Background of the New Testament

new testament background

Caesar Augustus wears cuirass celebrating negotiated peace with Parthia (click image for more)

  1. Inscriptions (Epigraphy)
    1. Index of Sources for Greek and Latin Epigraphy
    2. Acts of Augustus (Res Gestae Divi Augustus)– Latin, Greek, & English in parallel columns
    3. Erastus inscription at Corinth – Photo and description | Discussion
    4. Gallio inscription at Delphi – Description | Significance | Photos
    5. Pontius Pilate inscription at Caesarea Maritima
    6. Secular Games of 17 BCE – Latin text | English text
    7. Synagogue inscription at Corinth
    8. Temple balustrade warning in Jerusalem
  2. History
    1. Modern histories
      1. Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon (1782, rev. 1845) – vol. 1 | vol. 2 | vol. 3 | vol. 4 | vol. 5 | vol. 6
      2. De Imperatoribus Romanis (On the Roman Emperors)
      3. Greek and Roman Cities of Western Turkey by Michael Greenhalgh
      4. Outlines of Roman History by William C. Morey (1901)
      5. Ancient Rome in the Light of Recent Discoveries by Rodolfo Lanciani (12th ed., 1898)
      6. The Letters to the Seven Churches of Asia by William M. Ramsay (1904)
      7. A History of Roman Literature: From the Earliest Period to the Death of Marcus Aurelius by Charles Thomas Cruttwell (1877)
      8. Ancient Rome From the Earliest Times Down to 476 B.C. by Robert Pennell (1891) (4.6Mb)
      9. Jerusalem: Topography, Economics, and History from the Earliest Times to A.D. 70 by George Adam Smith (1909)
      10. A Smaller History of Greece from the earliest times to the Roman conquest by William Smith (1897)
      11. Life of the Greeks and Romans by E. Guhl and W.
        Koner, transl. by F. Hueffer from 3d Germ. ed. (1903)
      12. Private Life of the Romans (1903, 1932) by Harold Johnston, rev. by Mary Johnston
      13. Studies in the History and Art of the Eastern Provinces of the Roman Empire (1906) ed. by William M. Ramsay
      14. The Cities of St. Paul: Their Influence on His Life and Thought – The Cities of Eastern Asia Minor (1908) by William M. Ramsay
      15. The Church in the Roman Empire Before A.D. 170 (9th ed., 1909) by William M. Ramsay
      16. American Archaeologists in Turkey: Intellectual and Social Dimensions (1996)
      17. Archaeology in Turkey, 2004-2005
    2. Ancient histories
      1. Herodotus — The Histories (covering roughly 700–475 BCE) – Greek text (you will have to configure the display) | English text (scholarly version, with commentaries & notes) | English text (quick-reading version)
      2. Xenophon — Anabasis (covering 379–371 BCE) | Greek text (you will have to configure the display) | English text
      3. Polybius – The Histories or The Rise of the Roman Empire (in Greek and English, covers c. 220-146 BCE) | Intro. to Polybius
      4. Josephus (37 to after 100 CE)
        1. Jewish Antiquities (Antiquitates Judaicae) – English | Greek
        2. The Jewish War (De bello Judaico)– English | Greek (book 7 only)
        3. Life of Josephus (Josephi vita) – English | Greek
        4. Against Apion (Contra Apionem) – English | Greek [TOP]
      5. Geography of Strabo (c. 64 BCE – 24 CE) Greek text | English text
      6. Pausanias (c. 110 to 180 CE) – Description of Greece – Greek text | English text | biography of Pausanias (115-180 CE)
