Do you know that Wiley-Blackwell has a “Companions to Religion” Series of books? I just discovered this and two volumes seem very useful to me: The Blackwell Companion to the New Testament (ed. D.E. Aune, 2010) and The Blackwell Companion to Paul (ed. S. Westerholm, 2011).
[UPDATE: A wise and generous commenter has informed me that the Aune book is FREE for download – HERE. I checked it out – its for real! UPDATE #2: Someone has warned me that it is probably on that website illegally. Downloader beware! Just to be on the safe side, I have deleted the copy I downloaded. I didn’t know!]
Needless to say, editors Aune and Westerholm worked hard and successfully to put together truly impressive contributions. In fact, for the book on Paul expect a substantial review later this year.
For now, you may be interested in knowing that
(1) The NT volume is offering a free chapter on “The World of Roman Hellenism” (Aune)
(2) The Paul volume has a free chapter on “Pauline Chronology” (Reisner)
Sadly, while these are free, the rest of the chapters total nearly $400 (each volume is $199!).