How to Read the Bible: A Guide to Scripture, Then and Now

Now in its tenth year of publication, the book remains the clearest, most inviting and readable guide to the Hebrew Bible around—and a profound meditation on the effect that modern biblical scholarship has had on traditional belief. These highly ideological readers sought to put their own spin on texts that had been around for centuries, utterly transforming them in the process.

The question that this book ultimately asks is: what now? As one reviewer wrote, Kugel’s answer provides “a contemporary model of how to read Sacred Scripture amidst the oppositional pulls of modern scholarship and tradition. ”. The latter is not, kugel shows, a naïve reading; rather, it is the product of a school of sophisticated interpreters who flourished toward the end of the biblical period.

As soon as it appeared, “wonderfully interesting, extremely well presented” The Washington Post, “awesome, thrilling” The New York Times, How to Read the Bible was recognized as a masterwork, and “a tour de force. A stunning narrative” Publishers Weekly. Their interpretations became what the Bible meant for centuries and centuries—until modern scholarship came along.

Moving chapter by chapter, jacob and his wives, jeremiah, harvard professor james kugel covers the bible’s most significant stories—the Creation of the world, David’s mighty kingdom, and the other prophets, Noah and the flood, Moses and the exodus, Adam and Eve, Abraham and Sarah, Cain and Abel, plus the writings of Isaiah, and on to the Babylonian conquest and the eventual return to Zion.

Throughout, kugel contrasts the way modern scholars understand these events with the way Christians and Jews have traditionally understood them.

Getting Involved with God: Rediscovering the Old Testament

This is a book about getting, involved with God-what it takes, what it costs, and staying, what it looks and feels like, and why anyone would want to do it anyway.

This Strange and Sacred Scripture: Wrestling with the Old Testament and Its Oddities

The old testament can seem strange and disturbing to contemporary readers. What should christians make of genesis 1-3, seemingly at odds with modern scientific accounts? why does the old testament contain so much violence? How should Christians handle texts that give women a second-class status? Does the Old Testament contradict itself? Why are so many Psalms filled with anger and sorrow? What should we make of texts that portray God as filled with wrath?Combining pastoral insight, biblical scholarship, and a healthy dose of humility, gifted teacher and communicator Matthew Schlimm explores perennial theological questions raised by the Old Testament.

He provides strategies for reading and appropriating these sacred texts, showing how the Old Testament can shape the lives of Christians today and helping them appreciate the Old Testament as a friend in faith. Baker Academic.

The Jewish Study Bible: Second Edition

Oxford university Press USA. This second edition includes revised annotations for nearly the entire Bible, Jewish worship in the biblical and post-biblical periods, as well as forty new and updated essays on many of the issues in Jewish interpretation, and the influence of the Hebrew Bible in the ancient world.

The jewish study bible, second Edition, is an essential resource for anyone interested in the Hebrew Bible. It has won acclaim from readers in all religious traditions. The jewish study bible, introductory materials, its interpretation, and essays by leading biblical scholars on virtually every aspect of the text, which comes in a protective slipcase, combines the entire Hebrew Bible--in the celebrated Jewish Publication Society TANAKH Translation--with explanatory notes, the world in which it was written, and its role in Jewish life.

The quality of scholarship, easy-to-navigate format, and vibrant supplementary features bring the ancient text to life. Baker Academic. First published in 2004, the jewish study Bible is a landmark, one-volume resource tailored especially for the needs of students of the Hebrew Bible.

Introduction to the Hebrew Bible: And Deutero-canonical Books

Baker Academic. Enriched by decades of classroom teaching, it is aimed explicitly at motivated students, regardless of their previous exposure to the Bible or faith commitments. An index has been added to the volume for the first time. The approach is ecumenical, in the sense that it seeks not to impose any particular theological perspective but to provide information and raise questions that should be relevant to any student.

Collins proceeds through the canon of the old testament and the Apocrypha, judiciously presenting the current state of historical, archaeological, and literary understanding of the biblical text, and engaging the student in questions of significance and interpretation for the contemporary world. The third edition is presented in a new and engaging format with new maps and images.

John J. Oxford university Press USA. Collins's introduction to the hebrew Bible is one of the most reliable and widely adopted critical textbooks at undergraduate and graduate levels alike, and for good reason.

Telling the Old Testament Story: God's Mission and God's People

Canonical criticism provides the primary means for relating the distinctive voices within the Old Testament texts that still honor the particularity and diversity of the discrete compositions. The final prophetic books that conclude the protestant old testament ultimately give the story of God’s mission and people an open-ended quality, suggesting that God’s mission for God’s people continues and leading Christian readers to consider the New Testament’s story of the Church as an extension and expansion of the broader story of God introduced in the Old Testament.

