I would certainly recommend this work not only for adult bible discussion groups, but also as a kind of “Cliff Notes” version of an academic Introduction to the Bible or to either Testament.
Catholic Books Review
Dianne Bergant’s volume on Scripture is a model of the undergraduate introductory text. It synthesizes complex material clearly and concisely, and provides examples that connect to students’ experience. . . . In section one, she does a masterful job of providing a historical overview of key periods and figures, a synthesis of central dimensions of the geography and culture, a sketch of some of the central images of God and understandings of covenant and worship, and a discussion of inspiration and revelation.
The publishers of this new series of studies from Collegeville, which they hope will create and sustain the passion of a new generation of theologians and church leaders, are indeed to be congratulated. Bergant’s contribution should be a very useful source indeed.
Review of Biblical Literature
[T]his helpful volume . . . addresses fundamental questions about the nature of the Bible, the Catholic conviction that it is ‘God’s Word in human words,’ the history of Israel, of Jesus and the early community from which it emerges, the various types of literature in the Bible, and the various methods and issues in sound interpretation of the Scriptures.
The Bible Today
In this introduction to the Bible, Dianne Bergant provides a refreshing and accessible account of what the Bible is, the history of the Bible’s composition and reception, the history it reflects, its central themes, and the manifold ways it is legitimately read from author-centered, text-centered, or reader-centered perspectives. While written in a Catholic ethos, readers across the ecumenical spectrum will profit deeply from the wisdom embodied on every page.
Ralph W. Klein, Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago