The Old Testament

The Old Testament : A Historical and Literary Introduction to the Hebrew Scriptures

3.8 (89 ratings by Goodreads)

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Lucidly written by leading biblical scholar Michael D. Coogan, this balanced, engaging, and up-to-date introduction to the Hebrew scriptures distills the best of current scholarship. Employing the narrative chronology of the Bible itself and the history of the ancient Near East as a framework, Coogan covers all the books of the Hebrew Bible, along with the deuterocanonical books included in the Bible used by many Christians. He treats every book of the canon with careful attention to its historical context, its particular genre, and its distinctive features. Dealing in detail with ancient Near Eastern sources and archaeological data, Coogan works from a primarily historical and critical methodology but also introduces students to literary analysis and other interpretive strategies, especially current ones. The Old Testament: A Historical and Literary Introduction to the Hebrew Scriptures is enhanced by a glossary, timelines, photos, illustrations, maps, and a four-color insert on Jerusalem in biblical times. Strategically placed boxes address issues that often puzzle readers of the Bible, provide models of interpretation of particular texts, and discuss their significance for Judaism and Christianity. Each chapter includes a preview and summary, key terms, questions for review and discussion, and suggestions for further reading. NEW TO THIS EDITION * Fully revised and updated throughout * Two new introductory chapters that provide students with the context necessary to analyze the biblical texts--one on the composition of the Old Testament and one on the history and geography of the ancient Near East and how it influenced the Hebrew Bible. * An updated Instructor's Manual and Testbank on CD and a Companion Website at featuring resources for both instructors and students * A FREE 6-month subscription to Oxford Biblical Studies Online (, edited by Michael D. Coogan, which provides students with unrivalled access to six essential Oxford Bibles; Concordances; the Oxford Bible Commentary; nearly 5,000 A-Z articles, from Abel to Zion, integrated with chapter-based scholarly works; hundreds of images and maps; and countless other internet more

Product details

  • Paperback | 562 pages
  • 190.5 x 231.14 x 25.4mm | 816.46g
  • Oxford University Press Australia
  • OUP Australia and New Zealand
  • Melbourne, Australia
  • English
  • 2nd Revised, Updated ed.
  • Plates, color; Figures; Frontispiece; Maps; Illustrations, black and white
  • 0195378407
  • 9780195378405
  • 633,749

Review quote

"OUP clearly has a winner on its hands with Michael Coogan's The Old Testament. It is excellent. . . . There is a liveliness to the prose that one doesn't often find in textbooks."--Carol A. Newsom, Candler School of Theology, Emory University"This refreshing, systematic study of Old Testament traditions creates its own space among the great introductions to the Hebrew Bible. . . . [A] tremendous achievement in biblical scholarship and a very significant contribution to education in biblical literature and religion."--Samuel Murrell, University of North Carolina-Wilmington"Coogan's book stands out from the crowd and, in my opinion, is the current best choice for a critical overview of the text coupled with a solid introduction to the Bible's Near Eastern background. Everyone who teaches the Old Testament is now indebted to Michael Coogan."--Ron Tappy, PittsburghTheological Seminary"This is an excellent introduction, which fills a significant need in the field. It is judicious, well-conceived and organized, up-to-date, and very clearly written."--Marc Zvi Brettler, Brandeis University"At last, a well-written, non-technical, up-to-date introduction to the Hebrew Bible that can serve as a textbook for undergraduates and as an entree into biblical studies for graduate students and adults."--Adele Berlin, University of Marylandshow more

Rating details

89 ratings
3.8 out of 5 stars
5 27% (24)
4 39% (35)
3 22% (20)
2 10% (9)
1 1% (1)
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