We use cookies to enhance your experience on our website. By continuing to use our website, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Find out more
Cover

A Brief Introduction to the Old Testament

The Hebrew Bible in Its Context

Fourth Edition

Michael D. Coogan and Cynthia R. Chapman

Publication Date - May 2019

ISBN: 9780190903756

496 pages
Paperback
7-1/2 x 9-1/4 inches

Retail Price to Students: $69.99

The concise and more accessible version of Coogan's best-selling full-length text, The Old Testament

Description

Engaging and accessible to students from all backgrounds, A Brief Introduction to the Old Testament: The Hebrew Bible in Its Context, Fourth Edition, is an updated, concise, and more accessible version of Michael D. Coogan and Cynthia R. Chapman's best-selling The Old Testament: A Historical and Literary Introduction to the Hebrew Scriptures, Fourth Edition (OUP, 2017). The authors work primarily from a historical and critical methodology but also introduce students to literary analysis and other interpretive strategies.

Providing a nondenominational and nondoctrinal treatment, this text offers a unique and captivating introduction to the Hebrew scriptures themselves and to how they have been--and can be--interpreted.

A FREE 6-MONTH subscription to Oxford Biblical Studies Online (www.oxfordbiblicalstudies.com)--a $180 value--is included with the purchase of every new copy of this text.

New to this Edition

  • A thoroughly revised Chapter Two now provides an introductory overview of the full historical arc of the Hebrew Bible
  • Updates and revisions throughout the text ensure that it presents the most recent scholarship with the greatest clarity, accuracy, and accessibility
  • Expanded coverage of methodological approaches, with new boxes covering Cultural and Ideological Criticism; a new series of "Across Time" boxes that introduce and apply reception history to several texts; and new discussions of canonical criticism and redaction criticism
  • Added coverage of postcolonial, African American, queer, and feminist interpretations of the Hebrew Bible

Features

  • A balanced and engaging narrative by biblical scholars Michael Coogan and Cynthia Chapman draws on the latest scholarship and archaeological data, taking a primarily historical-critical approach while also introducing students to literary analysis and other interpretive strategies
  • Chapter pedagogy includes chapter previews and summaries, key terms, a glossary, questions for review and discussion, and suggestions for further reading
  • Two introductory chapters provide students with the context necessary to analyze the biblical texts--one on the composition of the Old Testament and one on the history and geography of the ancient Near East and how it influenced the Hebrew Bible
  • Strategically placed text boxes address issues that often puzzle readers of the Bible, provide models of interpretation of particular texts, and discuss their significance for Judaism and Christianity
  • A strong visual program includes charts, photographs, line drawings, maps, and a color insert on Jerusalem in biblical times

About the Author(s)

Michael D. Coogan has been Lecturer on the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible at Harvard Divinity School and is Director of Publications for the Harvard Semitic Museum. He has edited The New Oxford Annotated Bible for twenty years and written and edited many other books.

Cynthia R. Chapman is Professor of Biblical Studies at Oberlin College. She is the author of The House of the Mother: The Social Roles of Maternal Kin in Biblical Hebrew Narrative and Poetry (2016) and The Gendered Language of Warfare in the Israelite-Assyrian Context (2004).

Reviews

"A Brief Introduction to the Old Testament is written by leading scholars and pitched at a level appropriate for introductory college students. Its content is thorough, its writing is clear, and its presentation--from images to layout to format--is the best of any textbook on the market."--Daniel Pioske, Georgia Southern University

"This text clearly and cogently addresses historical, textual, and literary issues of the Old Testament. One of the book's strengths is its historical focus, which helps to place Old Testament texts into interpretive contexts."--Jason A. Riley, Fuller Theological Seminary

"One of the best textbooks on the market today, A Brief Introduction to the Old Testament provides students with a concise, clearly articulated foundation."--Kenneth Vandergriff, Florida State University

Table of Contents

    *=New to this Edition
    Preface
    Abbreviations
    Credits
    PART ONE. INTRODUCTORY 1. WHAT IS THE BIBLE?
    Box 1.1 Chapter and Verse
    The Jewish Tanakh
    The Christian Canons
    * Canon and Canonical Ordering of Books
    Box 1.2 The Canons of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament
    The Study of the Bible
    Box 1.3 The Dead Sea Scrolls
    A Look Back and Ahead
    2. THE PROMISED LAND
    Geography
    History
    A Look Back and Ahead
    PART TWO. COSMIC ORIGINS
    3. CREATIONS Genesis 1-3
    The Book of Genesis
    Genesis 1 and the Sabbath
    Box 3.1 Genesis and Science
    * Box 3.2 The Sabbath across Time
    Box 3.3 Myth and the Bible
    The Second Account of Creation (Gen 2.4b-3.24)
    Box 3.4 "God" and "The LORD (God)"
    Box 3.5 The Garden of Eden
    * Box 3.6 Adam and Eve across Time
    A Look Back and Ahead
    4. THE FORMATION OF THE PENTATEUCH AND THE PRIMEVAL HISTORY Genesis 4-11
    The Traditional View
    The Development of Modern Interpretation
    A Summary of the Documentary Hypothesis
    The Formation of the Pentateuch
    Challenges to the Documentary Hypothesis
    Other Strategies for Interpreting the Pentateuch
    Primeval History
    J (the Yahwist Source)
    Box 4.1 Cain and Abel
    * Box 4.2 The Cures of Ham across Time
    Box 4.3 The Sons of God
    Box 4.4 The Tower of Babel
    Box 4.5 The Table of Nations
    P (the Priestly Source)
    The Flood
    Box 4.6 The Documentary Hypothesis at Work
    A Look Back and Ahead
    PART THREE. NATIONAL ORIGINS
    5. THE ANCESTORS OF ISRAEL Genesis 12-50
    The Narratives
    Box 5.1 Abram and Abraham, Sarai and Sarah
    * Box 5.2 The Binding of Isaac across Time
    Box 5.3 Circumcision
    * Box 5.4 The Sin of Sodom
    Box 5.5 The Ugaritic Texts
    The Ancestors of Israel
    Box 5.6 Abraham, Father of Believers
    * Box 5.7 The Rape of Dinah
    History and the Ancestors of Israel
    The Religion of the Ancestors
    A Look Back and Ahead
    6. ESCAPE FROM EGYPT Exodus 1-15
    The Book of Exodus
    Exodus 1-15
    Box 6.1 Legends of Rescue
    Box 6.2 The Meaning of the Divine Name Yahweh
    Box 6.3 The Hardening of Pharaoh's Heart
    * Box 6.4 The Passover Celebration across Time
    * Box 6.5 The Exodus in African-American Interpretations
    The Exodus and History
    The Exodus and the History of Religions
    A Look Back and Ahead
    7. FROM EGYPT TO SINAI Exodus 16-24
    Itineraries
    Incidents on the Journey
    Box 7.1 Manna
    Box 7.2 The Location of Sinai
    At Sinai
    Covenant
    The Ten Commandments
    * Box 7.3 The Ten Commandments across Time
    The Ratification of the Covenant
    A Look Back and Ahead
    8. LAW, RITUAL, AND HOLINESS Exodus 20.22-23.33 and 25-40 and Leviticus
    Law in the Ancient Near East
    Box 8.1 Excerpt from the Code of Hammurapi
    The Covenant Code (Ex 20.22-23.33)
    The Ark, the Tabernacle, and the Priestly Vestments and Ordination
    Box 8.2 "An Eye for an Eye"
    The Golden Calf
    Box 8.3 Forty Days and Forty Nights
    The Ritual Decalogue
    Sequel
    Box 8.4 An Ancient Hebrew Agricultural Calendar
    The Book of Leviticus
    Sacrifices (Lev 1-7)
    The Consecration Ceremonies and Their Aftermath (Lev 8-10)
    Purity and Impurity (Lev 11-15)
    The Day of Atonement (Lev 16)
    The Holiness Code (Lev 17-26)