      7. Livy (59 BCE – 17 CE) – History of Rome – Latin text | Eng. transl.
      8. Plutarch (c. 46 – 120 CE)
        1. Alexander
        2. Pompey
        3. Caesar
        4. Brutus
        5. Antony
        6. Cicero
        7. Crassus
        8. Galba
        9. Otho
      9. Suetonius (c. A.D. 69 – after 122) – The Twelve Caesars
        1. Julius Caesar – Latin text | Eng. transl.
        2. Augustus (Octavian) – Latin text | Eng. transl.
        3. Tiberius – Latin text | Eng. transl.
        4. Gaius (Caligula) – Latin text | Eng. transl.
        5. Claudius – Latin text | Eng. transl.
        6. Nero – Latin text | Eng. transl.
        7. Galba – Latin text | Eng. transl.
        8. Otho – Latin text | Eng. transl.
        9. Vitellius – Latin text | Eng. transl.
        10. Vespasian – Latin text | Eng. transl.
        11. Titus – Latin text | Eng. transl.
        12. Domitian – Latin text | Eng. transl. [TOP]
      10. Tacitus (c. 55 – 117 CE or later)
        1. History – Latin text | Eng. transl.
        2. Annals – Latin text | Engl. transl. [TOP]
      11. Lucian of Samosata (c. 125 – 180 CE)
        1. Life of Demonax – Greek-English texts (begins on p. 141)
      12. Dio Cassius (c. 160 – 230 CE) – Roman History (Intro. and Index)
        1. LCL, vol. 1 – Book 1 | Book 2 | Book 3 | Book 4 | Book 5 | Book 6 | Book 7 | Book 8 | Book 9 | Book 10 | Book 11
        2. LCL, vol. 2 – Book 12 | Book 13 | Book 14 | Book 15 | Book 16 | Book 17 | Book 18 | Book 19 | Book 20 | Book 21 | Book 22-29 (very fragmentary) | Book 30-35 (very fragmentary)
        3. LCL, vol. 3 – Books 36 | Book 37 | Book 38 | Book 39 | Book 40 |
        4. LCL, vol. 4 – Book 41 | Book 42 | Book 43 | Book 44 | Book 45
        5. LCL, vol. 5 – Book 46 | Book 47 | Book 48 | Book 49 | Book 50
        6. LCL, vol. 6 – Book 51 | Book 52 | Book 53 | Book 54 | Book 55
        7. LCL, vol. 7 – Book 56 | Book 57 | Book 58 | Book 59 | Book 60
        8. LCL, vol. 8 – Book 61 | Book 62 | Book 63 | Book 64 | Book 65 | Book 66 | Book 67 | Book 68 | Book 69
        9. LCL, vol. 9 – Book 70 | Book 71 | Book 72 | Book 73 | Book 74 | Book 75 | Book 76 | Book 77 | Book 78 | Book 79 | Book 80
      13. Philostratus (c. 170-245 CE)
        1. Life of Apollonius of Tyana – Greek-English text, vol. 1 and vol. 2 | English text (indexed)
        2. Lives of the Sophists – Greek-English text (starts on p. 2)
      14. Roman Law Library – in Latin, with English translations
  3. Non-literary writings
    1. Introduction: Value for biblical studies
    2. Index of Sources for Study of Papyrology
    3. Babatha (The Yadin Papyri)
      1. Intro. to Babatha
      2. Contract for a date crop (Greek text with Eng. transl.)
      3. Deposition regarding orphan’s legacy (Greek text with Eng. transl.)
      4. Babatha and the ancient role of women
      5. Marriage Contract for Shelamzion and Judah (Greek text with Eng. transl.)
    4. Extensive collection of non-literary papyri (in Greek or Latin only)
  4. Searchable database of images
  5. New Testament archaeological sites

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

