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The Complete Bible Handbook: An Illustrated Companion

The Complete Bible Handbook: An Illustrated Companion

4.8 6
by John Bowker, Donald C. Kraus

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An accessible, inspirational guide that embraces the whole of the Judeo-Christian tradition. The most important book in Western history, the Bible has had a profound influence on the religious, intellectual, and cultural life of societies throughout the world. The Complete Bible Handbook draws on the latest scholarship to form the most comprehensive and accessible


An accessible, inspirational guide that embraces the whole of the Judeo-Christian tradition. The most important book in Western history, the Bible has had a profound influence on the religious, intellectual, and cultural life of societies throughout the world. The Complete Bible Handbook draws on the latest scholarship to form the most comprehensive and accessible guide to the Bible ever published. Every book of the Bible is outlined and explained, with the focus on key figures, events and teachings. Led by the respected scholar John Bowker, pioneer in the study of religions, The Complete Bible Handbook is an authoritative and inspirational guide written by a multidenominational team of experts that embraces both Jewish and Christian faiths. The commentaries are supported by more than 500 color illustrations, often casting new light on Bible stories. Location photographs and maps show biblical sites as they are today, and many important works of religious art are beautifully reproduced.

Editorial Reviews

This is a handsome, beautifully illustrated handbook that introduces each book of the Bible, giving its English title, Hebrew title, date, authorship, an outline of the contents, and key themes. More than 500 color illustrations include paintings, maps, location photographs, and artifacts. Facts about geography, economics, plants, birds, animals, and politics accompany the religious commentary. For example, there are pages on the Dead Sea Scrolls, the First Jewish Revolt, Masada, burial practices, and persecutions in New Testament times. A thorough reference section includes people and places in the Bible, a glossary, a bibliography including translations, and an index. A team of Jewish and Christian experts write the commentaries. This book is highly recommended for its balanced and comprehensive look at the Bible, from both the Jewish and Christian perspectives. KLIATT Codes: JSA—Recommended for junior and senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 1998, DK, 544p. illus. maps. bibliog. index., $24.95. Ages 13 to adult. Reviewer: Janet Julian; English Teacher, Retired, Grafton H.S., Grafton, M , November 2001 (Vol. 35, No. 6)
VOYA - Tracie Guy
This volume's title indicates its ambitious nature. Every book of the Bible (including Jewish Apocrypha) has its own entry, and there are supplementary entries on specific stories, theological concerns, history (Routes of the Exodus), or background (Gods and Goddesses of the Ancient Near East). In his introduction, Bowker presents a well-balanced summary of the Bible as a piece of literature and as scripture in our time and in history. However, he closes with suggestions on how to pray with the Bible, which undermines the purportedly academic nature of the book. The main body of the volume is the entries on the biblical books and supplementary history. It is a nearly impossible task to present whole books of the Bible or complex theological concepts in single two-page spreads, but Bowker and his contributors usually do a good job. Unfortunately, the copyeditors at DK seem to be more interested in the look of the pages than the content. Whole lines of text have dropped out of the entry on Genesis, and the entry for the Sermon on the Mount ends mid-word. One of the book's strengths is its abundance of pictures, but unfortunately there is less than an abundance of picture credits. Often the captions for the work only describe the scene, with no mention of the artist, the date, or the medium. The picture credits at the back of the volume simply list page numbers under the appropriate museum collections-difficult to use in determining the location/artist/date of a specific illustration. On sampling the index, most entries were found to be accurate and appropriate, with some exceptions (for "Abednego," the reader is directed to the book spread for Daniel, but that page mentions Abednego only as Daniel's companion, and not by name). The Glossary and the A-Z of Places and of People are handy features. This title would probably be most useful for church/Sunday School libraries. Glossary. Index. Illus. Photos. Charts. Biblio. Appendix.

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Meet the Author

John Bowker was Dean of Trinity College, Cambridge, from 1984 to 1991. He is currently a Fellow of Gresham College, London, and Honorary Canon of Canterbury Cathedral. He is also Adjunct Professor of Religion at North Carolina State University. Professor Bowker's many books include The Meanings of Death (which won the HarperCollins Religious Book Award in 1993), The Oxford Dictionary of World Religions, An Introduction to Jewish Interpretations of Scripture, and World Religions, published by DK. Donald C. Kraus, who served as US consultant for this book, has been Executive Editor, Bibles, at Oxford University Press since 1984. He was responsible for publishing two major translations (the RSV and NRSV) in addition to publishing such well-known study Bibles as the Catholic Study Bible, The Complete Parallel Bible, and the electronic version of The New Oxford Annotated Bible. He currently works with translation copyright holders and scholarly organizations to plan and publish Bible resources that will serve varying readerships, from beginning students to senior professors.

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Complete Bible Handbook: An Illustrated Companion 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Beachgirl53 More than 1 year ago
I purchased The Bible Handbook as I was recommended by my Grandson who is studying Theology at Princeton U.It is a very good reference and easy to read.I have found a lot of information that I did realize before reading it. I use it almost daily espically when a subject comes up that I need to find a more clearer answer for.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
walkside More than 1 year ago
I've been using this book as a supplement to my bible and it has been so helpful. I've learn a lot about the people, places and things associated with the bible.
SJSmith2222 More than 1 year ago
I have enjoyed this handbook more than any other since buying it. I have read information in it just for the information it shares, but mostly I have referred to it during my personal bible reading. The variety of details offered enrich my understanding and has brought my study alive with the background or additional information I receive. Best of all, it has caused me to hunger oftentimes for just a little more understanding, which has encouraged an even greater desire for study. Easy to read and to understand, easy to apply to Bible Study, pictures highlight the times and the reading.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I find this book very educating and supportive as a companion to the Bible. In my opinion it's a must have!