A Brief Introduction to the Old Testament: The Hebrew Bible in Its Context

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Overview

Engaging and accessible to students from all backgrounds, A Brief Introduction to the Old Testament: The Hebrew Bible in Its Context is an updated, concise, and more pedagogical version of Michael D. Coogan's best-selling The Old Testament: A Historical and Literary Introduction to the Hebrew Scriptures (OUP, 2005).

Focuses on Historical Content while also Addressing Other Interpretive Approaches

Retaining the historical and literary perspective of the longer text, this concise edition is enhanced by two new introductory chapters that provide students with the context necessary to analyze the biblical texts—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. Relying on internal evidence, scholarly consensus, and current research, Coogan deals in detail with ancient Near Eastern sources and archaeological data. He works from a primarily historical and critical methodology but also introduces students to literary analysis and other interpretive strategies. Offering the most balanced and comprehensive introduction available, Coogan examines all the books of the Hebrew Bible and also considers additional writings from the ancient Near East. The Apocryphal / Deuterocanonical books are included in an appendix.

A Brief Introduction to the Old Testament: The Hebrew Bible in Its Context is enhanced by:

• Chapter introductions connecting each chapter to the preceding material and previewing the material to come

• Chapter summaries that highlight key points and link each chapter to the rest of the book

• Important terms, boldfaced at their first appearance and defined in a glossary of more than 100 words

• Numerous strategically placed text boxes—some new to this concise edition—that offer interesting and useful supplementary information

• Timelines, photos, illustrations, maps, and a four-color insert on Jerusalem in biblical times

• Review questions, suggestions for further reading, annotated bibliographies at the end of each chapter, and a general bibliography

• An Instructor's Manual (in both print and CD formats) and a Companion Website at www.oup.com/us/coogan that contains resources for both students and instructors

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

Providing a nondenominational and nondoctrinal treatment, A Brief Introduction to the Old Testament offers a unique and captivating introduction to the Hebrew scriptures themselves and to how they have been—and can be—interpreted.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"This is the best introduction for undergraduates now on the market, and the one without doubt most likely to be read, understood, and enjoyed by college students."--Allen Podet, Buffalo State University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199740291
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 11/21/2008
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Pages: 464
  • Product dimensions: 7.50 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Professor of Religious Studies, Stonehill College