    * Box 8.5 Same-sex Relationships
    Box 8.6 Capital Punishment
    Women in Israelite Ritual and Law
    The Ethics of Leviticus
    A Look Back and Ahead
    9. IN THE WILDERNESS Numbers
    The Book of Numbers
    Preparations for the Journey
    Law, Ritual, and Purity
    The Chronology and Geography of the Wanderings
    Rebellions in the Wilderness
    Box 9.1 Miriam
    Opposition on the Journey
    Box 9.2 Excerpt from the Deir Alla Texts
    Preparations for the Entry into the Land
    A Look Back and Ahead
    10. THE END OF THE JOURNEY TO THE PROMISED LAND Deuteronomy
    The Book of Deuteronomy
    Box 10.1 The Shema
    The Origins of Deuteronomy
    * Box 10.2 Curses in the Vassal Treaties of Esar-haddon
    Box 10.3 The Meanings of "Torah"
    The Deuteronomic School
    * Box 10.4 Redaction Criticism
    Moses in the Pentateuch
    A Look Back and Ahead
    11. JOSHUA AND THE CONQUEST OF THE LAND OF CANAAN Joshua
    The Deuteronomistic History
    The Book of Joshua
    * Box 11.1 Postcolonial Readings of Rahab
    Box 11.2 Shechem in Biblical Tradition
    A Look Back and Ahead
    12. THE EMERGENCE OF ISRAEL IN THE LAND OF CANAAN Judges
    The Book of Judges
    Box 12.1 The Judges of Israel in the Book of Judges
    Box 12.2 The Moabites and the Ammonites
    Box 12.3 The Song of Deborah
    Box 12.4 The Philistines
    History and the Israelite Confederation
    A Look Back and Ahead
    PART FOUR. KINGS AND PROPHETS
    13. THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE MONARCHY 1 Samuel
    The Books of Samuel
    1 Samuel
    Box 13.1 Positive Assessments of Saul
    * Box 13.2 David and Goliath l
    * Box 13.1 Queer Criticism and David's Love for Jonathan
    A Look Back and Ahead
    14. THE REIGN OF DAVID 2 Samuel, 1 Kings 1-2
    2 Samuel
    * Box 14.1 Jerusalem across Time
    Box 14.2 David as Poet
    History
    A Look Back and Ahead
    15. THE REIGN OF SOLOMON 1 Kings 1-11 and Psalm 89
    The Books of Kings
    1 Kings 1-11
    * Box 15.1 Solomon across Time
    History
    The Ideology of the Davidic Monarchy
    * Box 15.2 The Royal Ideology across Time
    A Look Back and Ahead
    16. THE DIVIDED KINGDOMS OF ISRAEL AND JUDAH FROM THE LATE TENTH TO THE EARLY EIGHTH CENTURIES BCE 1 Kings 12-2 Kings 14 with an Introduction to Prophecy
    History
    Box 16.1 Chronology of the Late Tenth to Mid-eighth Centuries BCE
    Institutions and Society
    Prophets and Prophecy
    * Box 16.2 Prophets across Time
    The Legends of Elijah and Elisha
    * Box 16.3 Elijah across Time
    A Look Back and Ahead
    17. THE NORTHERN KINGDOM OF ISRAEL IN THE EIGHTH CENTURY BCE 2 Kings 14-17, Amos, and Hosea
    History
    Box 17.1 Chronology of the Eighth Century BCE
    Prophetic Books
    Amos
    Box 17.2 The Day of the Lord
    Hosea
    Box 17.3 Prophetic Attacks on Rituals
    Box 17.4 Marriage in Ancient Israel
    A Look Back and Ahead
    18. THE SOUTHERN KINGDOM OF JUDAH IN THE EIGHTH AND EARLY SEVENTH CENTURIES BCE 2 Kings 15-20, 2 Chronicles 29-32, Isaiah 1-39, and Micah
    History
    Box 18.1 Chronology of the Eighth and Seventh Centuries BCE
    Isaiah
    The Siege of Jerusalem in 734 BCE
    Box 18.2 The Identification of Immanuel
    The Assyrian Invasion of Judah in 701 BCE
    Box 18.3 Sennacherib's Attack on Jerusalem (701 BCE) according to the Assyrian Annals
    Box 18.4 Hezekiah's Tunnel
