Revitalize your reading of the New Testament
Knowing the background
Brings God's holy word to life,
So read history.
Besides the epic poems, I'm reading books that help me with my life of faith. F. F. Bruce's New Testament History has been on my shelf for a long time. I'd used it for reference before, but read it cover-to-cover for the first time this January. It helped me understand, among many other things, the complicated status of Judea; who the Pharisees, Sadducees, and Essenes were; and why Paul's preaching to God-fearing gentiles in the synagogues was so successful and controversial. My daily devotions have been enhanced by what I learned in this book.