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Table of Contents

Preface
Abbreviations
Credits
PART ONE. INTRODUCTORY
1. WHAT IS THE OLD TESTAMENT?
Box 1.1 Chapter and Verse
The Jewish Canon The Christian Canons
Box 1.2 The Canons of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament
A Look Back and Ahead
2. THE PROMISED LAND: GEOGRAPHY, HISTORY, AND IMPORTANCE
Geography History
Box 2.1 Timeline
Importance A Look Back and Ahead
PART TWO. COSMIC ORIGINS
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 Tradition
The Second Account of Creation (Gen 2.4b-3.24)
Box 3.3 The Garden of Eden
Box 3.4 Adam and Eve in Jewish and Christian Tradition
A Look Back and Ahead
4. THE FORMATION OF THE PENTATEUCH AND THE PRIMEVAL HISTORY Genesis 4-11
The Traditional View The Development of Modern Interpretation A Summary of the Documentary Hypothesis The Formation of the Pentateuch Challenges to the Documentary Hypothesis Other Strategies for Interpreting the Pentateuch Primeval History J (the Yahwist Source)
Box 4.1 Cain and Abel
Box 4.2 Noah's Drunkenness
Box 4.3 The Sons of God
P (the Priestly Source)
Box 4.4 The Tower of Babel
Box 4.5 The Table of Nations
The Flood
Box 4.6 The Documentary Hypothesis at Work
A Look Back and Ahead
PART THREE. NATIONAL ORIGINS
5. THE ANCESTORS OF ISRAEL Genesis 12-50
The Nature of the Narratives Source Criticism
Box 5.1 Abram and Abraham, Sarai and Sarah
Box 5.2 The Binding of Isaac
Form Criticism
Box 5.3 Circumcision
Ancient Near Eastern Parallels
Box 5.4 The Ugaritic Texts
The Joseph Narrative The Ancestors of Israel
Box 5.5 Abraham, Father of Believers
History and the Ancestors of Israel The Religion of the Ancestors A Look Back and Ahead
6. ESCAPE FROM EGYPT Exodus 1-15
The Book of Exodus Exodus 1-15
Box 6.1 Legends of Rescue
Box 6.2 The Divine Name Yahweh
Box 6.3 The Hardening of the Pharaoh's Heart
Box 6.4 The Development of the Passover Celebration
The Exodus and History The Exodus and the History of Religions A Look Back and Ahead
7. FROM EGYPT TO SINAI Exodus 16-24
Itineraries Incidents on the Journey
Box 7.1 Manna
Box 7.2 The Location of Sinai
At Sinai Covenant The Ten Commandments
Box 7.3 The Status and Numbering of the Ten Commandments
The Ratification of the Covenant A Look Back and Ahead
8. LAW, RITUAL, AND HOLINESS Exodus 20.22-23.33 and 25-40 and Leviticus
Law in the Ancient Near East
Box 8.1 Excerpt from the Code of Hammurapi
The Covenant Code (Ex 20.22-23.33)
The Ark, the Tabernacle, and the Priestly Vestments and Ordination
Box 8.2 "An Eye for an Eye"
The Golden Calf
Box 8.3 Forty Days and Forty Nights
The Ritual Decalogue
Box 8.4 An Ancient Hebrew Agricultural Calendar
Sequel 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 The Holiness Code
Box 8.5 Capital Punishment
Women in Israelite Ritual and Law The Ethics of Leviticus A Look Back and Ahead
9. 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 9.1 Miriam
Opposition on the Journey
Box 9.2 Excerpt from the Deir Alla Texts
Preparations for the Entry into the Land A Look Back and Ahead
10. THE END OF THE JOURNEY TO THE PROMISED LAND Deuteronomy
The Book of Deuteronomy
Box 10.1 The Shema
The Origins of Deuteronomy The Deuteronomic School The Character and Personality of Moses
Box 10.2 The Meanings of "Torah"
A Look Back and Ahead
11. JOSHUA AND THE CONQUEST OF THE LAND OF CANAAN Joshua
The Deuteronomistic History The Book of Joshua History and the Book of Joshua
Box 11.1 Shechem in Biblical Tradition
A Look Back and Ahead
12. THE EMERGENCE OF ISRAEL IN THE LAND OF CANAAN Judges and Ruth
The Book of Judges
Box 12.1 The Moabites and the Ammonites
Box 12.2 The Song of Deborah
Box 12.3 The Philistines
History and the Israelite Confederation The Book of Ruth A Look Back and Ahead
PART FOUR. KINGS AND PROPHETS
13. THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE MONARCHY 1 Samuel
The Books of Samuel
1 Samuel
Box 13.1 Positive Assessments of Saul
History A Look Back and Ahead
14. THE REIGN OF DAVID 2 Samuel, 1 Kings 1-2
2 Samuel
Box 14.1 David's Compositions
Box 14.2 Jerusalem
A Look Back and Ahead
15. THE REIGN OF SOLOMON 1 Kings 1-11 and Psalm 89
The Books of Kings
1 Kings 1-11
Box 15.1 Solomon in Later Tradition
The Ideology of the Davidic Monarchy
Box 15.2 The Royal Ideology in Later Traditions
A Look Back and Ahead
16. THE DIVIDED KINGDOMS OF ISRAEL AND JUDAH FROM THE LATE TENTH TO THE EARLY EIGHTH CENTURIES BCE 1 Kings 12-2 Kings 14
