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This book brings together some of the world's most exciting scholars from across a variety of disciplines to provide a concise and accessible guide to the Hebrew Bible. It covers every major genre of book in the Old Testament together with in-depth discussions of major themes such as human nature, covenant, creation, ethics, ritual and purity, sacred space, and monotheism.

This authoritative overview sets each book within its historical and cultural context in the ancient Near East, paying special attention to its sociological setting. It provides new insights into the reception of the books and the different ways they have been studied, from historical-critical enquiry to modern advocacy approaches such as feminism and liberation theology. It also includes a guide to biblical translations and textual criticism and helpful suggestions for further reading.

Featuring contributions from experts with backgrounds in the Jewish and Christian faith traditions as well as secular scholars in the humanities and social sciences, The Hebrew Bible is the perfect starting place for anyone seeking a user-friendly introduction to the Old Testament, and an invaluable reference book for students and teachers. Many of our ebooks are available through library electronic resources including these platforms:.

Home The Hebrew Bible. Add to Cart. In this case, the form or type of poem tells us much about its social function and purpose.

Overview: Hebrews

Many genres of biblical literature can also be compared to nonbiblical texts—for example, the biblical flood story bears remarkable similarities to the Babylonian flood story, Atrahasis. This comparative approach helps us understand the Hebrew Bible in its broader ancient context and see potential influences on the biblical texts. When archaeologists determine the identity of a site mentioned in the Bible and excavate it, their findings may be important for understanding biblical narratives that mention that place.

For example, excavations at the site of Jericho, which according to Joshua 6 had walls in the period of the Israelite conquest, have revealed no walls for the historical period in which the conquest is supposed to have happened, thus indicating that the biblical account cannot be entirely historical. In addition to historical-critical methods, many scholars use literary approaches that have developed as a result of postmodernist trends in twentieth-century scholarship more generally. A related group of methods, also primarily literary, is termed ideological criticism.

About The Word "Hesed" in the Hebrew Bible

Such scholars instead advocate reading the text from specific, stated ideological stances. Postcolonial readings examine how the power imbalance between colonizer and colonized may shed light on biblical texts and reveal new readings. Marxist interpretation may also play a role in such readings, which look at how economics and power function in biblical texts; exposing those dynamics can allow them to be overturned—for example, reading wisdom in Prov as a commodity to be acquired and thus accessible only to those with the time and money to pursue it.

In between this focus on ancient and modern contexts for readings sits reception history , which studies how the Bible has been read and received over the centuries.

Hebrews: Contemporary Methods-New Insights

This can begin in the canon itself, with references in one biblical text to another for example, Dan refers to Jer and Jer , and extends into the modern period, covering the use of the Bible in other religious writings , in literature, in the arts, and in communities. This approach is broad covering historical and literary aspects and can shed considerable light on the many meanings that biblical texts have had through the ages.

Akin to reception history, canonical criticism is a way of studying how the Bible functions theologically in various communities of belief, from ancient Israelites to modern Americans. Unlike the other methods discussed above, canonical criticism takes the final form of the text as its starting point and focuses on how the text as a whole functions as sacred Scripture. Because canons assume audiences of faith communities, this approach is inherently theological , though it aims more to discover theologies in the text than to apply theologies to the text.

NIV Application Commentary: Old Testament & New Testament, 42 Volumes (NIVAC)

Most scholars use a combination of these methods, as each reveals different aspects of the text, whether historical, cultural, sociological, literary, or theological. And when scholars of different backgrounds, faiths, and cultures weigh in, they bring their own unique experiences and questions to the text.

Some scholars discuss literary approaches as though they are completely separate from historical-critical ones, but in fact the two overlap in significant ways. The fullest understanding of the biblical text is gained by trying to see the text from as many perspectives as possible. Sarah Shectman Academic Editor, Freelance. The variety of languages and genres employed in the book of Daniel hints at its roots in the Jewish Diaspora. The book of Ruth can be read as a fairy tale: Ruth the hero goes on a quest, is tested, and is ultimately rewarded for her love and devotion.

Hebrew is regarded as the spoken language of ancient Israel but is largely replaced by Aramaic in the Persian period. An ancient Mesopotamian text which includes stories of creation and flood that parallel Biblical accounts. An approach to biblical interpretation that considers books of the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament as wholes, in their final forms—as opposed to the historical-critical method, which looks at texts' development, origins, and structure.

Evaluating its subject carefully, rigorously, and with minimal preconceptions. Related to a type of literary criticism attributed to philosopher Jacques Derrida that denies any stable relationship between a term and its definition. Interpretation of the genre and shape of a narrative in order to determine its original setting and function.

The set of Biblical books shared by Jews and Christians. A more neutral alternative to "Old Testament. Relating to or associated with people living in the territory of the northern kingdom of Israel during the divided monarchy, or more broadly describing the biblical descendants of Jacob. A movement within Roman Catholicism that first arose in the s in Latin America and reads Scripture through the eyes of the poor, seeking redress for unjustness through political and social activism as well as worship.

Related books and articles

Of or related to the written word, especially that which is considered literature; literary criticism is a interpretative method that has been adapted to biblical analysis. Of or relating to the writings of Karl Marx, a 19th-century German philosopher, historian, and economist who advocated for a radical rethinking of social stratification and monetary policy. Of or related to history after a colony is declared independent; also: of or related to postcolonialism, an academic orientation that critiques colonialism and impoerialism.


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A method of biblical study that considers seriously the experiences and interpretations of everyday, nonexpert readers of Scripture. Redact, redacting. A method of biblical study that considers the various versions of a text and the edits that have been made to it. A historical-critical method of biblical interpretation that analyzes discontinuities, inconsistencies, repetitions, and other narrative clues to identify the different authors of the Bible; see Documentary Hypothesis.

The third division of the Jewish canon, also called by the Hebrew name Ketuvim.

Hebrews Contemporary Methods New Insights Biblical Interpretation Series

The other two divisions are the Torah Pentateuch and Nevi'im Prophets ; together the three divisions create the acronym Tanakh, the Jewish term for the Hebrew Bible. View more. Why does your anger smoke against the sheep of your pas Of Asaph. A Psalm. God's Glory in Creation and the Law To the leader. A Psalm of David. Thanksgiving for Vindication A Psalm. A Song for the Sabbath Day. Daniel's Prayer for the People 1In the first year of Darius son of Ahasuerus, by birth a Mede, who became king over the realm of the Chaldeans—2in the first yea Site HarperCollins Dictionary.

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