Chronology (Revised Edition) by Jack Finegan.
*Chronological Aspects of the Life of Christ: by Harold W. Hoehner
*The Birth of Christianity: The First Twenty Years (After Jesus, Volume 1) by Paul Barnett
*Paul: Missionary of Jesus (After Jesus, Volume 2) by Paul Barnett
*Paul's Early Period: Chronology, Mission Strategy, Theology by Rainer Reisner
*Paul Apostle to the Gentiles: Studies in Chronology by Gerd Ludemann
*Paul: His Life and Teachings by John McRay
*Paul: A Critical Life by Jerome Murphy-O'Connor
*Paul: Messenger and Exile: A study in the chronology of his life and letters by John J. Gunther
*Judaism: Practice & Belief 63BCE-66CE by E.P. Sanders. A classic. Highly recommended.
*The Jewish World around the New Testament: Collected Essays by Richard Bauckham
*Early Judaism: A Comprehensive Overview edited by John J. Collins and Daniel C. Harlow
*Jerusalem in the Time of Jesus by Joachim Jeremias. Another classic.
*Judaism and Hellenism: Studies in their Encounter in Palestine during the Early Hellenistic Period by Martin Hengel
*The 'Hellenization' of Judea in the First Century after Christ by Martin Hengel
*Article: "The Use Of Greek In First-Century Palestine: A Diachronic And Synchronic Examination" by Stanley Porter (an open access article at Journal of Greco-Roman Christianity and Judaism at McMaster Divinity College)
*The Book of Acts in Its Palestinian Setting (The Book of Acts in Its First Century Setting) edited by Richard Bauckham
*Sketches of Jewish Social Life in the Days of Christ by Alfred Edersheim. FREE versions.
*The Temple by Alfred Edersheim. FREE versions.
*A History of the Jewish People in the Time of Jesus by Emil Schurer. FREE versions. (Scroll to the bottom of the linked page to find the other volumes.)
*The Jewish Encyclopedia (1901-1906). Also available at StudyLight (to search separately or as part of their meta-search). A classic resource.
*St. Paul the Traveler and Roman Citizen by Sir William Ramsay. FREE version.
*The Book of Acts in the Setting of Hellenistic History by Colin Hemer
*The Book of Acts in Its Graeco-Roman Setting (The Book of Acts in Its First Century Setting) edited by David W.J. Gill and Conrad Gempf
*The Book of Acts and Paul in Roman Custody (The Book of Acts in its First Century setting, volume 3) edited by Brian Rapske
*The Book of Acts in Its Diaspora Setting (The Book of Acts in Its First Century Setting) edited by Irina Levinskaya
*A History of Private Life From Pagan Rome to Byzantium edited by Paul Veyne, et al
*The Private Life of the Romans by Harold Whetstone Johnston. FREE!
*Society in Rome under the Caesars by William Ralph Inge. FREE!
*Roman Law and Roman Society in the New Testament by A.N. Sherwin-White
*Myth and Mystery: An Introduction to the Pagan Religions of the Biblical World by Jack Finegan
*The Social History of Rome by Geza Alfoldy
*The Roman Family by Suzanne Dixon
*The Ancient Roman City by John E. Stambaugh
*Crucifixion by Martin Hengel
*Spectacles of Death in Ancient Rome by Donald G. Kyle
*The Way of the Gladiator by Daniel P. Mannix (also published under the title Those About to Die). Presents the Roman "games" in vivid gruesome detail.
Education and Literacy
*Books and Readers in the Early Church by Harry Y. Gamble
*Roman Literary Culture: From Cicero to Apuleius by Elaine Fantham
*Paul the Letter-Writer: His World, His Options, His Skills by Murphy-O'Connor
*Paul the Ancient Letter Writer: An Introduction to Epistolary Analysis by Jeffrey A.D. Weima
*Letter Writing in Greco-Roman Antiquity by Stanley K. Stowers
*Libraries in the Ancient World by Lionel Casson
*Ancient Libraries by James Westfall Thompson. FREE!
*A History of Education in Antiquity by H.I. Marrou
*The New Testament Documents, Their Origin And Early History by George Milligan. FREE! Milligan goes into depth on the making of books and the use of shorthand, etc.
