by David B. Capes
Recently two friends and colleagues of mine, Dr. Craig Keener (Asbury Seminary) and Dr. John Walton (Wheaton College) were recognized for their work with the NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible. Craig worked on the comments and sidebars for the New Testament; John authored the comments and sidebars on the Old Testament. Here is a link to one of the announcements:
Keener and Walton, or if it we put it in the order of the testaments, Walton and Keener are at the top of their respective fields, and they have pulled together an impressive bit of scholarship to help modern readers understand something of the cultural context in which the 66 books of the Christian Scriptures were written. We do the writers of the Bible a disservice if we insist on reading them against our culture, values and standards. If we want to read the most important book in history well, we’d do well to pay close attention to the language, habits, customs and culture of the peoples of the Book.
Walton and Keener received the top award in the category of Religion: Christianity in the International Book Awards, announced on May 22nd, by the American Book Fest.
“We understand and apply the Bible much better when we understand the concrete, real-life circumstances to which its words were first addressed,” Dr. Keener said. “I am grateful that this new award, like the previous one, draws attention to this resource to help people access this information.”
The NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible released August 2016 and has sold more than 56,000 copies. The book is available for purchase on Amazon for less than $40.00. N. T. Wright said he wished somebody had put this Bible in his hands 50 years ago.
Mazeltov to Craig Keener and John Walton!