Those interpreting the Bible in the twenty-first century have the significant responsibility of building a bridge between the modern world and the ancient Word. Part of this process includes learning about the Bible’s historical and cultural context, most of which we can know from the Bible itself. Nevertheless, having ready-reference tools on hand can be very helpful when definition or other background information is needed.
Scott Duvall and Danny Hays teamed up again to edit the new Baker Illustrated Bible Background Commentary. I had the chance to write the short piece on “Zephaniah.” Apparently my first draft included more detail than they preferred, as the final version is significantly slimmed down from what I initially submitted. Nevertheless, I believe that this whole-Bible commentary should serve many as they seek answers to a passage’s historical-cultural context.
DeRouchie, Jason S. “Zephaniah.” Pages 676–79 in Baker Illustrated Bible Background Commentary. Edited by J. Scott Duvall and J. Daniel Hays. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2000. /PDF/