The Bible A Historical and Literary Introduction

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2013-09-16
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
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In The Bible: A Historical and Literary Introduction, renowned biblical scholar and New York Times Bestselling author Bart D. Ehrman presents his long-awaited survey of the Bible. Comprehensive yet succinct, current in scholarship, rich in pedagogical tools, and easily accessible to students of all backgrounds, this is an ideal textbook for one-semester courses on the Bible. Ehrman covers every book in the canon, including the Apocrypha, explaining the historical and literary problems posed by the biblical texts and showing students how to analyze scholarly evidence and conclusions.


* An exceptionally accessible and engaging writing style that vividly brings the Bible to life

* Full-color illustrations throughout, including numerous maps, time lines, charts, and photos

* "What to Expect" boxes previewing each chapter, "At a Glance" boxes summarizing chapters or large sections, and additional boxes presenting intriguing issues in more depth

* "Take a Stand" questions designed to help students synthesize the material in each chapter

* A unique appendix on the canon and text of the Bible

* An Instructor's Manual with Computerized Test Bank on CD that offers numerous teaching resources

* A Companion Website at www.oup.com/us/ehrman containing numerous resources for students and instructors

A FREE 6-month subscription to Oxford Biblical Studies Online (www.oxfordbiblicalstudies.com), a $180 value, is included with the purchase of every new copy of this text.


This text is available in a discounted package with The New Oxford Annotated Bible with Apocrypha: New Revised Standard Version, College Edition, Fourth Edition. To assign this package, order package ISBN 978-0-19-935854-0.

Author Biography

Bart D. Ehrman is the James A. Gray Distinguished Professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has written or edited more than twenty-five books, including Forgery and Counterforgery (2013), The New Testament, Fifth Edition (2012), and The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture, Second Edition (2011), all published by Oxford University Press.

Table of Contents

Each chapter ends with a "Take a Stand" section and Suggestions for Further Reading.
List of Boxes
List of Maps
Chapter 1: What is the Bible? And Why Is It So Hard to Understand?
Why Study the Bible?
What is the Bible?
Putting the Bible on the Map
Challenges for Studying the Bible
Chapter 2: The Book of Genesis
The Contents of Genesis and the Problems They Pose
Authorship: Who Wrote the Pentateuch?
Oral Traditions and Cultural Parallels
Chapter 3: From Egypt to the Promised Land: Exodus to Deuteronomy
The Book of Exodus
The Law of Moses (Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers)
The Book of Numbers
The Book of Deuteronomy
Chapter 4: The Deuteronomistic History: Joshua to 2 Kings
The Deuteronomisitic History
The Book of Joshua
The Book of Judges
1 and 2 Samuel
1 and 2 Kings
Chapter 5: The Early Israelite Prophets
The Rise of the Prophets
Amost of Tekoa
Isaiah of Jerusalem
Chapter 6: The Historians and Prophets of Exile and Return
Ezra and Nehemiah
Exilic and Post-Exilic Prophets
Second Isaiah
Third Isaiah
The Later History of Judea
Chapter 7: The Poets and Story Tellers of Ancient Israel
The Nature of Hebrew Poetry
The Book of Psalms
The Book of Lamentations
The Song of Songs
Storytellers in Ancient Israel
Daniel 1-6
1 and 2 Chronicles
Chapter 8: Wisdom and Apocalyptic Literature
Introduction to the Wisdom Literature
Apocalyptic Literature
Chapter 9: The World of Jesus and His Followers
One Remarkable Life
The Greco-Roman World
Judaism in the Times of Jesus
Other Jewish Literature of the Period: The Deuterocanonical or Apocryphal Books
Putting the New Testament and Early Christianity on the Map
Chapter 10: The Synoptic Gospels: Matthew, Mark, and Luke
The Storyline of the Synoptic Gospels
The Synoptic Problem
The Gospels as Biographies
The Gospel of Mark
The Gospel of Matthew
The Gospel of Luke
The Synoptic Gospels and the Problem of History
Chapter 11: The Gospel of John, Later Gospels, and the Historical Jesus
The Gospel of John
The Other Gospels
The Historical Jesus
Jesus the Apocalyptic Prophet
Chapter 12: The Life and Letters of Paul
Problems in the Study of Paul
A Brief Biography of Paul
1 Thessalonians
1 Corinthians
2 Corinthians
Chapter 13: The Acts of the Apostles and the Deutero-Pauline Epistles
Paul During and After the New Testament
The Acts of the Apostles
The Deutero-Pauline Epistles
2 Thessalonians
The Pastoral Epistles
Chapter 14: The General Epistles and the Book of Revelation
The Letter to the Hebrews
EXCURSUS: Jews and Christians in the Ancient World
The Letter of James
1 Peter
EXCURSUS: The Persecution of the Early Christians
2 Peter
1, 2, and 3 John
EXCURSUS: Orthodoxy and Heresy in Earliest Christianity
The Apocalypse of John
Chapter 15: Appendix. The Canon and Text of the Bible
The Canon of the Hebrew Bible
The Canon of the New Testament
The Text of the Hebrew Bible
The Text of the New Testament

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