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

The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Books of the Bible

Editor-in-chief: Michael D. Coogan

Publication Date - 18 November 2011

ISBN: 9780195377378

1280 pages
8-1/2 x 11 inches

In Stock


The field of biblical studies is dynamic, with new discoveries, new methodologies, and new perspectives continually enhancing the interpretation of the Bible. There is thus a need for an up-to-date, comprehensive, authoritative, and balanced series of reference works for biblical scholars and students.

The two-volume Oxford Encyclopedia of the Books of the Bible is the first in this series of specialized reference works, each addressing a specific subfield within biblical studies. The series, The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Bible, aims to produce high-level scholarly reference works that are accessible and in-depth, going beyond the basics to provide more specialized coverage.

Books of the Bible provides a single source for authoritative reference overviews of scholarship on some of the most important topics of study in the field of biblical studies. The Encyclopedia contains almost 120 in-depth entries, ranging in length from 500 to 10,000 words, on each of the canonical books of the Bible, major apocryphal books of the New and Old Testaments, important noncanonical texts, and thematic essays on topics such as canonicity, textual criticism, and translation.

Books of the Bible has extensive cross-references to other useful points of interest within the Encyclopedia, and comprehensive lists of abbreviations and an index for ease of use. Illustrations of various types supplement the text and enhance its appeal. Bibliographies for all entries further add to its usefulness.

RUSA/ALA Outstanding Reference Source


  • Nearly 120 signed A-Z entries, by more than 100 international scholars, make this the authoritative resource on the subject
  • In-depth entries on each canonical book of the NRSV, including a valuable section on reception history
  • Thorough coverage of the major apocryphal and pseudepigraphal books plus entries on important text collections, such as the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Nag Hammadi Library, provide information on the history of composition and interpretation
  • Selection of thematic articles on important topics of study such as canonicity, textual criticism, and translation
  • Includes a synoptic outline of contents arranged by conceptual category, plus a general index to aid and guide research
  • Approximately 100 black and white illustrations, maps, and line drawings
  • Comprehensive lists of abbreviations of the books of the Bible, pseudepigraphical and apocryphal works, Qumran texts, Nag Hammadi codices, and more in each volume
  • Biblical canons table listing the books in the Jewish, Protestant, Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox, Slavonic, and Ethiopian Orthodox canons

About the Author(s)

Michael D. Coogan is Director of Publications for the Harvard Semitic Museum, Lecturer on the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible at Harvard Divinity School, and Editor-in-Chief of Oxford Biblical Studies Online. Collaborative works that he conceived and edited include The New Oxford Annotated Bible (4E), The Oxford Companion to the Bible, and The Oxford History of the Biblical World. His most recent book is The Old Testament: A Historical and Literary Introduction to the Hebrew Scriptures (Oxford University Press, 2006).


"An excellent and succinct summary of the current state of biblical scholarship...a very valuable addition to biblical studies and should be in any serious library, either personal or institutional." --Bryan Buchanan, Association for Mormon Letters

"The OEBB brings together topics that are not always easily found in one source, making this reference material invaluable" --Susanah Hanson, Trinity School for Ministry Theological Librarianship

"A good reference work is addictive, and this pair of volumes certainly has that quality." --The Times

"A great deal of careful thought and planning is evident. The treatments of individual books follow a consistent template, with a bibliography that is thorough and up-to-date, illustrations, a topical outline, and a thorough index. The list of contributors is impressive. Recommended to lower-level undergraduates and above." --CHOICE

"The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Books of the Bible makes an excellent addition to scholarly religious reference resources. With its breadth of entries and quality of contributors, The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Books of the Bible provides a wealth of insight."--Journal of Religious and Theological Information

"The OEBB brings together topics that are not always easily found in one source, making this reference material invaluable" --Susanah Hanson, Trinity School for Ministry Theological Librarianship

Table of Contents

    118 A-Z entries

Related Titles