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The Old Testament A Historical and Literary Introduction to the Hebrew Scriptures

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  • Edition: 4th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2017-07-03
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?


Lucidly written by leading biblical scholars Michael D. Coogan and Cynthia R. Chapman, this balanced, engaging, and up-to-date introduction to the Hebrew scriptures distills the best of current scholarship. Employing the narrative chronology of the Bible itself and the history of the ancient Near East as a framework, Coogan and Chapman cover all the books of the Hebrew Bible, along with the deuterocanonical books included in the Bible used by many Christians. They work from a primarily historical and critical methodology but also introduce students to literary analysis and other interpretive strategies.


* Chapter pedagogy includes chapter previews and summaries, key terms, a glossary, questions for review and discussion, and suggestions for further reading

* Two introductory chapters--one on the composition of the Old Testament and one on the history and geography of the ancient Near East and how it influenced the Hebrew Bible--provide students with the context necessary to analyze the biblical texts

* Strategically placed text boxes address issues that often puzzle readers of the Bible, provide models of interpretation of particular texts, and discuss their significance for Judaism and Christianity

* A strong visual program includes charts, photographs, line drawings, maps, and a color insert on Jerusalem in biblical times

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 the text.

Author Biography

Michael D. Coogan is Lecturer on the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible at the Harvard Divinity School and Director of Publications for the Harvard Semitic Museum. He is the author of A Brief Introduction to the Old Testament, Third Edition (2015), A Reader of Ancient Near Eastern Texts (2012), and The Old Testament: A Very Short Introduction (2008), all published by Oxford University Press.

Cynthia R. Chapman is the Adelia A.F. Johnston and Harry Thomas Frank Associate Professor of Religion at Oberlin College, where she has taught biblical studies for twelve years. She is the author of The House of the Mother: The Social Function of Maternal Kin in Biblical Hebrew Narrative and Poetry (2016) and The Gendered Language of Warfare in the Israelite-Assyrian Encounter (2004).

