Well-read, thoughtful folks who are just approaching the biblical text for the first time will find this introduction very satisfying. Professor Steve Moyise tackles some thorny issues that modern intellectuals often struggle with when reading the bible, such as the apparent violence, racism, or sexism that the bible seems to support. This second edition has an additional chapter on "Theological Approaches", and expanded chapters on "The Bible and it human authors", and "The Text of the Bible".
This book offers an ideal introduction to the complex field of modern biblical studies. In nine short chapters, readers are introduced to questions of inspiration, canon and authority. This is followed by chapters on historical approaches to the Bible, such as source, form and redaction criticism. Comparisons with other literature, such as ancient flood stories or Egyptian psalms help to set the context for this, as well as an analysis of purpose of each of the four Gospels. The historical approaches conclude with a discussion of the text of the Bible, asking such questions as, How did we get the Bible? and, Why do modern versions of the Bible differ among themselves?
In the second section, the book considers a number of approaches which seek to explain why people interpret the Bible in such different ways. Beginning with literary criticism, the book considers how texts 'speak' to readers and influence their attitudes, emotions and behaviour. This is followed by liberation and feminist approaches, which consider how gender, ethnicity and social location affect what people regard as important and hence how they interpret the Bible. The book concludes with a variety of theological approaches used by those who consider the Bible to be sacred scripture.
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