Dr. Craig Keener, F.M. and Ada Thompson Professor of Biblical Studies at Asbury Seminary, received the top award in the Religion: Christianity division in the eighth annual International Book Awards on May 22 for the NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible.

“We understand and apply the Bible much better when we understand the concrete, real-life circumstances to which its words were first addressed,” Dr. Keener said. “I am grateful that this new award, like the previous one, draws attention to this resource to help people access this information.”

The NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible helps modern readers understand the differences in time and place to make the message of the gospel more accessible.

Dr. Keener authored the New Testament notes and many sidebars, while his co-author, Dr. John Walton, Professor of Old Testament at Wheaton College, provided the Old Testament notes.

More than 300 winners and finalists were announced in more than 80 categories, with a total of 1,500 entries. Awards were presented for titles published in 2015, 2016 and 2017. The International Book Awards is sponsored by the American Book Fest.

The NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible released August 2016 and has sold more than 56,000 copies. The book is available for purchase on Amazon.