There are plenty of Old Testament introductions but how many do you know of that have a Jewish and Christian as coauthors. The Hebrew Bible for Beginners does and this makes it unique in its field. Here’s the catalog description:
“Introductions to the Hebrew Bible (or Old Testament) tend toward extensive scholarly discussion with little to introduce the student to the tremendous influence this seminal collection has had on contemporary society or to the complexities of reading ancient religious literature today. Further, few books, if any, discuss the differing ways Jews and Christians approach this common scripture, or how each group appropriates its teachings in divergent, conflicting, and often complex ways.
Related to this issue is the problem of how scholarly approaches to reading this literature often stand in stark contrast to popular and religious approaches. This disparity of methods usually startles the inexperienced student and can be alarming, indeed shocking, to religious practitioners.
This book offers a critical yet sympathetic overview of the Hebrew Bible and the field of biblical studies, as well as introduces the reader to Jewish, Catholic, and Protestant interpretations of it. Avoiding jargon and convoluted prose, this highly accessible volume provides textboxes, charts, a timeline, a glossary, and regularly includes artistic renderings of biblical scenes to keep lay and beginning readers engaged.”
The Hebrew Bible for Beginners by Joel S. Kaminsky and Joel N. Lohr is from Abingdon Press. Watch for it this September. It will be a hardcover with 384 pages and sell for $39.99
Joel S. Kaminsky is the Morningstar Family Professor of Jewish Studies and Professor of Bible in the Religion Department at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts.
Joel N. Lohr is the Dean of Religious Life and Associate Professor in the Gladys L. Benard School of Education at University of the Pacific in Stockton, California.