In this third edition, John J. Collins’s Introduction to the Hebrew Bible has been updated with a brand-new index as well as new maps and images, laid out in a refreshed and innovative format. Already one of the most reliable and widely adopted critical textbooks at undergraduate and graduate levels alike, the new and improved features released in the third edition will cement its place as the one of the best-selling textbooks of its kind. Enriched by decades of classroom teaching, it is aimed explicitly at motivated students, regardless of their previous exposure to the Bible or faith commitments. Collins proceeds through the canon of the Old Testament and the Apocrypha, judiciously presenting the current state of historical, archeological, and literary understandings of the biblical text, and engaging the student in questions of significance and interpretation for the contemporary world.
The approach is ecumenical, in the sense that it seeks not to impose any particular theological perspective but to provide information and raise questions that should be relevant to any student in any context. The third edition is presented in a new and engaging format with new maps and images. An index has been added to the volume for the first time.
“I only want to make the point that we do not have one perfect copy of the original text, if such a thing ever existed. We only have copies made centuries after the books were originally composed, and these copies often differ among themselves.” (Page 10)
“The Bible is a product of history. It took shape over time, and its content and even its wording changed in the process. In this it is no different from any other book, except that the Bible is really a collection of books, and its composition and transmission is spread over an exceptionally long period of time.” (Page 10)
“When the stories are read as Scripture, they become more problematic because of a common but ill-founded assumption that all Scripture should be edifying. The stories of Genesis are often challenging and stimulating, but they seldom if ever propose simple models to be imitated.” (Page 93)
“While the Torah incorporates material from various centuries, it is increasingly viewed as a product of the sixth century b.c.e. or later. There is then a gap of several hundred years between the literature and the events it describes.” (Pages 13–15)
“Theoretical monotheism, the belief that only one god exists, was rare in the ancient world, and became possible only with the rise of Greek philosophy.” (Page 37)
One of the things I appreciate about Collins the most is his attention to passages in the Hebrew Bible that seem to sanction violence. These are always troubling for students in this course, and Collins does an excellent job of identifying the problems and offering possible solutions. These insights often provide great ways for our classroom discussions to begin.
—Brandon Grafius, Ecumenical Theological Seminary
John Collins’s introduction is a timely and welcome contribution, one based on his own extensive research and on his many years of teaching the subject. The reader will find not only a careful presentation of the biblical material but also a judicious assessment of scholarship on it. This book will be a valuable tool for classroom use, and the bibliographies appended to each chapter will help the student who wishes to pursue a topic in greater detail.
—James C. VanderKam, University of Notre Dame
Drawing on years of teaching in seminary and university, and of addressing Christian and Jewish popular audiences, Collins has produced a clear, concise, and up-to-date introduction to the Old Testament including the deuterocanonical books. Wisely following the canonical order of books (slightly adapted), he describes each book’s contents, critical issues, and religious meaning. Collins situates each biblical book squarely in its historical setting, and deals honestly with the problems as well as the bounty of the Bible. A special bonus is his masterful coverage of the often-slighted Second Temple literature. Its seriousness, detail, and sophistication set this textbook apan and make it an excellent resource for college and seminary courses, and for pastors and educated laity.
—Richard J. Clifford, SJ I Boston College School of Theology and Ministry
The Logos edition of Introduction to the Hebrew Bible, 3rd ed. equips you for better study with cutting-edge functionality and features. Whether you are performing Bible word studies, preparing a sermon, or researching and writing a paper, Logos Bible Software gives you the tools you need to use your digital library effectively and efficiently by searching for verses, finding Scripture references and citations instantly. Additionally, important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, commentaries, theology texts, and other resources in your library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. With most Logos resources, you can take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.