The story and images you see in THE REIGN OF GOD are informed by endless hours of research: Reading books and academic papers, listening to podcasts and lectures on the history of ancient Judea and Rome. The bibliography here with links to each media is not complete at all, but represents the main sources I used for the first book.
Lectures and Podcasts
— Marc Goodacre: NT Pod – Mark Goodacre
A wonderful podcast series with various topics on New Testament and early Christianity research, presented by Marc Goodacre of Duke University.
— Thomas Sheehan: Historical Jesus – Stanford Continuing Studies Program
Great introductory lecture series on the historical Jesus and the developments leading up to and following his life by Thomas Sheehan at Stanford University.
— Philip Harland: Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean » Podcast – Philip A. Harland
An eye-opening collection of lectures on ancient religions from Mesopotamia to Rome and how they all influenced the Bible. The series on apocalypticism is especially relevant to the ancient Jesus.
— Scott Korb: Life in Year One
This was one of the books I started with and it is an easy to read introduction to the world of Jesus.
— John Dominic Crossan: Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography
The go-to introduction to the historical Jesus by one of the most respected scholars in this field.
— Flavius Josephus: The Jewish War
I read the German version of this great ancient classic which inspired me greatly.
— Joan E. Taylor: The Immerser: John the Baptist within Second Temple Judaism
Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.
The best research on John the Baptist! This influenced a large part of my depiction of John/Yochanan.
— Reza Aslan: Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Narareth
A superb summary of the academic consensus about Jesus, his time and early Christianity, thrillingly written.
— Peter Connolly: The Holy Land (Ancient World)
I don’t know what I would have done without this. Great visual representations of ancient Jerusalem and the Roman campaign against the Judean rebellion.
— William G. Dever: The Lives of Ordinary People in Ancient Israel
Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.
Not quite the time of Jesus, but helpful in imagining life in the ancient rural world.
— William den Hollander: Josephus, the Emperors, and the City of Rome: From Hostage to Historian
Brill Academic Pub
A great research shedding light on Josephus’ life and relationship to the Flavian emperors.
— Tessa Rajak: Josephus
Bristol Classic Press
A thorough and tested introduction to Flavius Josephus and his role during the Judeo-Roman War.
— Thomas Cahill: Desire of the Everlasting Hills – The World Before and after Jesus
Not an academic work like some other here, but the theology is inspiring.
— Peter Connolly: Rome and Greece at War
Another wonderful work by Connolly with helpful illustrations of ancient warfare and military organization.
— Michael Simkins: Roman Army form Caesar to Trajan (Men at Arms)
Osprey’s amazing “Men at Arms” series was very useful drawing Roman uniforms.
— Samuel Rocca: The Army of Herod the Great (Men at Arms)
Finding material on Herod’s soldiers is incredibly hard. This book helped me coming up with the look of his men in the story.
— Philip Matyszak: Legionary: The Roman Soldier’s (Unofficial) Manual
Thames & Hudson
A very funny overview of the Roman army through the ages that helped me imagine life in the camps.
— J.H. Patterson & D.J. Wiseman: New Bible Atlas
Found this in a used book drive. Good but old reference of the agricultural calendar and geography of Palestine.
More to come here