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The Bible

A Historical and Literary Introduction

Second Edition

Bart D. Ehrman

Publication Date - 27 September 2017

ISBN: 9780190621308

456 pages
8 x 10 inches

In Stock

The most engaging introduction to the Bible, offering cutting-edge historical and literary scholarship from renowned biblical scholar and New York Times Best-selling author Bart Ehrman


In The Bible: A Historical and Literary Introduction, Second Edition, renowned biblical scholar and New York Times Best-selling author Bart D. Ehrman provides an exceptionally engaging survey of the Bible. Comprehensive yet succinct, current in scholarship, rich in pedagogical tools, and easily accessible to students of all backgrounds, this is an ideal textbook for one-semester courses on the Bible. Ehrman covers every book in the canon, including the Apocrypha, explaining the historical and literary problems posed by the biblical texts and showing students how to analyze scholarly evidence and conclusions.

New to this Edition

  • A reorganized chapter structure breaks down the previous edition's fifteen long chapters into twenty-seven more digestible and accessible chapters
  • "Questions for Review and Reflection" replace the previous edition's "Take a Stand" questions


  • An exceptionally accessible and engaging writing style that vividly brings the Bible to life
  • Full-color illustrations throughout, including numerous maps, time lines, charts, and photos
  • "What to Expect" boxes previewing each chapter, "At a Glance" boxes summarizing chapters or large sections, and additional boxes presenting intriguing issues in more depth
  • A unique appendix on the canon and text of the Bible
  • 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.

About the Author(s)

Bart D. Ehrman is the James A. Gray Distinguished Professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has written or edited thirty books, including five New York Times best sellers. His publications include The New Testament, Sixth Edition (OUP, 2015), After the New Testament (OUP, 2014), and Forgery and Counterforgery (OUP, 2013).


"If one likens the shelves of basic Bible textbooks to a rock-strewn landscape, then Ehrman's The Bible is a gem. Oxford's price on this text is fair, reasonable, and easily the best buy among comparable texts. The Bible is a true value. For its unsurpassed accessibility and exceptional value, buy it and use it."--Wayne C. Kannady, Newberry College

"In The Bible, Bart Ehrman does a fantastic job of covering the material in a clear and engaging manner that does as much justice as possible both to its breadth and its details. I praise the inclusion of pedagogical suggestions in the Instructor's Manual; Ehrman's provision of these is simply wonderful."--James F. McGrath, Butler University

"The Bible is a high-quality work of current scholarship and thoughtful presentation. The textbook presents a wealth of information in a style that engages students and encourages them to go to the primary text."--Kim Williams Bodenhamer, Baylor University

Table of Contents

    List of Boxes
    List of Maps
    Why Study the Bible?
    Chapter 1. What Is the Bible?
    What Is the Bible?
    Putting the Bible on the Map
    Chapter 2. Why Is the Bible So Hard to Understand?
    Challenges of Studying the Bible
    Our Literary Approach
    Excursus: Our Approaches to the Bible
    Our Historical Approach
    Chapter 3. The Book of Genesis
    The Famous Stories of the Book of Genesis
    Chapter 4. Who Wrote the Pentateuch?
    The Traditional View
    Oral Traditions and Cultural Parallels
    Chapter 5. From Egypt to Mount Sinai: Exodus and Leviticus
    The Book of Exodus
    The Law of Moses (Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers)
    Chapter 6. From Mount Sinai to the Promised Land: Numbers and Deuteronomy
    The Book of Numbers in a Nutshell
    The Book of Deuteronomy
    Chapter 7. The Deuteronomistic History: Joshua and Judges
    The Deuteronomistic History
    The Book of Joshua
    The Book of Judges
    Chapter 8. The Books of Samuel and Kings
    1 and 2 Samuel
    1 and 2 Kings
    Chapter 9. Early Israelite Prophets: Amos and Isaiah
    The Rise of the Prophets
    Amos of Tekoa
    Isaiah of Jerusalem
    Chapter 10. Other Pre-exilic Prophets: Hosea, Micah, Nahum, Zephaniah, Jeremiah, and Habakkuk
    Chapter 11. The Historians of Exile and Return: Ezra, Nehemiah, and Beyond
    Ezra and Nehemiah
    The Later History of Judea
    Chapter 12. The Exilic and Post-Exilic Prophets
    Ezekiel 1
    Second Isaiah
    Third Isaiah
    Chapter 13. The Poets of Ancient Israel
    The Nature of Hebrew Poetry
    The Book of Psalms
    The Book of Lamentations
    The Song of Songs
    Chapter 14. Storytellers in Ancient Israel
    Daniel 1-6
    1 and 2 Chronicles
    Chapter 15. The Wisdom Literature
    Introduction to the Wisdom Literature
    Chapter 16. Jewish Apocalyptic Literature and the Apocrypha
    The Rise of Jewish Apocalypticism
    Other Jewish Literature of the Period: The Deuterocanonical or Apocryphal Books
    Chapter 17. The World of Jesus and His Followers
    One Remarkable Life
    The Greco-Roman World
    Judaism in the Time of Jesus
    Putting the New Testament and Early Christianity on the Map
    Chapter 18. The Synoptic Problem and the Gospel of Mark
    The Storyline of the Synoptic Gospels
    The Synoptic Problem
    The Gospels as Biographies
    The Gospel of Mark
    Chapter 19. The Gospels of Matthew and Luke
    The Gospel of Matthew
    The Gospel of Luke
    The Synoptic Gospels and the Problem of History
    Chapter 20. The Gospel of John and the Later Gospels
    The Gospel of John
    The Other Gospels
    Chapter 21. The Historical Jesus
    Problems with Our Sources
    Jesus the Apocalyptic Prophet
    Chapter 22. The Life of the Apostle Paul
    Problems in the Study of Paul
    A Brief Biography of Paul
    Chapter 23. The Letters of Paul
    1 Thessalonians
    1 Corinthians
    2 Corinthians
    Chapter 24. The Acts of the Apostles
    Paul During and After the New Testament
    The Acts of the Apostles
    Chapter 25. In the Wake of Paul: The Deutero-Pauline Letters
    2 Thessalonians
    The Pastoral Epistles
    Chapter 26. The General Epistles and the Book of Revelation
    The Letter to the Hebrews
    The Letter of James
    1 Peter
    2 Peter
    1, 2, and 3 John
    The Apocalypse of John
    Excursus One: Jews and Christians in the Ancient World
    Excursus Two: The Persecution of the Early Christians
    Excursus Three: Orthodoxy and Heresy in Earliest Christianity
    Chapter 27. Appendix: The Canon and Text of the Bible 3
    The Canon of the Hebrew Bible
    The Canon of the New Testament
    The Text of the Hebrew Bible
    The Text of the New Testament