Table of Contents

*=New to this Edition
1. What is the Old Testament?
The Jewish Canon
Box 1.1 Chapter and Verse
Box 1.2 The Dead Sea Scrolls
The Christian Canons
* The Study of the Bible
Box 1.3 The Canons of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament
A Look Back and Ahead
2. The Promised Land: Geography, History, and Importance
Box 2.1 The Land of Israel in Jewish and Christian Tradition
A Look Back and Ahead
3. Creations (Genesis 1-3 )
The Book of Genesis
Genesis 1 and the Sabbath
Box 3.1 Genesis and Science
Box 3.2 The Sabbath in Jewish and Christian Traditions
Box 3.3 Myth and the Bible
The Second Account of Creation
Box 3.4 The Garden of Eden
Box 3.5 "God" and "the LORD (God)"
A Look Back and Ahead
Box 3.6 Adam and Eve in Later Traditions
4. The Formation of the Pentateuch
The Traditional View
The Development of Modern Interpretation
A Summary of the Documentary Hypothesis
Box 4.1 The Documentary Hypothesis at Work
The Formation of the Pentateuch
Challenges to the Documentary Hypothesis
Other Strategies for Interpreting the Pentateuch
A Look Back and Ahead
5. Primeval History (Genesis 4-11)
J (the Yahwist Source)
Box 5.1 Cain and Abel
Box 5.2 Noah's Drunkenness
Box 5.3 The Sons of God
P (the Priestly Source)
Box 5.4 The Tower of Babel
Box 5.5 The Table of Nations
Box 5.6 Enoch
The Flood
A Look Back and Ahead
6. The Ancestors of Israel (Genesis 12-50)
The Nature of the Narratives
Source Criticism
Box 6.1 Abram and Abraham, Sarai and Sarah
Box 6.2 The Binding of Isaac
Form Criticism
Box 6.3 Circumcision
Box 6.4 The Sin of Sodom
Ancient Near Eastern Parallels
The Joseph Narrative
Box 6.5 The Ugaritic Texts
The Ancestors of Israel
Box 6.6 Abraham, Father of Believers
History and the Ancestors of Israel
The Religion of the Ancestors
A Look Back and Ahead
7. Escape from Egypt (Exodus 1-5)
The Book of Exodus
Exodus 1-15
Box 7.1 Hebrew and Hebrews
Box 7.2 Legends of Rescue
Box 7.3 The Meaning of the Divine Name Yahweh
Box 7.4 The Hardening of Pharaoh's Heart
Box 7.5 The Development of the Passover Celebration
The Exodus and History
The Exodus and the History of Religions
A Look Back and Ahead
8. From Egypt to Sinai (Exodus 16-20, 24)
Incidents on the Journey
Box 8.1 Manna
Box 8.2 The Location of Sinai
At Sinai
Box 8.3 Excerpts from a Hittite Suzerainty Treaty
The Ten Commandments
The Ratification of the Covenant
Box 8.4 The Status and Numbering of the Ten Commandments
A Look Back and Ahead
9. Law and Ritual (Exodus 20.22-23.33 and 25-40)
Law in the Ancient Near East
Box 9.1 Excerpt from the Code of Hammurapi
The Covenant Code
Box 9.2 "An Eye for an Eye"
The Ark, the Tabernacle, and the Priestly Vestments and Ordination
The Golden Calf
Box 9.3 "Forty Days and Forty Nights"
The Ritual Decalogue
Box 9.4 An Ancient Hebrew Agricultural Calendar
A Look Back and Ahead
10. Ritual and Holiness (Leviticus)
The Book of Leviticus
Sacrifices (Lev 1-7)
The Consecration Ceremonies and Their Aftermath (Lev 8-10)
Purity and Impurity (Lev 11-15)
The Day of Atonement (Lev 16)
The Holiness Code (Lev 17-26)
Box 10.1 Anointing
* Box 10.2 Same-Sex Relationships
A Narrative Interlude: The Case of the Blasphemer (Lev 24.10-23)
Women in Israelite Ritual and Law
Box 10.3 Capital Punishment
The Ethics of Leviticus
A Look Back and Ahead
11. In the Wilderness (Numbers)
The Book of Numbers
Preparations for the Journey
Law, Ritual, and Purity
The Chronology and Geography of the Wanderings
Rebellions in the Wilderness
Box 11.1 The Rebellions of the Israelites in Christian and Muslim Scriptures
Box 11.2 Miriam
Box 11.3 The Amalekites
Opposition on the Journey
