The task of interpreting the Bible — which was written by and to people living in very different cultural contexts from contemporary Western society — can seem monumental. The opposite is also true: people can easily forget that studying the Bible is a type of cross-cultural encounter, instead reading their own cultural assumptions into biblical texts. In A Cultural Handbook to the Bible John Pilch bridges this cultural divide by translating important social concepts and applying them to biblical texts. In short, accessible chapters Pilch discusses sixty-three topics related to the cosmos, the earth, persons, family, language, human consciousness, God and the spirit world, and entertainment. Pilch's fresh interpretations of the Bible challenge traditional views and explore topics often overlooked in commentaries. Each chapter concludes with a list of useful references from cultural anthropology or biblical studies, making this book an excellent resource for students of the Bible.
Early Americans have long been considered "A People of the Book" Because the nickname was coined primarily to invoke close associations between Americans and the Bible, it is easy to overlook the central fact that it was a book-not a geographic location, a monarch, or even a shared language-that has served as a cornerstone in countless investigations into the formation and fragmentation of early American culture. Few books can lay claim to such powers of civilization-altering influence. Among those which can are sacred books, and for Americans principal among such books stands the Bible. This Handbook is designed to address a noticeable void in resources focused on analyzing the Bible in America in various historical moments and in relationship to specific institutions and cultural expressions. It takes seriously the fact that the Bible is both a physical object that has exercised considerable totemic power, as well as a text with a powerful intellectual design that has inspired everything from national religious and educational practices to a wide spectrum of artistic endeavors to our nation's politics and foreign policy. This Handbook brings together a number of established scholars, as well as younger scholars on the rise, to provide a scholarly overview--rich with bibliographic resources--to those interested in the Bible's role in American cultural formation.
"The study of the reciprocal relationship between the Bible and popular culture has blossomed in the past few decades, and the time seems ripe for a broadly-conceived work that assesses the current state of the field, offers examples of work in that field, and suggests directions for further study. This Handbook includes a wide range of topics organized under several broad themes, including biblical characters and themes in popular culture; the Bible in popular cultural genres; "lived" examples; and a concluding section in which we take stock of methodologies like Reception History and the impact of the field on teaching and publishing. These topics are all addressed by focusing on specific examples from film, television, comics, music, literature, video games, science fiction, material culture, museums, and theme parks, to name a few. This book represents a major contribution to the field by some of its leading practitioners, and will be a key resource for the future development of the study of Bible and American popular culture"--
Values are culturally specific. This handbook explains select biblical social values in their Mediterranean cultural contexts. Some examples of values are altruism, freedom, family-centeredness, obedience, parenting, and power. Though the English words for the values described here would be familiar to readers (e.g., altruism) the meanings of such words differ between cultures. In the Mediterranean world, for instance, altruism is a duty incumbent upon anyone who has surplus. It is interpersonal and group specific. In the West, especially in the United States, altruism is impersonal and universally oriented generosity that operates in a highly organized context. This handbook not only presents the Mediterranean meanings of these value words but also contrasts those meanings with Western ones.
"The Oxford Handbook of the Bible in China deftly examines the Bible's translation, expression, interpretation, and reception in China. Forty-eight essays address the translation of the Bible into China's languages and dialects; expression of the Bible in Chinese literary and religious contexts; Chinese biblical interpretations and methods of reading; and the reception of the Bible in the institutions and arts of China. This comprehensive and unique volume presents insightful, succinct, and provocative evidence about and interpretations of encounters between the Bible and China for centuries past, continuing into the present, and likely prospects for the future"--
Comprised of contributions from scholars across the globe, The Oxford Handbook to Biblical Narrative is a state-of-the-art anthology, offering critical treatments of both the Bible's narratives and topics related to the Bible's narrative constructions. The Handbook covers the Bible's narrative literature, from Genesis to Revelation, providing concise overviews of literary-critical scholarship as well as innovative readings of individual narratives informed by a variety of methodological approaches and theoretical frameworks. The volume as a whole combines literary sensitivities with the traditional historical and sociological questions of biblical criticism and puts biblical studies into intentional conversation with other disciplines in the humanities. It reframes biblical literature in a way that highlights its aesthetic characteristics, its ethical and religious appeal, its organic qualities as communal literature, its witness to various forms of social and political negotiation, and its uncanny power to affect readers and hearers across disparate time-frames and global communities.
