The Bible is one of the masterpieces of world literature. It is the most widely distributed of all books and contains some of the world's greatest literature - from the songs of praise in Psalms to the great stories in the book of Genesis. ""Critical Companion to the Bible"" examines the Bible as a work of literature, focusing on its language and verbal structures and on the imaginative quality of its thought. This invaluable resource is an essential addition to high school and college literature and religion classes. The coverage includes: an essay entitled 'Reading the Bible', providing an overview of the various approaches critics have taken to interpret the Bible and examining the question of authorship of the biblical books and the historical development of the biblical canon; in-depth alphabetical entries - each containing a synopsis, a commentary section, and subentries on the main figures - on all the books of the Bible; alphabetical entries on important people, places, concepts, and topics related to the Bible Appendixes, including a list of books of the Bible as categorized by different faiths; a chronology; and a list of important secondary resources, including scholarly Web sites.