Conditions of Use
This book is an excellent primer for studying the Bible as literature. You will want to have a copy of the Oxford Annotated Bible or another scholarly edition of the Bible to get the most out of this text. It does not cover every single book,... read more
This book is an excellent primer for studying the Bible as literature. You will want to have a copy of the Oxford Annotated Bible or another scholarly edition of the Bible to get the most out of this text. It does not cover every single book, passage, etc, since that would be impossible for one textbook. However, it will serve as an excellent digital complement to your instructional materials, whether you teach the Bible as Literature or any other literature course. This multimodal text is scholarly and thoroughly documented, yet accessible and very easy to navigate.
The author provides accurate and detailed citations and live links to their sources throughout the book, so you can tell that everything is sourced from reliable scholarship. The maps, timelines, and paintings, and passages are all clearly cited and well-sourced.
This is a textbook that could be used for many years to come, especially the Online version. It is so well-organized that readers can quickly and easily navigate, search, and read through them without any confusion. The material focuses on key terms, structure, and key ideas that are fundamental to understanding the historical context and genres of the Bible, so there's not really any risk of the information becoming outdated. The value in this edition is that it doesn't try to be trendy or political. It just focuses on being informative.
This could easily be understood by high school students and undergraduates. All the passages are clearly written, key words are highlighted, and there is clearly an awareness of what students wouldn't know regarding key words, etymologies, etc. When relevant, there are references to various commentaries and differing views on interpretations, but it's always broken down and put into understandable terms with direct quotations right in the text, so you don't have to constantly flip back and forth between your Bible and the textbook.
Absolutely! Some sections are more in-depth than others, since there is just so much to pick from, so you may want to review every section to see if it goes in depth on the areas you want to emphasize in your course. For example, if you are looking to teach Psalms, you can find a variety of multimedia, commentary, and direct passages all clearly organized and easy to navigate. Then, if you go to the section on John, you'll find a similar organization, breakdown, and collection of media. I do see some value in moving from Genesis to Revelation, but the book is organized in a way that you could move around however you see fit.
This is probably the #1 strength of this book. I loved the layout, design, and options for reading! You can link to any sections or passage you'd like.
This is presented very straightforward. No gimmicks. It just moves you right through the Bible with just enough detail to keep you engaged without getting lost.
Every link, drop-down menu, and video worked well, The images were clear and well-chosen, easily recognizable images. The interactive maps and timelines were especially helpful!
This is a very high quality text in terms of grammatical clarity. No errors or issues at all!
No issues. It would be equally useful at a Religious and/or Christian college or public high school as it would be at a secular institution of higher ed. I appreciated how intentional the author seemed to be about integrating videos from scholars outside of the US and especially with women. I didn't see a lot of linked videos of non-white scholars, though I could have missed a few. So perhaps adding a few more videos where African American, Asian, Hispanic/Latino scholars are providing commentaries or lectures would enhance the appeal. I could also see how this may be due to which materials were freely available to link, since the author uses a lot of open-source material throughout. However, the author also makes it clear that this is a supplement, so I would imagine that teachers could supplement in a way that would reflect their own commitment to inclusion.
I found this book to be very well-organized, easy to navigate, and at an appropriate level for someone encountering the Bible as an anthology of literary works for the first time. This text is straightforward, very easy to read, and you will never get bored. There are so many images, videos, interactive links, etc, that students will genuinely enjoy it. Your students will be surprised at how quickly they can get through the chapters and yet how much they learn in the process. I took my first Introduction to the Bible course at a small Christian college twenty years ago and I had to have atlases, commentaries, the Oxford Annotated Bible, and numerous additional supplements. This online book covers everything you'd expect from a traditional Bible as Literature course from 20 years ago but with a seamless integration of multimedia and sensitivity to key interpretive questions about genres and historical contexts. While my primary teaching duties center around Literary Studies (American and British Literature), I intend to use this book as a supplement when I'm teaching Milton, Shakespeare, and various American Writers who use Biblical references, allusions, and engage with the Bible in various ways.
Table of Contents
- Introduction to This Text
- How to approach reading the Bible
- A Timeline for the Bible
- The Dead Sea Scrolls
- I. Where and how did it all start?
- II. The Torah
- III. The Prophets: Neviim
- IV. The writings: Ketuvim
- V. Beginnings of the Christian Writings
- VI. The Gospels
- VII. The Earliest Christians
- VIII. Apocalypse
- Contact Me
About the Book
The Bible is one of the most published books in human history. It is also one of the most misquoted, misunderstood and misused books in human history. This happens because people are not always aware that the Bible is not a book, it is a collection of diverse writings. The Bible might even be called an anthology, and it will include everything from poetry to genealogy, pithy sayings to architectural mandates, mythology to letters. Knowing what one is reading helps one understand the ideas in the writings. We read letters in the context of who wrote them and who received them. We read sermons understanding the speaker's perspective may differ from the listener's perspective. So this text is an attempt to give historic, literary, geographical and cultural context to a complex and often poorly understood set of materials. This is very much an ebook, and needs to be used in that format. Pdfs and other printed versions will lose a great deal of the content.
About the Contributors
Jody Ondich, Lake Superior College