This comprehensive, introductory textbook is unique in exploring the emergence of the Hebrew Bible in the broader context of world history. It particularly focuses on the influence of pre-Roman empires, empowering students with a richer understanding of Old Testament historiography.
Provides a historical context for students learning about the development and changing interpretations of biblical texts
Examines how these early stories were variously shaped by interaction with the Mesopotamian and Egyptian, Assyrian, Babylonian, Persian, and Hellenistic empires
Incorporates recent research on the formation of the Pentateuch
Reveals how key biblical texts came to be interpreted by Jewish, Christian, and Muslim faiths
Includes numerous student-friendly features, such as study questions, review sections, bibliographies, timelines, and illustrations and photos
David M. Carr is Professor of Old Testament/Hebrew Bible at Union Theological Seminary in New York. Professor Carr's book-length publications include From D to Q: A Study of Early Jewish Interpretations of Solomon's Dream at Gibeon (1991); Reading the Fractures of Genesis: Historical and Literary Approaches (1996); The Erotic Word: Sexuality, Spirituality and the Bible (2003); and Writing on the Tablet of the Heart: Origins of Scripture and Literature (2005).
List of Figures vi List of Maps viii List of Boxes ix Preface xii Acknowledgments xiv List of Abbreviations xvi Overview of the Historical Period xvii Timeline xviii Prologue: Orientation to Multiple Bibles and Multiple Translations 1 1 Studying the Bible in Its Ancient Context(s) 15 2 The Emergence of Ancient Israel and Its First Oral Traditions 33 3 The Emergence of the Monarchy and Royal and Zion Texts 53 4 Echoes of Past Empires in Biblical Wisdom, Love Poetry, Law, and Narrative 71 5 Narrative and Prophecy amidst the Rise and Fall of the Northern Kingdom 91 6 Micah, Isaiah, and the Southern Prophetic Encounter with Assyria 115 7 Torah and History in the Wake of the Assyrian Empire 131 8 Prophecy in the Transition from Assyrian to Babylonian Domination 153 9 Laments, History, and Prophecies after the Destruction of Jerusalem 165 10 The Pentateuch and the Exile 187 11 The Torah, the Psalms, and the Persian-Sponsored Rebuilding of Judah 207 12 Other Texts Formed in the Crucible of Post-Exilic Rebuilding 229 13 Hellenistic Empires and the Formation of the Hebrew Bible 245 Glossary 264 Index 273