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Introduction to the Historical Books: Strategies for Reading

, 2010
ISBN: 9780802828774


Digital list price: $17.99
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This fresh introduction to the Old Testament historical books explains the primary features of this literary genre and describes the books’ relationship to history. Biblical scholar Steven McKenzie discusses the larger units of the Bible that the books belong to–the “Deuteronomistic History” and the “Chronicler's Histor”y–and surveys the critical methods that scholars use to study them.

These introductory matters are followed by a chapter on each of the Historical Books—Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Kings, Chronicles, and Ezra-Nehemiah. Each of these chapters contains a detailed outline of the book’s contents and a thorough discussion of the issues peculiar to that book— its text, composition, relationship to history, special literary features, and theology.

Although his book is not principally a primer in the use of different methods, McKenzie does introduce readers to a range of critical approaches—textual, literary or source, tradition, canonical, intertextuality, and others— and demonstrates that the ultimate goal of these approaches is to determine how the biblical materials reflect or convey actual history as understood today. His explanation of the purpose of ancient history writing helps readers come to terms with apparent tensions between the Bible’s account and modern historical analyses.

Interspersed with various reading strategies and tips for reading and interpretation, McKenzie’s up-to-date, scholarly (yet not overly technical) guide to these rich documents at the intersection of history, literature, and religion will be ideal for undergraduates, seminary students, and Bible study groups alike.

In the Logos edition, this volume is enhanced by amazing functionality. Important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. 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.

Want similar titles? Check out Eerdmans Old Testament Studies Collection (16 vols.) for more!

  • Discusses the literary genres that the historical books represent
  • Provides a detailed outline and thorough discussion of the issues peculiar to each historical book
  • Introduces readers to a range of critical approaches
  • In Search of the Historical Books
  • The Works behind the Historical Books
  • Methods and Approaches to the Historical Books
  • Joshua
  • Judges
  • 1-2 Samuel
  • 1-2 Kings
  • 1-2 Chronicles
  • Ezra-Nehemiah
Steven McKenzie is an internationally respected authority on the historical books of the Old Testament. His book is written for the novice, and with great pedagogical skill it explains and illustrates the various scholarly methods used to interpret these biblical books. At the same time he clearly articulates the major themes and ideologies of the ancient biblical historians. Highly recommended as a textbook and study guide for this part of the Bible.

John Van Seters, professor emeritus, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

In this accessible volume Steven McKenzie brings fresh questions, insights, and scholarship to what have traditionally been understood as the historical books of the Bible, providing an effective introduction to complicated issues. He engages traditional scholarship with more recent advancements in textual analysis, material culture, literary analysis, historiography, and cultural studies. . . . Should be read by anyone who wants a sound initiation into study of the Bible.

—Alice W. Hunt, professor of Hebrew Bible, Chicago Theological Seminary

In full view of worldwide issues, McKenzie’s guide to the historical books of the Bible furnishes a sound introduction. He lays out fairly the boundaries of current popular discussion and allows readers the freedom of decision. This primer for undergraduate audiences will be a surprise for those to whom the discussion is new. It is lucid, appropriately brief, and challenging.

Baruch Halpern, professor of ancient history, classic and ancient Mediterranean studies, Pennsylvania State University

More than simply an introduction to the historical books, this compact and very readable volume also opens a window into biblical scholarship as currently practiced in leading seminaries and universities—methodologies used, issues debated, and recent trends. An extremely good work!

—J. Maxwell Miller, professor of emeritus, Emory University

  • Title: Introduction to the Historical Books: Strategies for Reading
  • Author: Steven L. McKenzie
  • Publisher: Eerdmans
  • Print Publication Date: 2010
  • Logos Release Date: 2014
  • Pages: 184
  • Era: era:Contemporary
  • Language: English
  • Resources: 1
  • Format: Digital › Logos Research Edition
  • Subjects: Bible. O.T. Historical books › Criticism, interpretation, etc; Bible. O.T. Historical books › Hermeneutics
  • ISBN: 9780802828774
  • Resource Type: Monograph
  • Metadata Last Updated: 2019-10-03T22:58:39Z

Steven L. Mckenzie is professor of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee.


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    Digital list price: $17.99
    Save $4.00 (22%)