Absolute Beginner's Guide to the Bible

Absolute Beginner's Guide to the Bible

By: Tom Head (author)Paperback

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The Absolute Beginner's Guide to the Bible introduces you to the bestselling and most influential book ever published. The Bible is the core document of Western civilization, the pinnacle of world literature, and the backbone of three major world religions. To know the Bible is to know the world--and, many say, to know much more than the world. Yet those interested in learning more about this important work discover a surprising paradox: It is both widely discussed and widely ignored. The Bible is a formidable book, and many people love it from a comfortable distance but don't want to get too close. The Absolute Beginner's Guide to the Bible will help you close that distance and experience the Bible as it should be experienced, as a vibrant, living, and vital collection of texts that are just as inspiring and full of life today as they were thousands of years ago. Get ready to feel like an expert right away. Inside TheAbsolute Beginner's Guide to the Bible, you'll learn how to: * Find a translation or study Bible that's perfect for you.* Interpret difficult Bible passages, taking into account their literary features and historical context.* Appreciate the Bible's breadth. As a literary work, it includes poetry, philosophy, folk tales, history, theology, religious law, and even erotica.* Understand the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) as the deeply Jewish document that it is--and learn the approaches that rabbis have traditionally used to interpret scripture.* Recognize the courageous missionary spirit behind the New Testament, a collection of documents, secret and illegal at the time, that would later shape the faith of billions.

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About Author

By day, Tom Head is a freelance nonfiction writer best known for his ability to turn nonexperts into experts. By night, he's a Ph.D. candidate in philosophy and religion at Edith Cowan University. A lifelong student of the Bible with years of formal training in theology, hermeneutics, and biblical languages, he is primarily interested in giving people the tools to read the Bible with confidence, regardless of their academic background or personal beliefs. "Religion can be intimidating," Tom explains, "mainly because people grow up hearing that they're not good enough to ask the kinds of questions religion asks. But the secret is that nobody's 'good enough'; whenever we start talking about God, the universe, and the meaning of llife, we're all absolute beginners." His 22 books includeConversations with Carl Sagan (University Press of Mississippi),Possessions and Exorcisms: Fact or Fiction? (Greenhaven Press), andFreedom of Religion (Facts on File). He also maintains www.absolutebible.com, a site dedicated to serving the needs of this book's readers.


