The Oxford Companion to the Bible by Edited by Bruce M. Metzger
The Bible has had an immeasurable influence on Western culture, touching on virtually every aspect of our lives. It is one of the great wellsprings of Western religious, ethical, and philosophical traditions. It has been an endless source of inspiration to artists and writers, and for countless generations, it has been a comfort in suffering; a place to reflect on the mysteries of birth, death, and immortality. Its stories and characters are an integral part of the repertoire of every educated adult, forming an enduring bond that spans thousands of years and embraces a vast community of believers and nonbelievers. The Oxford Companion to the Bible provides an authoritative one-volume reference to the people, places, events, books, institutions, religious belief, and secular influence of the Bible. Written by more than 250 scholars from some 20 nations and embracing a wide variety of perspectives, the Companion offers over seven hundred informative entries. These range from brief identifications (who is Dives? Where is Pisgah?) to extensive interpretive essays on topics as diverse as the Bible's influence on music, immortality, ethics, grace, baptism, and the Holy Spirit. The contributors also explore biblical views of modern issues such as homosexuality, marriage, and anti-Semitism, and the impact of the Bible on the secular world. Of course, the Companion can also serve as a handy reference, the first place to turn to find factual information on the Bible. Readers will find fascinating, informative articles on all the books of the Bible - including the Apocrypha, Dead Sea Scrolls, and many other ancient texts. Virtually every figure who walked across the biblical stage is identified here, ranging from Rebekah, Rachel, and Mary, to Joseph, Barabbas, and Jesus. The Companion also offers entries that shed light on daily life in ancient Israel and the earliest Christian communities, with fascinating articles on feasts and festivals, clothing, medicine, units of time, houses, and furniture. Finally, there are twenty-eight pages of full-colour maps, providing an accurate, detailed portrait of the biblical world. A vast compendium of information related to scriptures, here is an ideal complement to the Bible, an essential volume for every home and library, the first place to turn for information on the central book of Western culture. Includes: Aaron, Angels, Apocrypha, Assyria, Baptism, Chapter and Verse Divisions, Cherub, Dead Sea Scrolls, Feminism and the Bible, Freud and the Bible, Leaven, the Gospel According to Luke, Miriam, Music and the Bible, the Book of Ruth, Suffering, Tabernacle, Zion.
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This comprehensive one-volume companion to the Bible is more than just a dictionary. Words are defined and concepts explored in clear, succinct sentences. In addition, the influence of the Bible on contemporary culture is related in such articles as "The Bible and the Arts", "Dance and the Bible", and "Freud and the Bible." The many contributors read as a veritable who's who among biblical scholars. Although this companion is not meant to be an exhaustive reference, it is a highly reliable guide whose presence will enhance any library's reference section. Mary Deeley, * Booklist * The Oxford Companion to the Bible is excellent, packed with solid information soberly and carefully presented, a reliable guide to an intricate subject. * The Very Reverend Professor Henry Chadwick, Ex-master of Peterhouse College, Cambridge * the best attempt I have yet come across to interpret Scripture with that ambitious yet practical parallel of intellectual depth and popular presentation. I firmly believe that it deserves a priority place on the bookshelf of all who wish to take their reading of the Bible seriously. * The Most Reverend Dr Robin Eames, Archbishop of Armagh, Primate of All Ireland * to serious students of the Bible worth every penny ... The really strong feature of this excellent work is the abundance of interpretive essays which distinguish it from the ordinary Bible dictionary. * Evening Press * This is a single volume of everything the modern reader of the Bible - be they scholar, member-of-the-clergy, believer or non-believer - needs fully to appreciate its meaning and importance. A very worthwhile companion. * The Irish Catholic * This overflowing cornucopia of biblical learning well deserves its title. It is not a conventional dictionary of the Bible, but a companionable volume for curious browsing. This Oxford Comapnion, richly deserves the general reader. He will take pleasure in such gems as the article on "Names for the Nameless", in which one of the editors, wearing his learning lightly, unearths the names invented by Jewish and Christian writers for all those left anonymous in the biblical record. * Eric Heaton, Country Life * Riveting 1,000-page, one-volume ... dictionary of biblical terms, names, references, influences and background to biblical texts and events. Intriguing. * Lucy Lethbridge, Catholic Herald * The Oxford Companions are pleasing books - attractive in the bookcase, comfortable in the hand, and easy to read. It will be desirable to those who are of a dilettante disposition (I do not mean the word unkindly), those who read widely and those who enjoy browsing in Oxford Companions. * D.C. Parker, University of Birmingham, Religion and Theology, August 1994 * While the whole volume has a scholarly atmosphere, it is cast in manageable English, not overweighted with technical terminology or theological jargon. There is a good balance of information, interpretation and application of Bible literature. For private study, the "Companion" has a lot to offer by way of vibrant, thoughtful articles and clear analysis. The format is attractive ... the quality of the writing and the variety of the material included in this production is very good value at just over 3p per page. In circles where the Bible is a bestseller, it deserves to be taken seriously. * Robert Dunlop (Revd), Baptist Times * a mass of useful information and some penetrating analysis not usually