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Introduction to the Bible approaches the Bible by considering it from three different viewpoints: literary, historical, and contemporary. This unique approach underscores the dynamics of each view and the methods scholars have developed to study them.
Additionally, the authors are especially careful to distinguish the historical and literary 'viewpoints' for students new to the discipline; encouraging them to consider and discuss the contemporary significance of the Bible.
Teaching and Learning Experience
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Improve Critical Thinking - Introduction to the Bible provides an analysis of the role of the Bible in contemporary American culture; stimulates students' awareness of Biblical thought through suggested readings related to contemporary ethical issues; shows the relevance of religious thought; and helps students examine their assumptions, discern hidden values, evaluate evidence, assess their conclusions, and more!
Engage Students - Introduction to the Bible encourages thoughtful discussion and reflection of contents – including biblical controversies – through chapter summaries, case studies, maps and charts.
Support Instructors - Teaching your course just got easier! You can create a Customized Text or use our Instructor’s Manual, or PowerPoint Presentation Slides. Plus, Introduction to the Bible provides an annotated list of movies and documentary films related to the Bible, and information on how to obtain them for classroom use.
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PART ONE: Introduction
Chapter 1 The Three Worlds of the Bible: An Orientation 1
Chapter 2 Preparing for the Journey: An Orientation to the Methods of Biblical Study
PART TWO: The Torah
Chapter 3 Origins: The Book of Genesis 67
Chapter 4 Covenant: Exodus, Leviticus, ... MORE
PART THREE: Prophets
Chapter 5 The Nation Israel: Joshua, Judges, First and Second Samuel, First and Second Kings (The Former Prophets) 109
Chapter 6 Covenant Advocates: The Prophets of Ancient Israel (The Latter Prophets) 137
PART FOUR: The Writings
Chapter 7 Israel’s Sacred Songs: Psalms, Song of Songs, and Lamentations (The Writings I) 163
Chapter 8 The Way of Wisdom: Proverbs, Job, Ecclesiastes (The Writings II) 179
Chapter 9 The Rest of the Writings: Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Ruth, Esther, and Daniel
PART FIVE: After the Tanak
Chapter 10 Jewish Life and Literature (200 B.C.E - 100 C.E.) 213
PART SIX: The Gospels
Chapter 11 Jesus of Nazereth 239
Chapter 12 The Four Gospels: Mark, Matthew, Luke, and John 261
PART SEVEN: The Acts of the Apostles
Chapter 13 The Birth of Christianity: The Acts of the Apostles 289
PART EIGHT: Letters
Chapter 14 Paul: Apostle to the Gentiles—The Letters of Paul 307
Chapter 15 The Growing Church: The Pastoral and General Epistles, Hebrews, and the Revelation to John 329
PART NINE: Conclusion
Chapter 16 Journey On! 357
In This Section:
I. Author Bio
II. Author Letter
I. Author Bio
William A. Young is Professor Emeritus of Religious Studies at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri, where he taught for thirty-five years and also served as college chaplain. He is a graduate of the University of Tulsa (B.A. in Political Science and History), McCormick Theological Seminar (M.Div.) and the University of Iowa (Ph. D. in Hebrew Bible). His courses have included introductory offerings on the Bible and the world's religions and seminars on topics such as Spiritual Ecology; Perceptions of Death; Native American Spirituality; New Religious Movements; Religion and Politics; and Psalms, Wisdom Literature, and the Deuterocanon. He has also lectured and offered a variety of workshops in other academic and non-academic settings. Prof. Young is the author of a number of books in addition to An Introduction to the Bible: A Journey into Three Worlds. They include The World's Religions: Worldviews and Contemporary Issues (also published by Pearson); Quest for Harmony: Native American Spiritual Traditions; A Comprehensive History of the London Church and Parish of St. Mary, the Virgin, Aldermanbury (co-authored with Christian E. Hauer); and the forthcoming "Head Held High": The Life, Baseball Career, and Legacy of John Tortes "Chief" Meyers. Prof. Young welcomes comments or questions from readers. He can be reached at email@example.com.
II. Author Letter
We are gratified that our "three worlds" approach to introducing the academic study of the Bible has been so warmly received over the years by instructors and students alike. In the 8th edition of An Introduction to the Bible: A Journey into Three Worlds we maintain the basic structure of the book, but update the discussion in light of the latest developments in scholarship and issues that illustrate the ongoing relevance of the Bible in modern life.
In introducing the Bible from three complementary perspectives, we supplement traditional methods of studying the Bible by emphasizing recent trends in biblical scholarship. After introducing the three worlds (literary, historical, contemporary) and methods of studying them, we engage readers in a discussion of the most important issues in literary and historical analysis of all the books of the Tanak (Hebrew Bible, Old Testament) and the New Testament.
We also include discussion of the history and Jewish literature of the period after the Tanak as well as the early Christian extracanonical writings known as the New Testament Apocrypha. Case studies and questions for discussion and reflection at the end of each chapter provide a lively setting for readers to enter the contemporary world of the Bible.
In response to helpful suggestions from colleagues and students, we have made a number of changes in the 8th edition. We have reorganized and streamlined our introductory chapters to make them more accessible; added a number of new illustrations and maps throughout the book; updated recent developments in archaeology that impact the Bible, such as the ongoing controversy surrounding the James Ossuary; enhanced the discussion of the Pharisees and Essenes; emphasized the importance of placing Jesus of Nazareth in a first-century Jewish context; described some of the ongoing prejudices that hamper research on the historical Jesus; and added a brief overview of the life of Jesus based on our own sifting of the evidence.
In the 8th edition we have also kept readers abreast of the many ways in which interpretation of the Bible is evident in some of the most important issues we face today. In particular, we describe the role of Bible interpretations in the current debates over same-sex marriages, how to respond to climate change, and the compatibility of the Qur’an (Koran) and the Bible. We further illustrate the role of the Bible in popular culture through discussing the hit movie Avatar and the popular animated television series The Simpsons.
This new edition of An Introduction to the Bible: A Journey into Three Worlds marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of the publication of the first edition. The responses of colleagues like you around the world, students in our own classes, and students at other schools continue to inspire and challenge us. We invite your questions and comments as you draw on the 8th edition in your teaching.
Chris Hauer, Jr. & Bill Young
Westminster College & Westminster College