Introduction. Quick Start: How to Find a Specific Bible Book. How This Book Is Organized. Special Elements Used in This Book. I. AN INTRODUCTION TO THE BIBLE. 1. Getting to Know the Bible. The Greatest Story Never Told Obstacles to Reading the Bible 2. Where Did the Bible Come From? Disputed Questions The Story of the Hebrew Bible Literature of the Early Christian Church Councils and Canons The Public Bible Theology Literacy Technology 3. How to Read the Bible. Three Ways of Looking at the Bible As Holy Scripture As History As Literature Lost in Translations The King James Version (1611) The Douay-Rheims Bible (1609) The New International Version (1984) The Jewish Publication Society Tanakh (1985) The New Revised Standard Version (1989) The New American Bible (1990) The New Living Translation (1996) II. THE BOOK OF MOSES. 4. The Meaning of Torah in Judaism. Torah Study in Judaism The Plain Meaning (Peshat) The Hinted Meaning (Remez) The Deeper Meaning (Derash) The Secret Meaning (Sod) The Other Torah Two Essential Prayers from the Torah The Shema The Song of Miriam 5. Who Wrote the Torah? The Books of Moses Four Groups of Authors 6. The Creation and the Flood. And the Earth Was Without Form In the Garden of Eden 40 Days and 40 Nights 7. Rise of the Nations. Races and Nations in the Bible Faith of the Fathers A Man Called Israel From Canaan to Egypt 8. From Slavery to the Promised Land. Under Pharaoh's Rule Let My People Go 10 Plagues and a Holiday Parting the Waters The 613 Commandments The Covenant Code (Exodus 20:22-23:33) The Ritual Decalogue (Exodus 34:1-26) The Priestly Collection (Leviticus 1:1-16:34, 27:1-34) The Holiness Code (Leviticus 17:1-26:46) The Book of the Law (Deuteronomy 12:1-26:15) 40 Years in the Wilderness III. PROPHETS AND KINGS. 9. Covenants Broken and Covenants Renewed. A Chosen People The Deuteronomistic Cycle 10. Conquests and Chaos. This Land Is My Land Here Come the Judges Ehud the Benjaminite (3:15-4:1) Deborah and Barak (4:4-5:31) Jephthah the Outlaw (11:1-12:7) Samson the Nazirite (13-16) Horrors of Anarchy 11. The Era of Kings. The United Kingdom (1020-920 B.C.) Saul and the Rise of David The Legacy of David Two Kingdoms By the Rivers of Babylon 12. The Era of Prophecy. The Second History Isaiah: The Great Prophet Jeremiah: The Weeping Prophet Ezekiel: The Visionary Prophet Daniel: The Prophet-Hero The 12 "Minor" Prophets Hosea: The Marrying Prophet Joel: The Locust Prophet Amos: The Earthquake Prophet Obadiah: The Avenging Prophet Jonah: The Reluctant Prophet Micah: The Perceptive Prophet Nahum: The Triumphant Prophet Habakkuk: The Pleading Prophet Zephaniah: The Fiery Prophet Haggai: The Temple Prophet Zechariah: The Hopeful Prophet Malachi: The Justifying Prophet 13. Ruth and Esther. The Moabite Widow Queen Takes Knight IV. POETRY AND WISDOM LITERATURE. 14. Biblical Poetry and Wisdom Literature. The Books of Wisdom The Biblical Voice 15. Psalms and Proverbs. Hymns of Ancient Israel Hymns of Praise Psalms of Trust Thanksgiving Psalms Laments Royal Psalms Wisdom Psalms Liturgical Psalms Historical Psalms Speaking of Wisdom 16. Mortal Questions. And You Think You've Got Problems? The Problem of Evil Biblical Existentialism Sex and the Single Bible V. BEYOND THE BIBLE. 17. The Books of Tradition. Fired from the Canons The Incredible Shrinking Bible 18. Nowhere in the Bible. The Second Place Finish Lost Books of the Bible 10 Important Extrabiblical Texts Five Books Connected to the Hebrew Bible Five Books Connected to the New Testament 19. The Dead Sea Scrolls. 11 Caves New Life by the Dead Sea VI. THE LIFE OF CHRIST. 20. The Search for the Historical Jesus. Jesus, We Hardly Knew Ye Jesus in the Bible Roman Historians on the Life of Jesus 21. Before He Was Christ. Away in a Manger The Missing Years Jesus and the Holy Grail The Prophet Isa 22. The Good Shepherd. The Power and the Glory The Good News The Greatest Commandment (Matthew 7:12 and 22:36-38; Luke 10:26-28) The Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:1-7:27; Luke 6:17-49) The Parables 23. This Is My Body. Into Jerusalem Stations of the Cross He Is Risen VII. THE NEW COVENANT. 24. The First Christians. The Magnificent 12 Simon Peter, the First Pope Andrew, the First Patriarch of Constantinople James the Great John the Beloved Philip the Serpent-Slayer Bartholomew the Flayed Thomas the Doubter Matthew the Tax Collector James, Brother of Jesus Jude Thaddaeus, Patron Saint of Lost Causes Simon the Zealot Matthias the Chosen That's the Spirit 25. A New Religion. The Spread of Christianity The Apostle Paul 26. Letters of the Early Church. Message in a Bible How to Write an Epistle The Pauline Epistles Romans 1 Corinthians 2 Corinthians Galatians Ephesians Philippians Colossians 1 Thessalonians 2 Thessalonians 1 Timothy 2 Timothy Titus Philemon The Catholic Epistles Hebrews James 1 Peter 2 Peter 1 John 2 John 3 John Jude 27. The End of the World. Signs and Visions Missed It By That Much VIII. APPENDIXES. A. Biblical Phrases We Use Every Day. A Man After His Own Heart A Still, Small Voice By the Skin of My Teeth The Land of the Living Out of the Mouths of Babes The Apple of Your Eye At Wit's End The Powers That Be In the Twinkling of an Eye A Labor of Love Fight the Good Fight Stranger in a Strange Land B. Great Quotations from the Bible. On God On Love On the Meaning of Life C. 25 Great Bible Websites. Online Bibles and General Reference Sites The Bible @ Beliefnet The Bible Gateway BibleMaster Biblenotes Bible Resource Center Biblical Studies on the Web The Blue Letter Bible The New Testament Gateway StudyLight The Unbound Bible Jewish Bible Study Resources Project Genesis Tanach Study Center Virtual Beit Midrash Quizzes and Entertainment Bible Games Bible Quizzes The Brick Testament Organizations The American Bible Society Catholic Biblical Federation The Society for Biblical Literature Miscellaneous Bible Query The Christian Classics Ethereal Library Daily Bible Reading Early Christian Writings Early Jewish Writings The New Media Bible The Skeptic's Annotated Bible D. 12 Good Books Based on the Good Book. Jesus Reimagined Nobel Endeavors Women of the Hebrew Bible Men of the Hebrew Bible E. 12 Great Movies Based on the Bible. F. Choosing a Study Bible. Index.

Product Details

  • publication date: 20/10/2005
  • ISBN13: 9780789734198
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 336
  • ID: 9780789734198
  • weight: 640
  • ISBN10: 0789734192

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