The word Bible comes from biblion, a Greek word meaning papyrus scroll. It took several thousand years to construct the Bible. The book we call Deuteronomy was discovered hidden away in a dark corner during the reconstruction of the temple under King Josiah. The Apocrypha contains some of the earliest detective stories on record. Church councils had many disagreements about which books ought to be authoritative (a book called the Shepherd of Hermas almost made the cut; the book of Revelation almost didn t). A heretic helped form the canon. Debate over the canon didn t really end until the Protestant Reformation and the use of the printing press.
Introductions to the Bible tend toward extensive discussion with little to introduce the beginner to the Bible’s tremendous influence on contemporary society or to the complexities of reading ancient religious literature. Further, few discuss the differing ways Jews and Christians approach those parts of the Bible that they share in common or how each group appropriates materials from this common scriptural pool in divergent, conflicting, and often complex ways.
As classroom teachers of introductory courses on the Bible, the authors of this volume will acquaint students with the tremendous influence that the Bible has had on culture and to address some of the critical questions in user-friendly, faith-respecting ways, in order to maximize students’ appreciation of the biblical text and their understanding of it.
This introduction will introduce the beginner to the Bible with simplicity and precision, in an engaging manner. It will provide the reader with a quick overview of the issues related to reading and studying the Bible as an academic discipline while simultaneously illustrating the importance of the Bible for religion, western jurisprudence, ethics, and contemporary conceptions of the family, morality, and even politics.
A CHOICE Magazine Outstanding Academic Title of 2014.
The How-To Book of the Bible is your key to unlocking this treasure. Unlike other Bible-related books, this one not only introduces you to the Scriptures, but also helps you develop a deep, fulfilling, and lasting bond with the Bible.
The International Study Guides (ISGs) are clear and accessible resources, contextual and ecumenical in content and missional in direction. The contributors are theological educators who come from different countries and different religious backgrounds and bring practical emphasis alongside contemporary scholarly reflection.