Oct '07 This is a very informative, if not overwhelming in places, near full depth of historical background in the Greco-Judaic Hellenistic world of the first century. The publisher states it is not, but it is sometimes semi-technical (depending on one's knowledge)in its description of language, culture and in literary style, as a scholarly work should be. Even so, it is readable and offers a broader perspective I think because of the inclusions of many other non-canonical documents. Even with its scholarship and extensive detail, it is a fascinating and imaginative study of that world. Many students of the word choose or have books chosen for them, that only educate within the human understanding. As this is my first early church culture study, I feel very privileged to happen upon this book through CBD and their search box!!