Dear 100 Hour Board,
I’m looking for a book to help me study the Bible (Old & New Testaments). I’d like it to give historical context, explain the language, and help me understand doctrinal points in the framework of that Biblical time period. Any ideas?
-My Name Here
I've never personally read any of these, but here's what the Internet and several Religious Ed professors recommended:
Theological Lexicon of the Old Testament by Ernst Jenni & Claus Westermann, translated by Mark Biddle. (There's also one for the New Testament) - this focuses largely on the translation/language, but also focuses on how those words were important and how they were used in historical context. Personally, I think these are your best bet. They also seemed to be pretty highly rated online.
Misreading Scripture with Western Eyes by E. Randolph Richards and Brandon J. O'Brien. This is one of the ones that people lately have been talking about the most. It'll help orient the Bible in its actual context.
Harper's Encyclopedia of Bible Life - This mostly focuses on the history and culture at the time of the Bible.
Tally M. has really liked using the one linked here. It is an in-depth explanation of every verse in the new testament. It's a project by Kevin Barney who has published several LDS books and is a religious scholar. It seems to contain a lot of the info that you are looking for.