Oxford university Press USA. The diverse traditions that comprise the remainder of the Pentateuch then combine to portray the creation and formation of Israel as a people prepared to be God’s instrument of restoration and blessing. Coming out of god’s new covenant engagement with creation in gen 9, this divine purpose begins with the calling of a people who turn out to be the manifold descendants of Abraham and Sarah to be God’s instrument of blessing for all creation and thus to reverse the curse brought on by sin.

Baker Academic. The old testament begins by introducing God’s mission in Genesis. The book works from the protestant canonical arrangement of the Old Testament, which understands the story of the Old Testament as the story of God and God’s relationship with all creation in love and redemption—a story that joins the New Testament to the Old.

The main methodological perspective that informs the book includes work on the phenomenological function of narrative especially story’s function to shape the identity and practice of the reader, as well as more recent so-called “missional” approaches to reading Christian scripture.

Student Edition: Fully Revised & Updated - HarperCollins Study Bible

Oxford university Press USA. HarperOne. Completely revised and updated, this edition incorporates the latest scholarship and findings as well as incorporating new diagrams, charts, and maps—25% revised or new material. The harpercollins study bible—student edition is the landmark general reference Bible that offers the full text of the New Revised Standard Version as well as in-depth articles, introductions, and comprehensive notes by today’s leading biblical scholars for the Society of Biblical Literature.

Baker Academic.

Readings in World Christian History

HarperOne. This companion to history of the World Christian Movement explores how varied and multi-cultural Christian origins and history really are. Oxford university Press USA. Orbis Books. Baker Academic.

The Bible As It Was

These interpretations, and not the mere words of the text, became the Bible in the time of Jesus and Paul or the rabbis of the Talmud. This is a guide to the Hebrew Bible unlike any other. Here, for the first time, we can witness all the major transformations of the text and recreate the development of the Bible "As It Was" at the start of the Common era--the Bible as we know it.

Oxford university Press USA. Poring over every little detail in the Bible's stories, prophecies, and laws, they let their own theological and imaginative inclinations radically transform the Bible's very nature. Orbis Books. Drawing on such sources as the dead sea scrolls, long-lost retellings of Bible stories, ancient Jewish apocrypha, and prayers and sermons of the early church and synagogue, Hellenistic writings, Kugel reconstructs the theory and methods of interpretation at the time when the Bible was becoming the bedrock of Judaism and Christianity.

Leading us chapter by chapter through its most important stories--from the Creation and the Tree of Knowledge through the Exodus from Egypt and the journey to the Promised Land--James Kugel shows how a group of anonymous, ancient interpreters radically transformed the Bible and made it into the book that has come down to us today.

Was the snake in the garden of eden the devil, or the Garden itself "paradise"? Did Abraham discover monotheism, and was his son Isaac a willing martyr? Not until the ancient interpreters set to work. Their sometimes surprising interpretations soon became the generally accepted meaning. HarperOne.

Who Wrote the Bible?

Orbis Books. HarperOne. HarperOne. The author of commentary on the torah, Friedman delves deeply into the history of the Bible in a scholarly work that is as exciting and surprising as a good detective novel. Who wrote the bible? is enlightening, riveting, and as the Los Angeles Times aptly observed in its rave review, an important contribution to religious literature, “There is no other book like this one.

Baker Academic. The contemporary classic the new york times Book Review called “a thought-provoking and perceptive guide, ” Who Wrote the Bible? by Richard E. Oxford university Press USA. Friedman is a fascinating, intellectual, yet highly readable analysis and investigation into the authorship of the Old Testament.


The Great Shift: Encountering God in Biblical Times

Yet over the course of the thousand-year Biblical Era, encounters with God changed dramatically. HarperOne. HarperOne. Oxford university Press USA. Baker Academic. In this landmark work, and the sense of self, including neuroscience, to explain the origins of belief, psychology, anthropology, worship, and archaeology, Kugel fuses revelatory close readings of ancient texts with modern scholarship from a range of fields, and the changing nature of God through history.

As james L. Kugel argues, this transition allows us to glimpse a massive shift in human experience—the emergence of the modern, Western sense of self. A world-renowned scholar brings a lifetime of study to reveal how a pivotal transformation in spiritual experience during the Biblical Era made us who we are today Why does the Bible depict a world in which humans, with surprising regularity, addressing a burning bush, encounter the divine—wrestling an angel, issuing forth prophecy without any choice in the matter? These stories spoke very differently to their original audience than they do to us, and they reflect a radically distinct understanding of reality and the human mind.

In the tradition of books like the swerve and The Better Angels of Our Nature, The Great Shift tells the story of a revolution in human consciousness and the enchantment of everyday life. This book will make believers and seekers think differently not just about the Bible, but about the entire history of the human imagination.

Houghton Mifflin. Orbis Books.