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

E-book purchase
Choose a subscription

Downloaded copy on your device does not expire. Includes 4 years of Bookshelf Online.


Where applicable, tax will be added to the above price prior to payment.

E-book purchasing help


The Bible As Literature

An Introduction

Fifth Edition

John B. Gabel, Charles B. Wheeler, Anthony D. York, and David Citino
with a new chapter by Nicola Denzey

Publication Date - November 2005

ISBN: 9780195179071

416 pages
6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches


As in the widely popular earlier editions, the latest revision of this comprehensive and systematic text approaches the Bible from a literary/historical perspective, studying it as a body of writing produced by real people who intended to convey messages to actual audiences. Avoiding assessments of the Bible's truth or authority, the authors maintain a rigorously objective tone as they discuss such major issues as the forms and strategies of biblical writing, its actual historical and physical settings, the process of canon formation, and the nature of biblical genres including prophecy, apocalypse, and gospel.
The fifth edition features a new coauthor, David Citino; a new chapter by contributor Nicola Denzey on the essential yet often overlooked role of women in the Bible; and a new appendix on modern approaches to the Bible. It also incorporates new maps, a timeline, updated bibliographies, and revised material throughout. This objective, easy-to-use, and exciting presentation of the Bible is indispensable to students and accessible to general readers.

Previous Publication Date(s)

January 2000
January 1996
March 1986


"The Bible as Literature is quite broad in its approach and unique in its scope. I haven't found the same breadth in other recent introductions to the Bible as literature. [It is] concise but thorough, an excellent introduction."--Annalisa Azzoni, Vanderbilt University

"The text directly addresses fundamental concepts essential to a scholarly approach to the Bible as literature. My students are quite interested in the study of the Bible as literature, and they think of this study as essential to their lives and beliefs. By using this text, I can be a much better and more credible teacher for them."--Bené Scanlon Cox, Middle Tennessee State University

Table of Contents

    To the Reader
    1. The Bible as Literature
    2. Literary Forms and Strategies in the Bible
    3. Ancient Near Eastern Literature and the Bible
    4. The Bible and History
    5. The Physical Setting of the Bible
    6. The Formation of the Canon
    7. The Composition of the Pentateuch
    8. The Prophetic Writings
    9. The Wisdom Literature
    10. The Apocalyptic Literature
    11. Judaism in the Intertestamental Period
    12. The Hellenistic Background of the New Testament
    13. Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha: The Outside Books
    14. The Gospels
    15. Acts and the Letters
    16. The Text of the Bible
    17. Translating the Bible
    18. The Religious Use and Interpretation of the Bible
    19. Women and the Bible
    Appendix 1: The Name of Israel's God
    Appendix 2: Writing in Biblical Times
    Appendix 3: Palestine in the Intertestamental Period
    Appendix 4: Varieties of Biblical Criticism
    Glossary of Literary Terms
    Timeline: 1000 B.C.E.-1611 C.E.

Related Title

The Bible