If we are going to read the New Testament as historical narrative, we have to have some sense of historical context. The church, on the whole, is not interested in historical context. The Bible is mostly treated as a self-contained, self-sufficient sacred text. In a recent comment Travis Finley wrote: “My hermeneutic ultimately depends upon a primacy of the uniformity of scripture; that is, the reader ought to be able to interpret the meaning of the text from the primary text itself, rather than extra-biblical.”
That perhaps suggests a high view of scripture, but it is also going to be, more often than not, a protectionist strategy. We are afraid that if we make scripture transparent to its literary-historical environment, our cherished interpretations of it—whether traditional or idiosyncratic—will be put at risk.