Box 11.4 Excerpt from the Deir Alla Texts
Preparations for the Entry into the Land
A Look Back and Ahead
12. The End of the Journey to the Promised Land (Deuteronomy)
The Book of Deuteronomy
Box 12.1 The Shema
The Origins of Deuteronomy
The Deuteronomic School
Box 12.2 Parallel Curses in the Treaties of Esar-haddon and in Deuteronomy
Moses in the Pentateuch
Box 12.3 The Meanings of "Torah"
A Look Back and Ahead
13. Joshua and the Conquest of the Land of Canaan (Joshua)
The Deuteronomistic History
The Book of Joshua
* The Moses-Joshua Connection
Box 13.1 Parallels Between Deuteronomy 27 and Joshua 8
Box 13.2 Shechem in Biblical Tradition
Box 13.3 Circumcision a Second Time?
A Look Back and Ahead
14. The Emergence of Israel in the Land of Canaan (Judges and Ruth)
The Book of Judges
Box 14.1 The Judges of Israel in the Book of Judges
Box 14.2 The Moabites and the Ammonites
Box 14.3 The Song of Deborah
Box 14.4 The Philistines
History and the Israelite Confederation
* The Book of Ruth
A Look Back and Ahead
15. The Establishment of the Monarchy (1 Samuel)
The Book(s) of Samuel
1 Samuel
Box 15.1 Samuel in Other Traditions
Box 15.2 Positive Assessments of Saul
A Look Back and Ahead
16. The Reign of David (2 Samuel, 1 Kings 1-2, and Psalm 132)
2 Samuel
Box 16.1 Jerusalem
Box 16.2 David as Poet
A Look Back and Ahead
Box 16.3 Psalm 132
17. The Reign of Solomon (1 Kings 1-11 and Psalm 89)
The Book(s) of Kings
1 Kings 1-11
Box 17.1 Solomon in Later Tradition
Box 17.2 The Royal Psalms
The Ideology of the Davidic Monarchy
Box 17.3 The Psalms of Zion
Box 17.4 The Royal Ideology in Later Traditions
A Look Back and Ahead
18. The Divided Kingdoms of Israel and Judah from the Late Tenth to the Early Eighth Centuries BCE (1 Kings 12-2 Kings 14 with an Introduction to Prophecy)
Box 18.1 Chronology of the Late Tenth to the Mid-eighth Centuries BCE
Institutions and Society
Prophets and Prophecy
Box 18.2 An Ancient Mesopotamian Prophecy
Box 18.3 Prophets in Later Traditions
The Legends of Elijah and Elisha
Box 18.4 Elijah in Later Traditions
A Look Back and Ahead
19. The Northern Kingdom of Israel in the Eighth Century BCE (2 Kings 14-17, Amos, and Hosea)
Box 19.1 Chronology of the Eighth Century BCE
Prophetic Books
The Book of Amos
Box 19.2 The Day of the Lord
The Book of Hosea
Box 19.3 Prophetic Attacks on Rituals
Box 19.4 Marriage in Ancient Israel
A Look Back and Ahead
20. The Kingdom of Judah in the Eighth and Early Seventh Centuries BCE (2 Kings 15-20, 2 Chronicles 29-32, Isaiah 1-39, and Micah)
Box 20.1 Chronology of the Eighth and Seventh Centuries BCE
The Book of Isaiah
Box 20.2 Isaiah in Later Traditions
The Siege of Jerusalem in 734 BCE
Box 20.3 The Identification of Immanuel
The Assyrian Invasion of Judah in 701 BCE
Box 20.4 Sennacherib's Third Campaign (701 BCE) According to the Assyrian Annals
The Book of Micah
Box 20.5 Hezekiah's Tunnel
Box 20.6 The King From Bethlehem
A Look Back and Ahead
21. Judah in the Seventh Century BCE: The End of Assyrian Domination (2 Kings 21-23, 2 Chronicles 33-35, Zephaniah, Nahum, and the Prayer of Manasseh)
Box 21.1 Chronology of the Seventh Century BCE
The Reign of Manasseh
Box 21.2 Ashurbanipal's Library
The Reign of Josiah
Box 21.3 Megiddo and Armageddon
The Book of Zephaniah
The Book of Nahum
A Look Back and Ahead
22. The Fall of Jerusalem (2 Kings 23.31-25.30, 2 Chronicles 36, Habakkuk, Jeremiah, and the Letter of
Box 22.1 Chronology of the Late Seventh and Early Sixth Centuries BCE
Box 22.2 Throne Names of Kings of Judah
The Book of Habakkuk
The Book of Jeremiah
Box 22.3 Jeremiah and the Lost Ark