    1. Adramyttium – History | Modern location | Recent archaeology
    2. Alexandria – Bible Atlas from Space | Egyptian report | French report | Coins
    3. Alexandria Troas – see Troas, below.
    4. Amphipolis – Official site | history | Coins
    5. Antioch of Pisidia – Bible Atlas from Space | City plan | Paul at Pisidian Antioch | 1924 excavation | Virtual tour | photos | history | Coins
    6. Antioch of Syria (modern Antakya-Hatay, Turkey) – Bible Atlas from Space | history | Recent archaeology | Photos | Photos from Antakya Museum | City plan |Coins
    7. Antipatris (OT Aphek)
    8. Apollonia
    9. Assos – history & description | photos | more photos | Recent archaeology | Assos journals of Francis H. Bacon (includes plan of Assos acropolis) | Coins
    10. Athens
      1. Bible Atlas from Space
      2. history
      3. Acropolis Museum | Parthenon
      4. Agora–Greek
      5. Agora–Roman
      6. Areopagus (Mars Hill)
      7. Stadium [TOP]
      8. Coins
    11. Attalia – Bible Atlas from Space | Intro. | 2003 Rescue Excavation | Photos | Coins
    12. Azotus (OT Ashdod)
    13. Beroea (modern Veria, Greece)
    14. Bethany (modern El-Azariyeh, Israel) – History | Tomb of Lazarus
    15. Bethlehem (in Judea, see OT arch.) | Church of the Nativity | Photo tour of Church of the Nativity
    16. Bethsaida – Current excavation | Overview
    17. Caesarea Maritima – photos | field report of 1997 excavation | Coins
    18. Caesarea Philippi (Caesarea Panias) Intro | Coins
    19. Cana – Archaeology of Cana (near Nazareth) | Aerial view of excavations | Alternate site in Lebanon (near Tyre)
    20. Capernaum – Overview | Synagogue | “St. Peter’s house”
    21. Cenchreae
    22. Chorazin
    23. Colossae – Bible Atlas from Space | photos | history | Coins
    24. Corinth – history | Virtual tour (video) | Corinth Computer Project | Bible Atlas from Space | Diolkos video (Ancient railway across the Isthmus – CAUTION: audio is in Greek) | Corinth: Results of Excavations Conducted by the American School of Classical Studies at Athens Vol. 20: “Corinth, the Centenary: 1896-1996,” ed. C. K. Williams II and N. Bookidis (Athens, 2003). | Video: “Unearthed: Corinth in Context” Time: 56 min. 06 sec. | Coins
    25. Cos
    26. Damascus – History | Photos | Satellite view | Coins
    27. Derbe – Bible Atlas from Space | Intro | Paul at Derbe
    28. Emmaus
    29. Ephesus – Bible Atlas from Space | history | Recent archaeology | Many photos | Coins
    30. Fair Havens – Crete in Hellenistic times | Crete in Roman times
    31. Gadara – Intro | Coins
    32. Gaza – History | Photos of current situation | Coins
    33. Gerasa (in Decapolis, OT Jerash) – History | B&W Photos | Gallery of color photos | Coins
    34. Herculaneum – Bible Atlas from Space | Intro | Herculaneum papyri | 360° tour
    35. Herodium
    36. Hierapolis – Bible Atlas from Space | history | Recent archaeology | Photos | Coins
    37. Iconium (modern Konya, Turkey) – history | Coins
    38. Isthmia – U. of Chicago excavation | OSU excavation | Archaeological Museum at Isthmia | Broneer’s report on earlier excavation
    39. Jerash (see “Gerasa“)
    40. Jericho – History | Photos
    41. First-Century Jerusalem (see OT arch.)
      1. Second Temple panoramas based on 3-D digital model
      2. Time of Christ – Model at Holiland Hotel (Vitrual Tour) |; Garden Tomb | Church of the Holy Sepulcher | Mt. of Olives
      3. Destruction by Titus (A.D. 70) | Arch of Titus
      4. Coins
    42. Joppa – Current excavation
    43. Jordan, Survey of sites in
    44. Kerioth
    45. Laodicea – Bible Atlas from Space | history | Recent archaeology | Coins
    46. Lydda (OT Lod, modern Lod, Israel)
    47. Lystra – Bible Atlas from Space | History
    48. Machaerus
    49. Magdala
    50. Malta (Melita) – History of Malta | Discovery of artifacts from Paul’s shipwreck | Discussion of Paul’s shipwreck | Coins
    51. Masada | Photo & diagram
    52. Miletus – Bible Atlas from Space | Intro | History & site features | Recent archaeology | Theatre at Miletus | Photos | Coins
