‘The New Testament and history’ examines the historical context of the New Testament. Christianity and its earliest compositions appeared in a time and place for which there is abundant historical evidence. Readers can therefore gain considerable insight into the first Christian writings by locating them within the social conditions and symbolic meanings of the first-century world. In varying degrees, all the New Testament compositions display a mix of four cultural elements: the persistent patterns of Mediterranean culture; Roman rule; Greek language and culture; and Judaism. Although the New Testament compositions themselves provide little real history, their pages everywhere express the complex historical realities of the first-century world.