Hermann L. Strack and Paul Billerbeck’s Commentary on the New Testament from the Talmud and Midrash is an important reference work for illustrating the concepts, theological background, and cultural assumptions of the New Testament. Originally published between 1922 and 1928 as Kommentar zum Neuen Testament aus Talmud und Midrasch, Strack and Billerbeck’s commentary has been unavailable in English until now. Lexham Press is proud to present the third volume of this groundbreaking work, with volumes one and two following next year.
The commentary walks through each New Testament book verse by verse, referencing potentially illuminating passages from the Talmud and Midrash and providing easy access to the rich textual world of rabbinic material. As David Instone-Brewer explains in his volume introduction:
The work commonly known as “Strack-Billerbeck” is a rich compendium of rabbinic sources that help illustrate the language and thinking of many of the authors and initial readers of the New Testament. It is an invaluable resource that has been underused, partly because it was in German and partly because its aim and character was misunderstood by many scholars. … Illustrating the sayings, concepts, parables, theological background, and cultural assumptions is the main aim of Strack-Billerbeck. When read with this purpose, it is an unparalleled sourcebook.
Praise for Strack-Billerbeck
One can only hope that Strack and Billerbeck’s comprehensive Commentary will now receive the newfound appreciation it so richly deserves.
—Christfried Böttrich, professor in New Testament, Universität Greifswald, Germany
Strack–Billerbeck marked the culmination of nearly four hundred years of Christian engagement with Talmud and Midrash, the classic sources of Rabbinic thought. If used with discrimination it opens a door, in a way that no other work does, into the intense dialogue between early Christianity and Rabbinic Judaism.
—Philip Alexander, emeritus professor of post-biblical Jewish literature, University of Manchester, England
Everyone interested in the Jewish context of New Testament literature will welcome the appearance of the English translation of Strack and Billerbeck’s classic commentary that provides myriads of parallels with rabbinic literature. As an added bonus, David Instone-Brewer’s introduction very helpfully clarifies the proper use of this valuable tool and at the same time answers the criticisms leveled against it in its original German form.
—Craig A. Evans, John Bisagno Distinguished Professor of Christian Origins, Houston Baptist University
I have long wished for an English translation of Strack-Billerbeck.
—Craig L. Blomberg, Distinguished Professor of New Testament, Denver Seminary
Strack-Billerbeck, the essential tool for rabbinic opinion relative to the New Testament, has been accessible only to scholars or others who could read German. That obstacle has been eliminated with this new English translation, an achievement that will certainly position it as the essential tool in the English language for discovering ‘what the rabbis taught’ in regard to the content of the New Testament.
—Michael S. Heiser, executive director, Awakening School of Theology; host of the Naked Bible Podcast
Volume 3 of the Commentary on the New Testament from the Talmud and Midrash is now available.