    53. Myra – Bible Atlas from Space | Intro | St. Nicholas Church excavation | Photos | Coins
    54. Nain
    55. Nazareth | excavation
    56. Neapolis (in Macedonia) – Intro | Tourist info | Coins
    57. Paphos – Intro | history | Paul in Cyprus | Coins
    58. Patara – Bible Atlas from Space | Intro. | 2004 Excavation | Recent archaeology | Photos | More photos
    59. Patmos – Bible Atlas from Space | Tour info.
    60. Pella | Archaeology
    61. Perga – Bible Atlas from Space | Intro. | photos | more photos | Excavation Report | 2006 Report | Recent archaeology | Coins | More coins
    62. Pergamum (Pergamon or Pergamos – modern Bergama, Turkey)– Bible Atlas from Space | Intro. | Recent archaeology | Altar of Zeus (close-ups, text in German) | Tour of site | Photos of site and artifacts | Coins
    63. Petra – Main features | History & archaeology | City plan | Bible Atlas from Space | Coins
    64. Philadelphia (in province of Asia, modern Alasehir, Turkey) – Bible Atlas from Space | Intro | Coins
    65. Philadelphia (in Decapolis, OT Rabbah, modern Amman, capital of Jordan) – Intro | Coins
    66. Philippi – Intro | Bible Atlas from Space | Tour info. | Coins
    67. Pompeii
      1. Bible Atlas from Space
      2. Pompeii supersite
      3. Pompeii Forum Project
      4. Eyewitness account of Pompeii’s destruction
      5. Reconstruction of Ancient Pompeii Forum
      6. The Stabian Baths (illus. from Vitruvius, The Ten Books on Architecture, ed. M. H. Morgan (Harvard, 1914).
      7. Ptolemais (OT Acco)
      8. Puteoli
      9. Rhodes – Intro | Coins
    68. Rome
      1. Bible Atlas from Space
      2. Ancient Rome From the Earliest Times Down to 476 B.C. by Robert Pennell (1891) (4.6 Mb)
      3. Virtual Rome (360° images)
      4. Another Virtual Rome
      5. Model of ancient Rome
      6. Forma Urbis Romae (Severan Marble Plan of Rome) (ancient map of Rome carved from 203-211 CE)
      7. Coins
    69. Salamis – Tour of ancient city | Paul in Cyprus | City plan | Location on Cyprus | Coins
    70. Sardis – Bible Atlas from Space | History | Archaeology | Recent archaeology | Sardis synagogue | Synagogue-Gymnasium Complex Photos | Many photos |Coins
    71. Scythopolis (OT Beth Shean) – Intro | Coins
    72. Sea of Galilee – Cove of the Sower | photos
    73. Sebaste (OT Samaria) – History | Coins
    74. Seleucia – Bible Atlas from Space | Intro. | history | Photos | Coins
    75. Sepphoris (OT Zippori) – Official Sepphoris website | Jesus & the Forgotten City (book on Sepphoris) | Coins
    76. Sidon – History with photos | Archaeology of Sidon | Coins
    77. Smyrna (modern Izmir, Turkey) – Bible Atlas from Space | history | Photos | Recent archaeology | Photos of Agora excavation | Coins
    78. Sychar
    79. Syracuse (Sicily) – Intro | Coins
    80. Tarsus – Bible Atlas from Space | Brief history | In-depth discussion | Recent excavations in city park | Recent excavations at Roman baths | Latest discoveries2007 Report | Photos from excavations | Photos | Coins
    81. Thessalonica – Intro. | Archaeological Museum | Coins
    82. Thyatira (modern Akhisar, Turkey) – Bible Atlas from Space | Intro. | Photos | Archaeological Finds | Coins
    83. Tiberias – Intro | Coins
    84. Troas (Alexandria Troas) – History | Photos | Excavations (in German) | Recent archaeology (in English) | Coins
    85. Tyre | Alexander’s siege of Tyre (332 BCE) | History of Phoenicia by George Rawlinson (1889) | “Geoarchaeology of Tyre’s ancient north harbour” (2005) | Coins [TOP]