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Understanding the Bibleby Stephen L Harris
Synopses & Reviews
Stephen Harris' text is the best-selling nonsectarian guide designed for students undertaking their first systematic study of the bible, and it is the only single-volume text that provides both a comprehensive historical-cultural background for the entire biblical era and a rigorous analysis of each individual work of the Old Testament, Apocrypha, and New Testament. The purpose of the text is twofold: to acquaint readers with the content and major themes of each biblical book and to familiarize them with important contemporary scholarship.
This guide to the meaning of the Bible offers a comprehensive historico-cultural background to the biblical era and a rigorous analysis of each part of the Old Testament.
This best-selling nonsectarian guide is designed for students undertaking their first systematic study of the Bible. It is the only single-volume introductory textbook that places each book of the Old Testament, Apocrypha, and the New Testament fully in its historical and cultural context. Understanding the Bible acquaints readers with the content as well as the major themes of each biblical book, and familiarizes them with the goals and methods of important scholarship.
About the Author
Stephen L. Harris is Professor Emeritus of Humanities and Religious Studies at California State University, Sacramento, where he served ten years as department chair. A Woodrow Wilson Fellow, he received his M.A. and Ph.D. from Cornell University. A member of the American Academy of Religion and the Jesus Seminar, his publications include Understanding the Bible, The Old Testament: An Introduction to the Hebrew Bible, and The New Testament: A Students Introduction. He has also written books on geologic hazards, including Fire and Ice: The Cascade and Mono Lake Volcanoes, Agents of Chaos: Earthquakes, Volcanoes, and Other Geologic Hazards, and, for National Geographic Books, Restless Earth. He contributed the chapter on “Archaeology and Volcanism” to the new Encyclopedia of Volcanoes (Academic Press, 2000).
Table of Contents
List of Boxes, Tables, and Illustrations
CHAPTER 1 - The Bible: An Overview
Why we Read the Bible
The Old Testament and the Hebrew Bible (Tanak)
The New Testament
How the Bible Was Formed and Handed Down to Us
How the Bible Became Available in English
The Bible and Modern Scholarship
PART I: THE HEBREW BIBLE (OLD TESTAMENT)
CHAPTER 2 - History and Geography of the Near East
Prologe to the Biblical World
Mesopotamia, Site of the World's First Urban Civilization
Egypt, The First National State
Canaan and Israel
Alexander's Conquests and the Hellenistic Era
The Roman Occupation of Judea
The Promised Land
CHAPTER 3 - The God of Israel: A Composite Portrait
The Names of God
Yahweh: Leader of the Divine Council
Roles and Characteristics of the Biblical God
God in the New Testament
CHAPTER 4 - The Torah: Five Books of Divine Instruction (The Pentateuch)
Who Wrote the "Books of Moses"?
The Documentary Hypotheses: Four Sources of the Pentateuch)
What Our Readers Are Saying
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