"The conceit in the title of this volume is that ritual, however expansively it may be defined, is ineluctably tethered to religion and worship. It has a primal connection to the idea that a transcendent order - numinous and mysterious, supranatural and elusive, divine and wholly other - gives meaning and purpose to life. The construction of rites and rituals enables humans to conceive and apprehend this transcendent order, to symbolize it and interact with it, to postulate its truths in the face of contradicting realities and to repair them when they have been breached or diminished. The focus of this Handbook is on ritual and worship from the perspective of biblical studies, particularly on the Hebrew Bible and its ancient Near Eastern antecedents. Within this context, attention will be given to the development of ideas in Jewish, Christian, and Muslim thinking, but only insofar as they connect with or extend the trajectory of biblical precedents. The volume reflects a wide range of analytical approaches to ancient texts, inscriptions, iconography, and ritual artifacts. It examines the social history and cultural knowledge encoded in rituals, and explores the way rituals shape and are shaped by politics, economics, ethical imperatives, and religion itself. Toward this end, the volume is organized into six major sections: Historical Contexts, Interpretive Approaches, Ritual Elements (participants, places, times, objects, practices), Underlying Cultural and Theological Perspectives, History of Interpretation, Social-Cultural Functions, and Theology and Theological Heritage"--
We are living in the "Age of Migration" and migration has a profound impact on all aspects of society and on religious institutions. While there is significant research on migration in the social sciences, little study has been done to understand the impact of migration on Christianity. This book investigates this important topic and the ramifications for Christian theology and ethics. It begins with anthropological and sociological perspectives on the mutual impact between migration and Christianity, followed by a re-reading of certain events in the Hebrew Scripture, the New Testament, and Church history to highlight the central role of migration in the formation of Israel and Christianity. Then follow attempts to reinterpret in the light of migration the basic Christian beliefs regarding God, Christ, and church. The next part studies how migration raises new issues for Christian ethics such as human dignity and human rights, state rights, social justice and solidarity, and ecological justice. The last part explores what is known as "Practical Theology" by examining the implications of migration for issues such as liturgy and worship, spirituality, architecture, and education.
Recent years have seen a renewed interest in the study of background materials relating to Scripture. More and more Christians are seeking out resources that will help them understand the culture of the times when the Bible was written. Indeed, to fully understand the Old Testament, one must first understand the social, historical, and political forces that affected its writers. Old Testament Times explores and explains the characters and events of the Old Testament in historical perspective. Being released for the first time in a full-color edition, this guide includes - thirty-two maps - seventy photos - eight charts - five illustrations Pastors, small groups, and anyone wishing for a better understanding of biblical times will find an excellent tool in this comprehensive handbook written by one of America's foremost biblical scholars.
In recent decades, reception history has become an increasingly important and controversial topic of discussion in biblical studies. Rather than attempting to recover the original meaning of biblical texts, reception history focuses on exploring the history of interpretation. In doing so it locates the dominant historical-critical scholarly paradigm within the history of interpretation, rather than over and above it. At the same time, the breadth of material and hermeneutical issues that reception history engages with questions any narrow understanding of the history of the Bible and its effects on faith communities. The challenge that reception history faces is to explore tradition without either reducing its meaning to what faith communities think is important, or merely offering anthologies of interesting historical interpretations. This major new handbook addresses these matters by presenting reception history as an enterprise (not a method) that questions and understands tradition afresh. The Oxford Handbook of the Reception History of the Bible consciously allows for the interplay of the traditional and the new through a two-part structure. Part I comprises a set of essays surveying the outline, form, and content of twelve key biblical books that have been influential in the history of interpretation. Part II offers a series of in-depth case studies of the interpretation of particular key biblical passages or books with due regard for the specificity of their social, cultural or aesthetic context. These case studies span two millennia of interpretation by readers with widely differing perspectives. Some are at the level of a group response (from Gnostic readings of Genesis, to Post-Holocaust Jewish interpretations of Job); others examine individual approaches to texts (such as Augustine and Pelagius on Romans, or Gandhi on the Sermon on the Mount). Several chapters examine historical moments, such as the 1860 debate over Genesis and evolution, while others look to wider themes such as non-violence or millenarianism. Further chapters study in detail the works of popular figures who have used the Bible to provide inspiration for their creativity, from Dante and Handel, to Bob Dylan and Dan Brown.
"The Oxford Handbook of Feminist Approaches to the Hebrew Bible brings together 37 essential essays written by leading international scholars, examining crucial points of analysis within the field of feminist Hebrew Bible studies. Organized into four major areas - globalization, neoliberalism, media, and intersectionality, the essays collectively provide vibrant, relevant, and innovative contributions to the field. The topics of analysis focus heavily on gender and queer identity, with essays touching on African, Korean, and European feminist hermeneutics, womanist and interreligious readings, ecofeminist and animal biblical studies, migration biblical studies, the role of gender binary voices in evangelical-egalitarian approaches, or the examination of scripture in light of trans women's voices. The volume includes essays examining the Old Testament as recited in music, literature, film, and video games. In short, the book offers a vision for feminist biblical scholarship beyond the hegemonic status quo prevalent in the field of biblical studies, in many religious organizations and institutions that claim the Bible as a sacred text, and among the public that often mentions the Bible to establish religious, political, and socio-cultural restrictions for gendered practices. The exegetically and hermeneutically diverse essays demonstrate that feminist biblical scholarship forges ahead with the task of engaging manifold issues and practices that keep the gender caste system in place even in the early part of the twenty-first century. The essays of this volume thus offer conceptual and exegetical ways forward at a historic moment of global transformation and emerging possibilities"--
An Essential Guide to Methods, Terms, and Concepts
Author: W. Randolph Tate
Publisher: Baker Books
This handbook provides a comprehensive guide to methods, terms, and concepts used by biblical interpreters. It offers students and non-specialists an accessible resource for understanding the complex vocabulary that accompanies serious biblical studies. Articles, arranged alphabetically, explain terminology associated with reading the Bible as literature, clarify the various methods Bible scholars use to study biblical texts, and illuminate how different interpretive approaches can contribute to our understanding. Article references and topical bibliographies point readers to resources for further study. This handbook, now updated and revised to be even more useful for students, was previously published as Interpreting the Bible: A Handbook of Terms and Methods. It is a suitable complement to any standard hermeneutics textbook.
