I’ve talked in previous episodes about how the best way to understood the original context of the biblical writers is to immerse yourself in the worldview of the civilizations with which the biblical writers had regular contact.  We’ve already spent several episodes on my recommendations for accessing the texts of the ancient Near East and Second Temple period – the intellectual output of the civilizations and cultures that form the original contexts of the Old and New Testaments. In this episode and the next, I want to recommend the best books and reference sources for understanding the religion and culture of the ANE and Second Temple period. Scholars who are steeped in this material have produced many essays explaining the worldview of these civilizations and how that worldview matters for biblical study and interpretation. My goal is to direct you to the best of those resources. As is our pattern, we’ll devote this episode to the ANE, the context for the OT, before moving to the Second Temple period, the context for the NT, in the next episode of the podcast.