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THE 312/412: Jesus' Ministry in the Gospels: World Behind the Text

What is the World Behind the Text?

The World Behind the Text helps you to understand the historical and social context in which the Biblical text was written.

It includes:

  • date the biblical text was written
  • authorship of the biblical text (person or sources)
  • historical, social, and cultural context

Bible Dictionaries

Use Bible dictionaries to learn about people, places, and events during the time the Bible was written.  For example, look for information about: role of women, marriage, warfare, the relationship between Canaan and Egypt, etc.

Class Activity: Find Background Information

Start a new Google Doc or a file on your computer to collect information that you can use for your assignment.

Look up the chapter on Mark in either The Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary or The Jerome Biblical Commentary for the Twenty-First Century (look at the "Introduction" section).

Look the bolded headings to find the sections that address the World Behind the Text (date/authorship/circumstances of creation of the text).

Save information in your document that might be relevant for your assignment. 

Look for and copy a Chicago-style citation. Check the Chicago Style Citation Guide to see if the citation needs any edits.

Biblical Commentaries

Look at the introduction section to the chapter about your book of the Bible in commentaries such as: 

Biblical History

Tip for using biblical history sources:

Find the time period when your book of the Bible was written (in a bible dictionary or the introduction section of a commentary).  Then use the biblical history source to learn about events happening at that time period. | 503.943.7111 or 800.841.8261 | 5000 N. Willamette Blvd., Portland, OR 97203-5798
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