Age in the Ancient World
*Demography and Roman Society by Tim G. Parkin
*Old Age in the Roman World: A Cultural and Social History by Tim G. Parkin
*Longevity in Ancient Italy by Margaret Olmstead. FREE!
*"The Greatest Length Of Life." Chapter 49. (48.) of The Natural History by Pliny the Elder. FREE! at Perseus
Ancient Historiography (Ok. This section is not just books.)
*Timeline of the Ancient Greco-Roman Historians: accompanied with concise biographies. A great way to orient yourself to the primary sources. A more complete list (though not exhaustive) can be found at Wikipedia.
*The Mirror or the Mask: Liberating the Gospels from Literary Devices by Lydia McGrew. Reigns in some of the "chreia-zy" ideas about ancient historiography current in New Testament studies. The 3 chapters and appendix examining the primary sources are worth the price of the book by themselves! Careful, cogent and lucid. A must read.
*Jesus and the Eyewitnesses by Richard Bauckham. Masterful! A must read.
*The Gospels as Histories by Richard Bauckham. A series of four lectures. FREE!
*"Imitatio Christi and the Gospel Genre" by David B. Capes. FREE PDF article
*Biographies and Jesus: What Does It Mean for the Gospels to Be Biographies? by Craig Keener
*Christobiography: Memory, History, and the Reliability of the Gospels by Craig Keener
*What Are the Gospels?: A Comparison with Graeco-Roman Biography by Richard Burridge
*Why Are There Differences in the Gospels?: What We Can Learn from Ancient Biography by Michael Licona
*Plutarch's Lives translation and commentary by Bernadotte Perrin. FREE! Also FREE on audiobook at Librivox are the first 4 volumes of this work (through the comparison of Lysander and Sulla). Since Plutarch's Lives comprise 50 of the 90 extant Greco-Roman biographies, they are important background to the discussion on ancient biographies.
*Noncanonical Writings and New Testament Interpretation by Craig Evans. A very helpful survey.
*Ancient Texts for New Testament Studies: A Guide To The Background Literature by Craig Evans. The updated version of the above title.
*The New Testament Background: Selected Documents by C.K. Barrett. A helpful anthology--a great way to get a feel for the wide range of literature in the New Testament period.
*The New Testament in Context: Sources & Documents by by Howard Clark Kee. Another helpful anthology.
*The New Oxford Annotated Apocryha
*The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha (2 volumes) edited by James Charlesworth
*The Dead Sea Scrolls in English by Geza Vermes
*"Biblical Exegesis in the Qumram Texts" by F.F. Bruce
*Jesus and the Dead Sea Scrolls edited by James Charlesworth
*Jesus and the Dead Sea Scrolls by John Bergsma
*Christian Beginnings and the Dead Sea Scrolls by John J. Collins and Craig Evans
*Paul and the Dead Sea Scrolls by Jerome Murphy-O'Connor and James Charlesworth
*The New Complete Works of Josephus translated by William Whiston with commentary by Paul Maier
*The Works of Philo translated by C.D. Yonge (and others)
*The Philo Index: A Complete Greek Word Index to the Writings of Philo of Alexandria
*The Talmud: Selected Writings by Ben Zion Bokser and Baruch M. Bokser
*The Septuagint with Apocrypha: Greek and English by Lancelot C. Brenton. A parallel edition.
*Septuaginta by Alfred Rahlfs. A standard Greek only version of the Septuagint with critical apparatus.
*Invitation to the Septuagint by Karen Jobes and Moises Silva
Primary Sources Online for FREE:
*The Apostolic Bible Polyglot: FREE PDF download of the Septuagint in Greek/English interlinear form (plus Strong's numbers) available as well as resources for purchase.
*New English Translation of the Septuagint: An English translation of the Septuagint with notes that is FREE online.
*Septuagint with parsing at Blue Letter Bible: After you click on the "Tools" to the left of each verse and then on "Interlinear" in the pop-up menu, just scroll down to the bottom of the "Interlinear" section and you will find the Greek text of the Septuagint for that verse there. You can then mouse over each word for parsing.
*Josephus. org: Links to Greek and English texts and a whole lot more!
*Philo: Greek and English texts online
*Perseus Digital Library
*The Internet Classics Archive at MIT: A searchable database of 441 ancient Greco-Roman texts.
