Invitation To The Apocrypha

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Overview

In this volume a leading biblical scholar helps readers rediscover the ancient books of the Old Testament Apocrypha. Invitation to the Apocrypha provides a clear, basic introduction to these important-but often neglected-ancient books.

Using the latest and best scholarship yet writing for those new to the Apocrypha, Daniel Harrington guides readers through the background, content, and message of each book. A distinctive feature of this primer is that it focuses throughout on the...

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Overview

In this volume a leading biblical scholar helps readers rediscover the ancient books of the Old Testament Apocrypha. Invitation to the Apocrypha provides a clear, basic introduction to these important-but often neglected-ancient books.

Using the latest and best scholarship yet writing for those new to the Apocrypha, Daniel Harrington guides readers through the background, content, and message of each book. A distinctive feature of this primer is that it focuses throughout on the problem of suffering, highlighting what each book of the Apocrypha says about this universal human experience.

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Editorial Reviews

National Catholic Reporter
Helpful for its intended audience of introductory college and seminary classes as well as readers and discussion groups who want to delve into these ancient Jewish texts of the Bible.
Interpretation
"Readers who seek for the first time to acquaint themselves with the Apocrypha will find this book to be a practical guide. Moreover, Harrington's concentration on the problem of suffering demonstrates the contemporary theological relevance of these writings, a feature which pastors and others concerned with the question of theodicy may find especially helpful. In general, this volume succeeds admirably in achieving its stated purpose: to invite readers for whom the Apocrypha are "closed books" seriously to examine these writings.... Whether one regards them as canonical or not, they are nevertheless an important and unjustly neglected portion of the rightful literary heritage of every Jew and Christian. Harrington's book proffers valuable guidance for any reader who wishes to recover that heritage."
Sewanee Theological Review
As one would expect from Harrington, the volume is clearly written, meticulously researched, and balanced and sensible in its critical judgments.... For anyone wishing to introduce beginning students to the Apocrypha this is just about as good a volume as one could ask. At every stage there are excellent bibliographies to guide those who would move on to further study.
The Bible Today
Harrington's careful scholarship and clear writing is evident throughout. Intended as a college or seminary introduction, anyone interested in the topic or in these very interesting but less known books will be richly rewarded in the reading.
Clergy Journal
"Daniel Harrington's Invitation to the Apocrypha furnishes a good and focused look at books of the Bible often either forgotten or neglected by many Protestants.... For biblical scholars or pastors (ideally these two specialists should meet in the pulpit) this book bridges the century or so between the testaments. Well researched and well written, Invitation to the Apocrypha should provide new insight to the Christian faith. It also helps Christians appreciate the theological soil from which the New Testament sprung. This book is an excellent piece of scholarship. It fills a much needed vacuum in the biblical education of most Christians."
New Theology Review
The clarity, sympathy, and scholarship with which Harrington presents the apocrypha will help move these important texts from the periphery more to the center of attention on the part of those who read the Bible. This book will become an appreciated addition to the bibliography of introductory courses in biblical studies at the undergraduate and seminary levels. This is a very fine work, providing the general reader with a needed and welcome invitation to the apocrypha.
Reviews in Religion & Theology (U.K.)
As ever, Harrington writes clearly. The ground to be shown is vast. He gives succinct suggestions for further study in each section.... This is an ideal core textbook for undergraduate courses on the Apocrypha. Its very existence should encourage more people to include these texts in their syllabus, and that would be a very good thing.
Theology
"Any attempt to bring these heterogeneous writings to the attention of a wider audience is most welcome and Daniel Harrington's "invitation" is eminently readable and his guidance sound.... This introduction fulfills excellently what it sets out to do."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802846334
  • Publisher: Eerdmans, William B. Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 9/1/1999
  • Pages: 232
  • Product dimensions: 0.53 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 9.00 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface
1 Reading the Old Testament Apocrypha 1
2 Tobit: We Are Family 10
3 Judith: By the Hand of a Woman 27
4 The Additions to Esther: These Things Have Come from God 44
5 The Wisdom of Solomon: Immortality, Wisdom, and History 55
6 Ecclesiasticus/Sirach: Fear of the Lord 78
7 Baruch: Sin, Exile, Repentance, and Return 92
8 The Letter of Jeremiah: The Folly of Idolatry 103
9 The Additions to Daniel: Who Is the Living God? 109
10 1 Maccabees: God's Dynasty 122
11 2 Maccabees: God's Temple 137
12 1 Esdras: Rebuilding the People of God 152
13 The Prayer of Manasseh: The Prayer of the Repentant Sinner 166
14 Psalm 151: God's Care for David 170
15 3 Maccabees: Israel in Crisis and the Divine Deliverer 173
16 2 Esdras: Prophecies and Visions of Ezra 185
17 4 Maccabees: The Sovereignty of Devout Reason 207
Index of Names and Subjects 219
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