An authoritative, profusely illustrated introduction to the Bible includes an alphabetical guide to the Bible's main figures; timelines, charts, and easy-to-read maps; and more than 1,500 full color illustratons that offer a glimpse of life in biblical times. Reprint.
Clear. Simple. Easy to read. Now in full color for its twenty-fifth edition, this world-renowned Bible handbook is treasured by generations of Bible readers for its clarity, insight, and usefulness. Halley’s Bible Handbook makes the Bible’s wisdom and message accessible. You will develop an appreciation for the cultural, religious, and geographic settings in which the story of the Bible unfolds. You will see how its different themes fit together in a remarkable way. And you will see the heart of God and the person of Jesus Christ revealed from Genesis to Revelation. Written for both mind and heart, this expanded edition of Halley’s Bible Handbook retains Dr. Halley’s highly personal style. It features brilliant maps, photographs, and illustrations; contemporary four-color design; Bible references in the easy-to-read, bestselling New International Version; practical Bible reading programs; helpful tips for Bible study; fascinating archaeological information; easy-to-understand sections on how we got the Bible and on church history; and improved indexes.
This handbook to the Bible places a strong focus on items that use a concept-led presentation to bring new angles to things, such as questions, questions featuring interrogative-style analysis of both sides of an issue, and cultural comparisons giving key tourist guide style information on how today's culture compares with that being considered. In essence, this handbook aims to give all the required information and more on what the Bible is about, but to do so in an economical form and with a lightness of touch that makes it approachable without undermining its serious points.
This book deals with the effect that translation of the Bible has had on the theology of developing churches over the past 200 years, and also examines cultural factors which affect translation, as well as how Bible translation itself affects a people's social and cultural development.
The Bible was the essence of virtually every aspect of the life of the early churches. The Oxford Handbook of Early Christian Biblical Interpretation explores a wide array of themes related to the reception, canonization, interpretation, uses, and legacies of the Bible in early Christianity. Each section contains overviews and cutting-edge scholarship that expands understanding of the field. Part One examines the material text transmitted, translated, and invested with authority, and the very conceptualization of sacred Scripture as God's word for the church. Part Two looks at the culture and disciplines or science of interpretation in representative exegetical traditions. Part Three addresses the diverse literary and non-literary modes of interpretation, while Part Four canvasses the communal background and foreground of early Christian interpretation, where the Bible was paramount in shaping normative Christian identity. Part Five assesses the determinative role of the Bible in major developments and theological controversies in the life of the churches. Part Six returns to interpretation proper and samples how certain abiding motifs from within scriptural revelation were treated by major Christian expositors. The overall history of biblical interpretation has itself now become the subject of a growing scholarship and the final part skilfully examines how early Christian exegesis was retrieved and critically evaluated in later periods of church history. Taken together, the chapters provide nuanced paths of introduction for students and scholars from a wide spectrum of academic fields, including classics, biblical studies, the general history of interpretation, the social and cultural history of late ancient and early medieval Christianity, historical theology, and systematic and contextual theology. Readers will be oriented to the major resources for, and issues in, the critical study of early Christian biblical interpretation.
Designed for both Hebrew and non-Hebrew students, A Handbook to Old Testament Exegesis offers a fresh, hands-on introduction to exegesis of the Old Testament. William P. Brown begins not with the biblical text itself but with the reader, helping students to identify their own interpretive lenses before engaging the biblical text. Brown guides the student through a wide variety of interpretive approaches, including modern methodologiesâ€"feminist, womanist, Latino/a, queer, postcolonial, disability, and ecological approachesâ€"alongside more traditional methods. This allows students to critically reflect on themselves as bona fide interpreters. While covering a wide range of biblical passages, Brown also highlights two common biblical texts throughout the work to help show how each interpretive approach highlights different dimensions of the same texts. Students will appreciate the value of an empathetic inquiry of Scripture that is both inclusive of others and textually in-depth.
Written by Alister McGrath, one of Britain's most admired and insightful biblical scholars, the NIV Bible Handbook is designed to be read alongside the New International Version as a comprehensive guide to Scripture. McGrath's in-depth commentary is complemented by introductions to and outlines of every Bible book, explaining the authorship, context and purpose with which each book was written. The commentary is interspersed with over sixty feature articles addressing difficult questions arising from the Bible, such as, 'What does the Bible say about homosexuality?' and 'Did God really command all that killing?' A number of helpful maps and charts also aid appreciation of biblical narrative and history.