The New Testament in its World by N.T. Wright and Michael Bird
I typically read 4-6 books at the same time. Being a person of many interests, it fits my personality, and dare I say, my calling.
When one of the books I am reading is long (500 pages plus) and/or technical, I tend to read no more than 5-20 pages at a sitting. It gives me ample time to ponder and scribble my many marginal notes.
One large book (almost 900 pages) I am now finishing is The New Testament in its World by N.T. Wright and Michael Bird. I saw it highly recommended by many I respect so I decided to read it. I am glad that I did. It would fit in the long, but not technical category.
Instead of a traditional book review, let me mention (in no particular order) five things I appreciated about this book:
*Even though this a dual authored book, it is clear and smooth in its presentation.
*It is amply supplied with graphs, timelines, maps, and other visuals that wonderfully augment the text.
*The authors do a terrific job of modeling how history is crucial for the best understanding of the New Testament. My own book, Stuck in the Present, highlights this need.
*Various positions on the different books of the New Testament are offered. The authors are fair and balanced in telling the reader why they hold, or at least lean in one direction.
*There is a good use of both ancient and modern scholarship. This regularly reminds the reader that the Christian faith has a rich history.