This concise introduction provides a clear and helpful guide to the complex field of modern biblical studies. In the first section, it addresses questions regarding inspiration, canon and authority, while also delving into the historical approaches to the Bible regarding sources, content and intentions. The historical approaches conclude with a discussion of the text of the Bible, with topics focusing on the transmission of manuscripts and the art of translation. Within this context, Moyise uses comparative literature to examine such topics as ancient flood stories and Egyptian psalms.
In the second section, the book tackles questions about how we got the Bible and why modern versions of the Bible differ among themselves. The chapter on literary criticism considers how biblical texts 'speak' to the reader and influences his or her attitudes, emotions and behavior. It addresses such concerns as gender, ethnicity and social location and how these affect what people regard as important and hence how they interpret the Bible. The book concludes with a variety of theological approaches as it looks at different approaches to biblical interpretation.