    Micah
    A Look Back and Ahead
    19. JUDAH IN THE SEVENTH AND EARLY SIXTH CENTURIES BCE: THE END OF ASSYRIAN DOMINATION AND THE FALL OF JERUSALEM 2 Kings 21-25, 2 Chronicles 33-36, Zephaniah, Nahum, Habakkuk, and Jeremiah
    History
    Box 19.1 Chronology of the Seventh and Early Sixth Centuries BCE
    Box 19.2 Ashurbanipal's Library
    Box 19.3 Megiddo and Armageddon
    The Book of Zephaniah
    The Book of Nahum
    The Book of Habakkuk
    Jeremiah
    * Box 19.4 Jeremiah and the Lost Ark across Time
    Box 19.5 Jeremiah and the History of Bookmaking
    A Look Back and Ahead
    PART FIVE. EXILE AND RETURN
    20. AFTER THE FALL: JUDEANS IN JUDAH AND BABYLON Lamentations, Psalm 137, Obadiah, and Ezekiel
    History
    The Book of Lamentations
    Box 20.1 Acrostic Poems
    The Judeans in Babylonia
    Psalm 137
    The Book of Obadiah
    Ezekiel
    Box 20.2 Yahweh as Violent Husband
    A Look Back and Ahead
    21. RETURN FROM EXILE Ezra 1-2 and Isaiah 34-35 and 40-55
    History
    Box 21.1 Chronology of the Sixth Century BCE
    The Priestly Source of the Pentateuch
    The Exilic Edition of the Deuteronomistic History
    Isaiah 40-55
    * Box 21.2 Canonical Criticism and the Book of Isaiah
    Box 21.3 The Development of Monotheism
    Box 21.4 Female Images of God
    A Look Back and Ahead
    PART SIX. RECONSTRUCTION, CONSOLIDATION, AND CHALLENGE
    22. THE RESTORATION: JUDAH IN THE LATE SIXTH AND FIFTH CENTURIES BCE Ezra 3-10, Nehemiah, Haggai, Zechariah, Isaiah 24-27 and 56-66, Joel, and Malachi
    History
    Box 22.1 Chronology of the Mid-sixth to the Fourth Centuries BCE
    Ezra 3-6
    Box 22.2 Aramaic
    The Book of Haggai
    Zechariah 1-8
    Isaiah 56-66
    The Books of Ezra and Nehemiah
    Box 22.3 The Elephantine Papyri
    Apocalyptic Literature
    The "Isaiah Apocalypse" (Isa 24-27)
    Zechariah 9-14
    The Book of Joel
    The Book of Malachi
    A Look Back and Ahead
    23. RETELLING THE STORY 1-2 Chronicles, Psalms, and Proverbs
    The Books of Chronicles
    * Box 23.1 Samaria and the Samaritans across Time
    The Book of Psalms
    Box 23.2 Parallelism
    Music in Ancient Israel
    A Look Back and Ahead
    24. THE WISDOM OF THE SAGES: PRESERVATION AND CHALLENGE Proverbs, Job, Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Solomon with an Introduction to Wisdom Literature
    Wisdom Literature
    The Book of Proverbs
    The Book of Job
    Box 24.1 The Satan
    Box 24.2 "I Know that my Redeemer Liveth"
    Box 24.3 Behemoth and Leviathan
    Box 24.4 Job's Wife and Daughters
    The Book of Ecclesiastes
    The Development of Beliefs in Life after Death in Ancient Israel
    The Song of Solomon
    A Look Back and Ahead
    25. HEROES IN FOREIGN LANDS: POSTEXILIC LITERATURE AND DIASPORIC IDENTITY Ruth, Jonah, Esther, and Daniel
    The Book of Ruth
    The Book of Jonah
    The Book of Esther
    Box 25.1 The Festival of Purim
    The Book of Daniel
    Box 25.2 Angels and Demons
    Box 25.3 "Son of Man"
    Box 25.4 Outline of the Visions of Successive Kingdoms in the Book of Daniel
    APPENDIX: THE APOCRYPHAL/DEUTEROCANONICAL BOOKS
    Revisions of and Additions to Biblical Books
    Historiographic Literature
    Historical Fiction
    Wisdom Literature
    Other Compositions
    Chronology
    General Bibliography
    Glossary
    Weights and Measures
    Index