The Cambridge Companion to the Bible / Edition 2

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Overview

The Cambridge Companion to the Bible, Second Edition focuses on the ever-changing social and cultural contexts in which the biblical authors and their original readers lived. The authors of the first edition were chosen for their internationally recognized expertise in their respective fields: the history and literature of Israel; postbiblical Judaism; biblical archaeology; and the origins and early literature of Christianity. In this second edition, all of their chapters have been updated and thoroughly revised, with a view towards better investigating the social histories embedded in the biblical texts and incorporating the most recent archaeological discoveries from the Ancient Near East and Hellenistic worlds.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

This updated second edition of the well-received 1997 reference work is beautifully illustrated with maps, tables, informative sidebars, and photographs and will appeal to many readers on that basis alone. Following a thorough introduction with its own bibliographical and biographical essay, various contributing biblical scholars present the text in three parts: "The World of the Hebrew Bible"; "Jewish Responses to Greek and Roman Cultures, 322 B.C.E. to 200 C.E."; and "The Formation of Christian Communities." Each part is followed by a lengthy bibliographical essay that interested readers will find valuable. Stressing the evidence not only of the biblical text itself but also of archaeology, history, language, literary studies, and culture, this is an eminently scholarly work-but it never gets beyond the comprehension level of the nonspecialist reader. It will not please biblical inerrantists and has nothing to say that specifically supports the doctrine of one or another church. However, many other readers, Christian or not, will find it very informative, up-to-date, and useful. Recommended for all public and academic libraries.
—James F. DeRoche

From the Publisher
"The Cambridge Companion to the Bible was a remarkable contribution when it was first released in 1997, which only makes the achievements of this thoroughly updated Second Edition all the more impressive. The abundance of stunning new photos from Todd Bolen, the additional sidebars of useful, contextualized information, the new maps in each section, and the revised bibliographies and main text all make the Second Edition an essential book for serious students, clergy, and general readers alike." —Desmond Tutu, Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town

'This resource book offered by Cambridge University Press is a rich, accessible, and reliable reference. It provides state-of-the-art scholarship that connects each of the Biblical books to its socio-historical context. Its offer of 'social history' is broad and deep. Such a perspective is crucial in the current 'battle for the Bible,' and the work here is exceedingly well done. Its publication will immediately make it a primary reference for serious students of the Bible." —-Walter Brueggemann, Columbia Theological Seminary

"A clear, up-to-date and authoritative account of the Bible by the leaders of the field, the new edition of the Cambridge Companion defines the context in which the Bible is read for history, literature, religion and theology, the best path into Scripture now in print." —Jacob Neusner, Bard College

“An excellent update of a masterful work! The Cambridge Companion to the Bible, Second Edition is packed with indispensable information for understanding the world's best-selling and most influential book. It somehow manages to be both studious and exhilarating, thorough yet remarkably concise. No other Bible companion is as competently informed by modern archaeological research or by historical analysis of the societies for which the biblical writings were produced. The main text, trustworthy and illuminating in its own right, is supplemented by more than 250 sidebars that render the volume ripe for browsing and provide a wealth of information on intriguing topics. As a bonus, the Companion also treats the significant apocryphal works that did not come to be numbered among the "sacred sixty-six" books of the Christian canon but that are revealing of Jewish and Christian religion nevertheless.” —Mark Allan Powell, Trinity Lutheran Seminary, author of Loving Jesus

"... within the paradigm of critical scholarship on the Bible adopted by the editors, this work constitutes a high water mark." —Bryn Mawr Classical Review

"...this revised edition is a magnificent teaching and learning tool, one of the best introductory companions to the Bible on the market." —Casimir Bernas, Holy Trinity Abbey: Religious Studies Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521869973
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 10/31/2007
  • Edition description: Revised
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 734
  • Product dimensions: 7.99 (w) x 9.96 (h) x 1.81 (d)

Meet the Author

Bruce D. Chilton is Bernard Iddings Bell Professor of Religion at Bard College. His most recent books include Rabbi Jesus: An Intimate Biography (2000), Redeeming Time: The Wisdom of Ancient Jewish and Christian Festal Calendars (2002), Rabbi Paul: An Intellectual Biography (2004), and Mary Magdalene: A Biography (2005).

Howard Clark Kee is William Goodwin Aurelio Professor of Biblical Studies, Emeritus, at Boston University. He is the author of more than twenty books, including the first edition of The Cambridge Companion to the Bible, Beginnings of Christianity: Introduction to the New Testament (2005), Understanding the New Testament (5th ed.), and Jesus in History (3rd ed.).

Eric M. Meyers is Professor of Religious Studies at Duke University. He has authored or co-authored nine books, edited many others, and has published widely in the fields of Hebrew Bible, biblical archaeology, and Second Temple Judaism. He also served as editor in chief of the five-volume work, The Oxford Encyclopedia of Archaeology in the Near East (1997).

John Rogerson is Professor of Biblical Studies at the University of Sheffield. He is the author of The Atlas of the Bible (1984), The Study and Use of the Bible, Volume 2 (1988), The Bible: A Cultural Atlas for Young Children (1993), and coauthor of The Old Testament World (1989).

Amy-Jill Levine is E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Professor of New Testament Studies at Vanderbilt University. Her numerous publications address Christian Origins, Jewish-Christian Relations, and Sexuality, Gender, and the Bible. Her current projects include the editing of the fourteen-volume series, The Feminist Companions to the New Testament and Early Christian Writing.

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Table of Contents

The concept of God's people; Bibliographic essay; Part I. The Old Testament World: 1. The world of the ancestors; 2. The world of Israel's 'historians'; 3. The world of Israel's prophets; 4. The world of Israel's worship; 5. The world of Israel's sages and poets; 6. The world of apocalyptic; Bibliographical essay; Part II. Jewish Responses to Greco-Roman Culture: 1. Preservation and adaptation: the encounter with Hellenism; 2. Antiochus IV and the Maccabean Crisis; 3. Roman invasion and Jewish response; 4. Herod the Great; 5. Herod's heirs; 6. Roman rule in the first century C.E.; 7. Mid-first-century crises; 8. The Jewish world after the fall of Jerusalem; Bibliographical essay; Part III. The Formation of the Christian Community: 1. Jesus and the covenant; 2. Paul: the Jesus movement in the Roman world; 3. Christianity responds to formative Judaism; 4. Christianity responds to Roman culture and imperial policy; 5. Diversity in the church; 6. Attempts to unify faith and practice; Bibliographical essay.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2010

    Excellent resource

    As a college student I have found all of the Cambridge Companions to be useful sources of information. This compendium is a wonderful source because it contains such a broad expanse of knowledge and essays. Information is given in a historical context which is invaluable in biblical studies. The analysis provided is insightful and educational as well as scholarly. I often cite them in my papers. Most images are black and white, but color is included as well.

    The book is divided into three sections: Israel and its early history (and the world of the Hebrew Bible); the period just before, during and just after Christ's arrival (this section covers the Jewish response to the Greek and Roman cultures); the formation of Christian communities (the early Christian church).

    What I like best about this particular volume, in addition to the fact that it covers such broad time frame, is that sidebars cover contextual subjects such as, "The Greek Hero" and "The Babylonian Job." These put the writers of the Bible (and other texts of that time period) squarely into the time frame in which they lived and allow the reader to gain insight into how they viewed their mission.

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