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Introduction to the Bible: Sacred Texts and Imperial Contexts / Edition 1

Introduction to the Bible: Sacred Texts and Imperial Contexts / Edition 1

by David M. Carr
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This groundbreaking introduction to the Bible explores its emergence and development in the context of world history. It particularly focuses on the role of a number of empires in the formation of the biblical canon.

In addition to its comprehensive coverage, this book also integrates in an accessible way the most up-to-date work in the field. It traces the development of the Bible through its interaction with the empires of the time, from the Mesopotamian, Egyptian, Assyrian, Babylonian, Persian, and Hellenistic empires, through to the Roman dominion. Topics explored include the formation of the Pentateuch, the development of the earliest Old Testament stories, the historical study of the gospel traditions surrounding Jesus; the influence of Roman rule in the provinces where Paul spent much of his ministry; and the interpretation of the biblical texts and their use by different faith communities. Packed throughout with reader-friendly features including study questions, bibliographies, timelines, and illustrations and photos, this is a balanced and informed introduction.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 2901405167375
Publisher: Wiley
Publication date: 03/16/2010
Edition description: NE
Pages: 404
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 1.25(h) x 9.00(d)

About the Author

DAVID M. CARR is Professor of Old Testament/Hebrew Bible at Union Theological Seminary in New York. His previous books include Reading the Fractures of Genesis: Historical and Literary Approaches (1996);The Erotic Word: Sexuality, Spirituality and the Bible (2003); and Writing on the Tablet of the Heart: Origins of Scripture and Literature (2005).

COLLEEN M. CONWAY is Professor of Religious Studies at Seton Hall University, South Orange, New Jersey. Her books include Men and Women in the Fourth Gospel: Gender and Johannine Characterization (1999) and Behold the Man: Jesus and Greco Roman Masculinity (2008).

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Table of Contents

List of Figures vii

List of Maps ix

List of Boxes x

Preface xiv

Acknowledgments xvi

List of Abbreviations xviii

Overview of the Historical Period xix

Timeline xx

Prologue: Orientation to Multiple Bibles and Multiple Translations 1

1 Studying the Bible in Its Ancient Context(s) 15

2 The Emergence of Ancient Israel and Its First Oral Traditions 33

3 Echoes of Empire in Monarchal Israel 53

4 Narrative and Prophecy amidst the Rise and Fall of the Northern Kingdom 85

5 Torah and Other Texts Written in the Wake of the Assyrian Empire 119

6 Bible for Exiles: Promise and Story in the Neo-Babylonian Empire 147

7 Persian Empire and the Emergence of a Temple-Centered Jewish Community 181

8 Hellenistic Empires and the Formation of the Hebrew Bible 205

9 Studying the New Testament in Its Ancient Context 221

10 Paul and his Letters in the Roman Colonial Context 241

11 Mark's Story of Jesus in the Midst of Roman Retribution 269

12 The Gospel of Matthew: Defining Community in the Wake of Destruction 289

13 Negotiating the Empire in Luke-Acts 307

14 The Gospel of John and the Johannine Epistles: Turning Inward as a Strategy for Life in the Empire 327

15 Variations on Responses to Empire in other New Testament Writings 345

Epilogue: The Final Formation of the Jewish and Christian Bibles 363

Glossary 369

Index 379

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"Carr and Conway have broken free from the typical Introduction to the Bible by framing their readable prose around the key effect of empire(s) on the development of biblical traditions. While not ignoring fundamental issues such as authorship, genre, and dating, their unique approach tells a compelling story of crucial periods in canonical history. Helpful sidebars provide readers with key texts as well as comments on content and method, and every chapter is richly illustrated with pictures, photographs, and maps. The whole approach is oriented towards a pedagogy in which students are invited into the conversation through overviews, exercises and reflection questions for each chapter. Students will find this book intellectually engaging and a pleasure to read. Instructors will be pleased to have a creative textbook as a partner in their teaching."
Richard S Ascough, Queen’s University, Canada

“As reliable as Carr and Conway are in their guidance to the Bible and to biblical scholarship, they are also not afraid to push at the cutting edge. Combine that fearlessness with a genuine concern for and knowledge of how students actually learn, and you’ve got a truly outstanding textbook.”
Tod Linafelt, Georgetown University

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