Ancient Texts for the Study of the Hebrew Bible: A Guide to the Background Literature  -     By: Kenton L. Sparks
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Ancient Texts for the Study of the Hebrew Bible: A Guide to the Background Literature

Baker Academic / 2005 / Hardcover

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Product Description

The Hebrew Bible represents no mere collection of books but a stunning array of literary genres. To fully illuminate the history and culture of the Old Testament, it is necessary to compare these ancient writings to similar texts written concurrently by Israel's neighbors. Beginning with an overview of the important literary archives of the ancient Near East, Kenton L. Sparks provides exhaustive references to the ancient literary counterparts to the Hebrew Bible's major genres.

Surveying the ancient writings found throughout Egypt, Mesopotamia, Anatolia, and Palestine, Sparks provides a brief summary of each text discussed, translating brief portions and linking them to literarily similar biblical passages. Exploring over 30 genres: wisdom, hymns, love poetry, rituals, prophecy, apocalyptic, novella, epic legend, myth, genealogy, history, law, treaty, epigraphic materials, and others it offers an exemplary guide to the fertile literary environment from which the canonical writings sprung. Rich with bibliographic material, this invaluable catalog enables the reader to locate not only the published texts in their original ancient languages but to find suitable English translations and commentary bearing on these ancient texts.

A number of helpful indexes round out this outstanding resource and provide students with a thorough introduction to the literature of the ancient Near East, and time-pressed scholars with an admirably up-to-date research tool.

Product Information

Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 608
Vendor: Baker Academic
Publication Date: 2005
Dimensions: 9.00 X 6.00 (inches)
ISBN: 0801047730
ISBN-13: 9780801047732
Availability: Usually ships in 24-48 hours.

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Publisher's Description

The Hebrew Bible represents no mere collection of books but a stunning array of literary genres. To fully illuminate the history and culture of the Old Testament, it is necessary to compare these ancient writings to similar texts written concurrently by Israel's neighbors. Beginning with an overview of the important literary archives of the ancient Near East, Sparks provides exhaustive references to the ancient literary counterparts to the Hebrew Bible's major genres. Surveying the ancient writings found throughout Egypt, Mesopotamia, Anatolia, and Palestine, Sparks provides a brief summary of each text discussed, translating brief portions and linking them to literarily similar biblical passages. Exploring over thirty genres--wisdom, hymns, love poetry, rituals, prophecy, apocalyptic, novella, epic legend, myth, genealogy, history, law, treaty, epigraphic materials, and others--it offers an exemplary guide to the fertile literary environment from which the canonical writings sprung. Rich with bibliographic material, this invaluable catalog enables the reader to locate not only the published texts in their original ancient languages but to find suitable English translations and commentary bearing on these ancient texts. A number of helpful indexes round out this outstanding resource. Providing students with a thorough introduction to the literature of the ancient Near East--and time-pressed scholars with an admirably up-to-date research tool--it will become a syllabus standard for a myriad of courses.

Author Bio

Kenton L. Sparks is associate professor of biblical studies at Eastern University in St. Davids, Pennsylvania. His others works include Ethnicity and Identity in Ancient Israel and The Pentateuch: An Annotated Bibliography.

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  1. Blue Springs, MO
    Age: 18-24
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    5 Stars Out Of 5
    The Perfect Introduction
    June 10, 2013
    Jonathan Becker
    Blue Springs, MO
    Age: 18-24
    Gender: Male
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This work aptly addresses the relevant background material from the ANE. It is not meant to be a compilation of sources; instead, it is a summary of kinds of literature. The author's expertise shines through every page, making this an enjoyable read, even if one is more interested in understanding general trends than individual documents (one doesn't have to read about each work, summaries are easy to locate in each chapter).

    If one is looking for the primary sources, this book also includes huge bibliographies for all (and I mean ALL) relevant material.

    There is nothing I dislike about this work. Hopefully the NT companion volume is just as good.
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