- The Writings of the New Testament by L. T. Johnson
- An Introduction to the New Testament by R. E. Brown
- Introduction to the New Testament. Helmut Koester.
- History and Literature of Early Christianity. 2nd ed. by Helmut Koester
- Introducing the New Testament: It's Literature and Theology by J. Green, M. Thompson & P. Achtemeier.
- The New Testament: Background, Growth & Content by B. Metzger
A good couple of books on Early Christianity and Society would include.
- The Rise of Christianity by R. Stark
- From Jesus to Christianity by L. W. White
- New Testament History by B. Witherington
- Introducing Early Christianity: A Topical Survey of Its Life, Beliefs and Practices by L. Guy
This list appears in no particular order but these are the books that have helped me in my New Testament courses and the simple church courses that I have taught. I recently received An Introduction to the New Testament by DeSilva which is proving to be rather useful as a class text. It's quite big and comprehensive and it does include a feature on ministry formation but the book is a wealth of helpful information for beginning students and those who've been around for a while.