found in works of this kind ... a wealth of useful information assembled within the book's covers * Bible Study Monthly, July/August, 1994 * Thorough-going, 250-strong team-written reference publications are by their nature rare products and are to be welcomed, even when such a huge collaborative effort is bound to produce unevenness. However, when the scholarship is inclusive and readable, one knows one has a useful book to recommend, despite the price, to meeting house librarians. * Tony Brown, The Friend * It is a reference book for students, needing to stimulate some deeper level of research and thought, and for rusty operatives needing to jog themselves into some sort of academic vitality. * Peter Hackett, The Month, July 1994 * he handles the result -The Oxford Companon to the Bible - with the excitement of a first-time author touching his literary launch pad ... a remarkable 900-page tour de force * David Hall, Oxford Times * Thousands of books have been written about it, but now a very special one is added to their number. "The Oxford Companion to the Bible" offers, in a single weighty volume, everything that modern readers of the Bible ... need fully to appreciate its import and importance. It is a supremely authoritative reference work on the key characters, places, events, concepts, institutions and realities of Biblical times. * John Knowles, Evening Chronicle * superbly produced, comprehensive dictionary of the Bible ... It is the very best of modern scholarship and historical research and includes 13 pages of maps of the Bible Lands. This is the book to turn to for an authoritative and clear account of how the Bible came to be written ... It is also a mine of intriguing information. A total of 250 of the finest scholars have contributed to supply a delightful and endlessly fascinating companion to the Good Book. * Peter Mullen, Yorkshire Post * This is not a commentary but rather a handbok which goes beyond the usual scope of books, biographies and beliefs. * Times Educational Supplement * This is a single volume of everything the modern reader of the Bible - be they scholar, member of the clergy, believer or non-believer - needs fully to appreciate its meaning and importance. * The Irish Catholic * a large book in every sense ... I found it hard to put down. * The Sign, May 1994 * this prodigious, learned, witty, wonderfully informative Oxford Companion to the Bible is, for our time, probably unbeatable. * Valentine Cunningham The Observer * many of the entries on the history of the Bible reading are outstanding ... All those on the history of interpretation are excellent ... this book will be a solid standby ... It deserves a good shelf life. * Bishop Rowan Williams, Sunday Telegraph * A resource such as this Companion is indispensable for those who use the Bible as spiritual sustenance and those who seek to find its truth in a more systematic method. The Companion will prove a friendly aid to newcomers to biblical study, as well as an invaluable and comprehensive resource for those already well immersed in biblical scholarship. * Gina Menzies, The Irish Times * this is a valuable work, which should be on the shelves of every public and school library, and which individuals can purchase with confidence * The Expository Times, Volume 105, September 1994 * The work is certainly authoritative. It is also wide-ranging. * Henry Wansbrough, St Benet's Hall, Oxford, Theology * a comprehensive guide to the Bible ... it is by no means beyond the grasp of the lay person, and is written in a style that is easy to understand * Paulinus Barnes, The Universe * The long-awaited Companion has arrived! It contains contributions from almost every reputable biblical scholar in the English-speaking world and beyond. The work is certainly authoritative. It is also wide-ranging. * Henry Wansbrough, St Benet's Hall, Oxford, Theology * the book is remarkable ... for the variety of materials it encompasses ... the book stands in the tradition of scholarship you would associate with the Oxford University Press. * Alec Gilmore, University of Sussex, Theological Book Review, Vol. 7, No. 1, Oct 1994 * This handsome publication has been long in the making and careful in the editing; it is now justifiably promoted by the Press with great vigour. The Companion includes over 700 entries by some 250 scholars from 20 countries in all 5 continents. It is thus truly international and ecumenical, and representative of mainstream contemporary scholarship, with many famous world authorities writing succinct but magisterial articles. * Book Reviews * A comprehensive and very informative reference work (for a vast range of biblical material), with a very helpful index and 14 full colour maps. The list of over 250 contributors is impressive and reads like a biblical scholarship "Who's who" ... a valuable part of the Bible user's toolkit, as well as a general resource for all those interested in discovering more through that most complex, exciting, perplexing, and ultimately rewarding activity - studying God's Living Word. * The Year in Reference * An outstanding one-volume reference book. * Methodist Recorder * just the radical, deconstructive, feminist, post-modernist stimulus the end-of-the-century Bible reader needs, even (especially?) at Christmas * Valentine Cunningham, The Observer * After the Bible itself, this is the ideal Companion to give those in our armed forces information on the central book of Western culture. * Army Quarterly and Defence Journal, Volume 125, No. 2, Spring 1995 *
About Edited by Bruce M. Metzger
Bruce M. Metzger is George L. Collard Professor Emeritus of New Testament Language and Literature, Princeton Theological Seminary. A recognised authority on the text of the New Testament, he was chairperson of the NRSV Bible Committee, which produced the New Revised Standard Version, and he was co-editor (with Roland E. Murphy) of The New Oxford Annotated Bible. Michael D. Coogan is Professor of Religious Studies at Stonehill College.
The Oxford Companion to the Bible by Edited by Bruce M. Metzger
Edited by Bruce M. Metzger
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