BN.com Gift Guide

Sin: A History

Paperback (Print)
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $10.95
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 50%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (11) from $10.95   
  • New (9) from $17.53   
  • Used (2) from $10.95   

Overview

In this sensitive, imaginative, and original work, Gary A. Anderson shows how changing conceptions of sin and forgiveness lay at the very heart of the biblical tradition. Spanning nearly two thousand years, the book brilliantly demonstrates how sin, once conceived of as a physical burden, becomes, over time, eclipsed by economic metaphors. These changing notions profoundly shaped both Jewish and Christian practices, provided a spur for the Protestant Reformation, and created a legacy that endures until today.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
In this accessible book, Anderson (theology, Univ. of Notre Dame) argues that human understanding of the nature of sin, and thus the nature of atonement (divine-human reconciliation), underwent an important change during the period in which the Bible was written. While the earlier biblical writers understood sin primarily as a burden of the sinner, later biblical and postbiblical writers understood it primarily as a debt the sinner owed. Virtue became correspondingly associated with merit. This shift in metaphor had a far-reaching effect upon subsequent doctrine. In the course of his argument, Anderson offers fresh perspectives on such foundational works as Saint Anselm's Cur Deus Homo? and Gustaf Aulén's Christus Victor. VERDICT This will appeal to readers at the undergraduate level and beyond who seek a close understanding of the doctrines of sin and atonement. Recommended for libraries with large collections in biblical or theological studies.—Lisa Richmond, Wheaton Coll. Lib., IL
Commonweal
“Wonderful and surprising . . . a significant contribution both to scriptural interpretation and to theology proper, and an object lesson in how to do both well. . . . [Anderson] brings the traditions he interprets alive and shows how Christianity and Judaism each provides a thread in a single figural fabric.”—Commonweal
Christian Century

“Astonishing . . . compelling . . . . This book merits wide and sustained attention . . . . There are few books available that offer as many generative insights as this one.”--Walter Brueggemann, Christian Century

— Walter Brueggemann

Commentary

“Impressive . . . powerfully reasoned and compelling.”--Peter Lopatin, Commentary

— Peter Lopatin

Choice
“Scholarship at its best . . . well-argued insights and lively prose . . . . Highly recommended.”—Choice
Catholic Books Review

"Anderson''s clear concise writing and solid line of argumentation on the history of sin as a debt is to be highly commended to students, scholars, and libraries as a valuable and insightful addition."--Theodore James Whapham, Catholic Books Review

— Theodore James Whapham

Colloquium

"One of those rare volumes that charts new territory, that speaks new wisdom . . . fascinating . . . [and] as gripping as a detective novel."—Nicola Hoggard Creegan, Colloquium

— Nicola Hoggard Creegan

Robert Louis Wilken
“In this highly original study, Gary Anderson draws on a cornucopia of sources (biblical, patristic, rabbinic) to show how different metaphors, e.g. a weight on one's back or a debt to be paid, have shaped the development of Jewish and Christian understandings of sin. Though Anderson ranges far and wide, he never loses sight of the big picture.”—Robert Louis Wilken, University of Virginia
John J. Collins
“Anderson is developing a new approach to biblical theology, by probing the root metaphors for theological ideas, and tracing their interpretation in postbiblical Judaism and Christianity. This book is important not only for the history of sin, but also for the central theological idea of atonement. An important and original book.”—John J. Collins, Holmes Professor of Old Testament, Yale University
Christian Century - Walter Brueggemann
“Astonishing . . . compelling . . . . This book merits wide and sustained attention . . . . There are few books available that offer as many generative insights as this one.”—Walter Brueggemann, Christian Century
Commentary - Peter Lopatin
“Impressive . . . powerfully reasoned and compelling.”—Peter Lopatin, Commentary
Catholic Books Review - Theodore James Whapham
"Anderson's clear concise writing and solid line of argumentation on the history of sin as a debt is to be highly commended to students, scholars, and libraries as a valuable and insightful addition."—Theodore James Whapham, Catholic Books Review
Colloquium - Nicola Hoggard Creegan
"One of those rare volumes that charts new territory, that speaks new wisdom . . . fascinating . . . [and] as gripping as a detective novel."—Nicola Hoggard Creegan, Colloquium
Restoration Quarterly
"This slender volume, bearing the author's wide learning with a rare grace, addresses a significant question in Jewish and Christian thought, one with far-reaching implications for theology, ethics, and the church's work. . . . [Anderson's] work offers a learned, and in many ways spiritually liberating, alternative to both evangelical and liberal views of sin and justification while taking human obligation seriously."—Restoration Quarterly
The Journal of Religion - Jeffrey Stackert
"Anderson is entirely successful in demonstrating the significance of metaphor in shaping thoughts and actions in relation to sin and especially the importance of the debt metaphor in early Judaism and Christianity. Equally impressive in this book is the way that Anderson takes complex issues and presents them in a way that is entirely accessible to a more general audience. Such an achievement is exceedingly rare in biblical and Second Temple studies. . . . In sum, Sin: A History is erudite, informative, and accessible."—Jeffrey Stackert, The Journal of Religion
Theological Studies - James F. Keenan
"At times Anderson's insights are breathtaking . . . This book might—and should—have enormous impact on theology."—James F. Keenan, Theological Studies
Choice
“Scholarship at its best . . . well-argued insights and lively prose . . . . Highly recommended.”—Choice
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300168099
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publication date: 8/31/2010
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 803,568
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Gary A. Anderson is professor of Old Testament/Hebrew Bible in the Department of Theology at the University of Notre Dame.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Preface ix

Abbreviations xiii

Part 1 Introducing the problem

Chapter 1 What is a Sin? 3

Chapter 2 A Burden to be Borne 15

Chapter 3 A Debt to be Repaid 27

Part 2 making payment on one's debt

Chapter 4 Redemption and the Satisfaction of Debts 43

Chapter 5 Ancient Creditors, Bound Laborers, and the Sanctity of the Land 55

Chapter 6 Lengthening the Term of Debt 75

Chapter 7 Loans and the Rabbinic Sages 95

Chapter 8 Early Christian Thinking on the Atonement 111

Part 3 balancing debts with virtue

Chapter 9 Redeem Your Sins with Alms 135

Chapter 10 Salvation by Works? 152

Chapter 11 A Treasury in Heaven 164

Chapter 12 Why God Became Man 189

Notes 203

General Index 237

Index of Ancient Sources 244

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)