Box 22.4 Parallels Between Psalms and Jeremiah's Confessions
Box 22.5 Jeremiah and the History of Bookmaking
A Look Back and Ahead
23. After the Fall: Jews in Judah and Babylon (Lamentations, Psalm 137, Obadiah, and Ezekiel)
The Book of Lamentations
Box 23.1 Acrostic Poems
The Judeans in Babylonia
Box 23.2 Nebuchadrezzar's Wonders
Psalm 137
The Book of Obadiah
The Book of Ezekiel
Box 23.3 Yahweh as a Violent Husband
Box 23.4 Leadership in the Restored Community
A Look Back and Ahead
24. Return From Exile (Ezra 1-2 and Isaiah 34-35 and 40-55)
Box 24.1 Chronology of the Sixth Century BCE
The Priestly Source of the Pentateuch
The Exilic Edition of the Deuteronomistic History
Isaiah 40- 55
Box 24.2 The Development of Monotheism
Box 24.3 Female Images of God
A Look Back and Ahead
25. The Early Restoration (Ezra 3-6, 1 Esdras, Haggai, Zechariah 1-8, and Isaiah 56-66)
Box 25.1 Chronology of the Late Sixth Century BCE
Ezra 3-6
Box 25.2 Aramaic
Box 25.3 The Books of Esdras
The Book of Haggai
Zechariah 1-8
Isaiah 56-66
A Look Back and Ahead
26. Judah in the Fifth Century BCE (Ezra 7-10, Nehemiah, Isaiah 24-27, Zechariah 9-14, Joel, Malachi, and 2 Esdras)
The Book(s) of Ezra and Nehemiah
Box 26.1 Chronology of the Late Sixth to the Late Fourth Centuries BCE
Box 26.2 The Elephantine Papyri
Apocalyptic Literature
The "Isaiah Apocalypse" (Isa 24- 27)
Zechariah 9-14
The Book of Joel
The Book of Malachi
Box 26.3 Second Esdras
A Look Back and Ahead
27. Retelling the Story of David (1-2 Chronicles and Psalms)
The Books of Chronicles
Box 27.1 Samaria and the Samaritans
Box 27.2 The Arrangement of the Genealogies of the Sons of Jacob (The Tribes of Israel) in Chronicles
Box 27.3 Comparison of 2 Samuel 24.1-9 and 1 Chronicles 21.1-7
The Book of Psalms
Box 27.4 Parallelism
Box 27.5 The Forms of the Psalms
Box 27.6 Form-Critical Analysis of Psalm 3
Music in Ancient Israel
A Look Back and Ahead
28. The Wisdom of the Sages: Preservation and Challenge (Proverbs, Job, Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Solomon)
Wisdom Literature
Box 28.1 Ahigar and Proverbs
The Book of Proverbs
Box 28.2 The Satan
Box 28.3 "I Know That My Redeemer Liveth"
Box 28.4 Behemoth and Leviathan
Box 28.5 Job's Wife and Daughters
Box 28.6 Job in Later Traditions
The Book of Ecclesiastes
The Development of Beliefs in Life after Death in Ancient Israel
The Song of Solomon
A Look Back and Ahead
29. Encounters with the Greeks (1-2 Maccabees, Baruch, Sirach, the Wisdom of Solomon, and 4 Maccabees)
Box 29.1 Rulers of Persia and Greece (Sixth to Fourth Centuries BCE)
Box 29.2 Rulers of Egypt and Syria (Third to Second Centuries BCE)
Box 29.3 Chronology of High Priests in Jerusalem and of the Maccabees (Hasmoneans)
1 Maccabees
Box 29.4 Hanukkah
2 Maccabees
The Book of Baruch
The Wisdom of Jesus, Son of Sirach (also known as Ben Sira and Ecclesiasticus)
Box 29.5 Different Views of Immortality in the Hebrew and Greek Texts of Ben Sira
The Wisdom of Solomon
Box 29.6 Contrasts in the Divine Treatment of the Egyptians and the Israelites During the Exodus
Box 29.7 4 Maccabees
A Look Back and Ahead
30. Heroes in Foreign Lands: Postexilic Literature and Diasporic Identity (Jonah, Ruth, Esther, Judith, Tobit, 3 Maccabees, and Daniel)
The Book of Jonah
The Book of Esther
Box 30.1 The Festival of Purim
The Book of Judith
Box 30.2 Widows
The Book of Tobit
Box 30.3 Angels and Demons
3 Maccabees
The Book of Daniel
Box 30.4 "Son of Man"
Box 30.5 Outline of the Visions of Successive Kingdoms in the Book of Daniel
A Look Back and Ahead
General Bibliography
Weights and Measures

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