History
Box 16.1 Chronology of the Kings of Israel and Judah Late Tenth to Mid-Eighth Centuries BCE
Institutions and Society Prophets and Prophecy
Box 16.2 Prophets in Later Traditions
The Legends of Elijah and Elisha
Box 16.3 Elijah in Later Tradition
A Look Back and Ahead
17. THE NORTHERN KINGDOM OF ISRAEL IN THE EIGHTH CENTURY BCE 2 Kings 14-17, Amos, and Hosea
History Box 17.1 Chronology of the Eighth Century BCE Prophetic Books and "Classical" Prophecy Amos
Box 17.2 The Day of the Lord
Hosea
Box 17.3 Prophetic Attacks on Rituals
Box 17.4 Marriage in Ancient Israel
A Look Back and Ahead
18. 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
History
Box 18.1 Chronology of the Eighth and Seventh Centuries BCE
The Reign of Hezekiah Isaiah The Siege of Jerusalem in 734 BCE
Box 18.2 The Identity of Immanuel
The Assyrian Invasion of Judah in 701 BCE
Box 18.3 Sennacherib's Attack on Jerusalem (701 BCE) according to the Assyrian Annals
Box 18.4 Hezekiah's Tunnel
Micah A Look Back and Ahead
19. JUDAH IN THE SEVENTH AND EARLY SIXTH CENTURIES BCE: THE END OF ASSYRIAN DOMINATION AND THE FALL OF JERUSALEM 2 Kings 21-25, 2 Chronicles 33-36, Zephaniah, Nahum, Habakkuk, and Jeremiah
History
Box 19.1 Chronology of the Seventh and Early Sixth Centuries BCE
The Reign of Manasseh
Box 19.2 Ashurbanipal's Library
The Reign of Josiah
Box 19.3 Megiddo and Armageddon
The Last Kings of Judah The Fall of Jerusalem The Book of Zephaniah The Book of Nahum The Book of Habakkuk Jeremiah
Box 19.4 Jeremiah in Postbiblical Tradition
Box 19.5 Jeremiah and the History of Bookmaking
A Look Back and Ahead
PART FIVE. EXILE AND RETURN
20. AFTER THE FALL: JEWS IN JUDAH AND BABYLON Lamentations, Psalm 137, Obadiah, and Ezekiel
History The Book of Lamentations
Box 20.1 Acrostic Poems
The Jews in Babylonia Psalm 137
The Book of Obadiah Ezekiel
Box 20.2 Yahweh as Violent Spouse
Box 20.3 Gog of Magog
A Look Back and Ahead
21. RETURN FROM EXILE Ezra 1-2 and Isaiah 34-35 and 40-55
History
Box 21.1 Chronology of the Sixth Century BCE
The Priestly Source of the Pentateuch The Exilic Edition of the Deuteronomistic History Isaiah 40-55
Box 21.2 The Development of Monotheism
Box 21.3 Female Images of God
A Look Back and Ahead
PART SIX. RECONSTRUCTION, CONSOLIDATION, AND CHALLENGE
22. THE RESTORATION: JUDAH IN THE LATE SIXTH AND FIFTH CENTURIES BCE Ezra 3-10, Haggai, Zechariah, Isaiah 24-27 and 56-66, Joel, and Malachi
History
Box 22.1 Chronology of the Mid-Sixth to the Fourth Centuries BCE
Ezra 3-6
Box 22.2 Aramaic
The Book of Haggai Zechariah 1-8
Isaiah 56-66
The Books of Ezra and Nehemiah
Box 22.3 The Elephantine Papyri
Apocalyptic Literature The "Isaiah Apocalypse" (Isa 24-27)
Zechariah 9-14
The Book of Joel The Book of Malachi A Look Back and Ahead
23. THE CONSOLIDATION OF TRADITIONS 1-2 Chronicles, Psalms, and Proverbs
The Books of Chronicles
Box 23.1 Samaria and the Samaritans
The Book of Psalms
Box 23.2 Parallelism
Music in Ancient Israel Wisdom Literature The Book of Proverbs A Look Back and Ahead
24. DISSIDENTS, LOVERS, AND HEROES Job, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, Jonah, Esther, and Daniel
The Book of Job
Box 24.1 The Satan
Box 24.2 "I Know That My Redeemer Liveth"
Box 24.3 Behemoth and Leviathan
Box 24.4 Job's Wife and Daughters
The Book of Ecclesiastes The Development of Beliefs in Life after Death in Ancient Israel The Song of Solomon Historical Romances The Book of Jonah The Book of Esther
Box 24.5 The Festival of Purim
The Book of Daniel
Box 24.6 Angels and Demons
Box 24.7 "Son of Man"
A Look Back and Ahead
Appendix: The Apocryphal/Deuterocanonical Books
Revisions of and Additions to Biblical Books Historiographic Literature Historical Fiction Wisdom Literature Other Compositions
Chronology
General Bibliography
Glossary
Index

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  • Posted November 10, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Ehhh. Not anything exciting.

    As a Religious Studies and History major at WVU, I am using this as a textbook for my Old Testament Introduction class. I can honestly say, this is the most boring textbook I have yet had in my college career. The author does not write clearly on the concepts that are most important, but drones on and on about minutiae. I can hardly stand to read this text book!

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