I was poking around on Amazon looking for something else, and noticed several excellent Kindle deals on a few older Eerdmans publications. I have all these books in my “real book” library and can state with confidence these are all worth owning and reading. I prefer physical books, but for a only two or three dollars, it might be worth your time to read these using your Kindle device or Kindle app on your iPad (or other tablet).
Speaking of John Collins, his Between Athens and Jerusalem: Jewish Identity in the Hellenistic Diaspora (Eerdmans, 1983) is $2.99. This is the companion to The Apocalyptic Imagination: An Introduction to Jewish Apocalyptic Literature (Eerdmans, 2010) and covers the non-apocalyptic intertestamental literature. These two books are excellent introductions to the literature of the Second Temple Period. I used both books frequently in the Second Temple Period Literature series over the past few summers.
There are also two by Bruce Winter. After Paul Left Corinth: The Influence of Secular Ethics and Social Change (Eerdmans, 2001) is $2.99. This is one of my favorite books ever, essential reading for understanding the situation behind the Corinthian letters. I read this soon after it was originally published, my copy is extremely marked up and my notes on 1 Corinthians are deeply indebted to Winter’s book.
Winter’s Roman Wives, Roman Widows: The Appearance of New Women and the Pauline Communities (Eerdmans, 2003) is only $1.99. “In ancient Roman law ‘you were what you wore.’ This legal principle became highly significant because, beginning in the first century A.D., a new kind of woman emerged across the Roman Empire — a woman whose provocative dress and sometimes promiscuous lifestyle contrasted starkly with the decorum of the traditional married woman. What a woman chose to wear came to identify her as either new or modest. Augustus legislated against the new woman. Philosophical schools encouraged their followers to avoid embracing her way of life. And, as this fascinating book demonstrates for the first time, the presence of the new woman was also felt in the early church, where Paul exhorted Christian wives and widows to emulate neither her dress code nor her conduct.”
I have no idea how long these deals will be available, so grab the Kindle version of these excellent resources before they are gone. I am not affiliated with either Eerdmans or Amazon, but I do like passing on good book deals when I see them.