*"Classical Antiquity Bookshelf": An extensive list of FREE ancient texts topically arranged at Project Gutenberg.
*Early Jewish Writings: This well organized site is still partly under construction. It hosts translations and introductions for the Old Testament, Deuteroncanonical books, Pseudepigrapha, Philo, Josephus and the Talmud, and will soon have the Dead Sea Scrolls.
*The Digital Dead Sea Scrolls
*The Leon Levy Dead Sea Scrolls Digital Library
*Loebolus: "...aiming to make all the public domain Loebs more easily downloadable."
Lexicons and Dictionaries for the Greek New Testament
*A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, 3rd Edition by Walter Bauer and revised and edited by Frederick William Danker. This is considered the standard lexicon for the Greek New Testament.
*New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology and Exegesis (5 volumes) edited by Moises Silva. This is a relatively recent and highly acclaimed set that is probably the first thing you should spend your money on when you are ready to invest in something more in depth than Bauer (above).
*Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (10 volumes) by Gerhard Kittel and translated by Gerhard Friedrich. A classic work that was probably the standard before the set by Silva (immediately above).
*Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (Abridged) by Gerhard Kittel and translated by Gerhard Friedrich. The abridged version of the above, often called "the little Kittel." If you don't have a lot of money or shelf space, this is a good compromise. It is also a a much quicker read.
*Theological Lexicon of the New Testament (3 volumes) by Ceslas Spicq
*Exegetical Dictionary of the New Testament (3 volumes) by Horst Balz and Gerhard Schneider.
*The New International Dictionary Of New Testament Theology (4 volumes) edited by Colin Brown. This is the set that was replaced by the set edited by Silva (above). You can "borrow" for 14 days at Internet Archive.
*The Vocabulary of the Greek New Testamentl: Illustrated from the Papyri and Other Non-Literary Sources by James Hope Moulton and George Milligan. Often very helpful. And it is FREE at Internet Archive.
*Greek-English Lexicon by by Henry George Liddell and Robert Scott. Many different versions available of this old standard lexicon. And it is FREE at Internet Archive.
*Biblio-theological Lexicon of New Testament Greek by Hermann Cremer. This is an excellent lexicon that is unfortunately out of print. It is more limited in scope than most but it often has real gems. It is fortuantely available for FREE at Google Books and Internet Archive. Stay away from the facsimile at Amazon. It is apparently a mess. Only buy the print version if you can find an antique copy.
*Synonyms of the New Testament by Richard Chenevix Trench. A FREE PDF is availabel from Gordon College thanks to the work of Ted Hildebrandt.
*Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament Based on Semantic Domains edited by Johannes Louw and Eugene A. Nida. Available online for FREE here.
*Linguistic Key to the Greek New Testament by Fritz Rienecker and Cleon Rogers. A very handy verse-by-verse resource that gives a very quick synopsis of key issues in the text. When working through a text, this is one of the first resources I turn to. It has been significantly revised as The New Linguistic and Exegetical Key to the Greek New Testament.
*A Grammatical Analysis of the Greek New Testament by Maximilian Zerwick and Mary Grosvenor. Very similar to the book by Rienecker and Rogers (immediately above).
*Learning New Testament Greek: Resources
*Best Resources for Studying New Testament Backgrounds and Context: An excellent annotated bibliography by Nijay Gupta.
*New Testament Exegesis Bibliography - 2020 at Denver Seminary. Scroll down to section: "Historical Background."
*New Testament Backgrounds, Histories, and Introductions-- Bibliography by David Malick
*Bibliography for New Testament Background and Cultural World by John Ruffin
*New Testament Bibliography by the faculty of North Park Theological Seminairy. Scroll down to "5. History and Historical Background," "6. Introductions to Primary Sources" and "7. Primary Sources."
*Books on NT Backgrounds at Best Commentaries
*Bibliography: The New Testament World at Baker Publishing
*Ancient World Bibliography: Links to other bibliographies at NT Gateway
*Bibliography for the Septuagint at The Septuagint Online
OTHER LISTS OF RESOURCES
*Septuagint (LXX) at David Black's New Testament Greek Portal
*Dictionaries & Lexicons at David Black's New Testament Greek Portal