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The IVP Bible Background Commentary Bundle
Category: Commentary Sets

This title works with the following Wordsearch products

This product is an electronic addition to your Wordsearch digital library. It is not a physical product or a stand-alone program.


  • Glossary of cultural terms and important historical figures
  • Maps & charts
  • Up-to-date bibliographies
  • Introductory essays about cultural background information for each book of the New Testament
  • New Testament volume voted 1995 Christianity Today Book of the Year
  • Named as one of the 850 Books for Biblical Expositors by the Master's Seminary
  • Note: If you already own the IVP Bible Background Commentary, call us and we'll be happy to upgrade your New Testament volume to the second edition included in this bundle for just $10.

Product Details

To understand the Bible, understanding the cultural background of each passage is important in helping you to know the author’s purpose for writing the book and why they did.

The IVP Bible Background Commentary is a unique, accessible commentary that helps you discover what it was like to actually be there when you are reading the Bible. Verse-by-verse, you are given all the background information you need to understand the local manners and customs of ancient times and cultures. You’ll become aware of what the people in the Bible were thinking and what was going on in their daily lives. Reading this work will shed valuable light that will even help your other commentaries make more sense.

This bundle includes the Old and New Testament volumes of the IVP Bible Background Commentary. The New Testament volume included is the second edition, with its 816 pages completely updated and revised. Fifteen percent of the material is new and from the most recent discoveries in archaeology and scholarship.

The Old Testament volume covers the narratives, genealogies, laws, poetry, proverbs, and prophecies and their histories, bringing to life the discoveries of archaeologists, historians, and social scientists. The specialized knowledge of the historical, cultural, and social background for each book of the Old Testament is included, written in an understandable way.

Knowing the background of the Bible can help you in sermon preparation, Sunday school lessons, seminary students, and anyone who wants to deepen their study of the Bible.

Check out a sample of this commentary by clicking on the yellow “Sample” button under the book cover on this page.

Read an excerpt of the volume on Galatians.


This is a splendid book to have next to your Bible...a fascinating Bible study resource.
Good News (United Methodist)
In the American Christian publishing world, a world filled with adequate but probably unnecessary commentaries and Christian helps, Craig Keener...has done the remarkable. He has produced a work that was genuinely needed but not envisioned—until now.
Faith and Mission (Southeastern Seminary, Southern Baptist)
One of the most useful available reference tools for pastors and laypeople alike, and I frequently recommend it from the pulpit. The reader simply has to look up his comments on a passage to find out, for example, why it was momentous that the prodigal son received sandals and a ring when he returned to his father. Although background material is often notoriously slippery and debatable, Keener makes it useful for students of the Scripture.
Gary Shogren, Biblical Theological Seminary
Keener succeeds in being informative and, this reviewer thinks, more than fair in trying not to impose his views on the texts...Keener, as he promised, wrote a 'popular' rather than a scholarly book. Keener's scholarly credentials are strong and his book is a God-send to busy pastors. As already indicated, it is of great help to Bible students who do not have access to a theological library.
Southwestern Journal of Theology (Southern Baptist)
Specifically designed to meet the needs of pastors and students who have less access to scholarly resources and less time to mine exegetical details. As such, it is extremely accessible and user friendly, a welcome addition to the pastor's bookshelf.
Christopher Hall, Eastern University
Carefully researched yet accessible for the busy pastor or other reader, this commentary puts years of research at the reader's fingertips, passage by passage, in a single volume.
George O. Wood, general superindentent of the Assemblies of God