An Introduction to the Bible: Sacred Texts and Imperial Contexts

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Wiley, 2010 M03 8 - 383 pages

"Carr and Conway have broken free from the typical introduction to the Bible by framing their readable prose around the key effect of empire(s) on the development of biblical traditions. While not ignoring fundamental issues such as authorship, genre, and dating, their unique approach tells a compelling story of crucial periods in canonical history. Helpful sidebars provide readers with key texts as well as comments on content and method, and every chapter is richly illustrated with pictures, photographs, and maps. The whole approach is oriented towards a pedagogy in which students are invited into the conversation through overviews, exercises and reflection questions for each chapter. Students will find this book intellectually engaging and a pleasure to read. Instructors will be pleased to have a creative textbook as a partner in their teaching."
RICHARD S. ASCOUGH, Queen's University, Canada

"As reliable as Carr and Conway are in their guidance to the Bible and to biblical scholarship, they are also not afraid to push at the cutting edge. Combine that fearlessness with a genuine concern for and knowledge of how students actually learn, and you've got a truly outstanding textbook."
TOD LINAFELT, Georgetown University

This groundbreaking introduction to the Bible explores its emergence and development in the context of world history. It particularly focuses on the role of a number of empires in the formation of the biblical canon.

In addition to its comprehensive coverage, this book also integrates in an accessible way the most up-to-date work in the field. It traces the development of the Bible through its interaction with the empires of the time, from the Mesopotamian, Egyptian, Assyrian, Babylonian, Persian, and Hellenistic empires, through to the Roman dominion. Topics explored include the formation of the Pentateuch, the development of the earliest

Old Testament stories, the historical study of the gospel traditions surrounding Jesus; the influence of Roman rule in the provinces where Paul spent much of his ministry; and the interpretation of the biblical texts and their use by different faith communities. Packed throughout with reader-friendly features including study questions, bibliographies, timelines, and illustrations and photos, this is a balanced and informed introduction.

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Paul and his Letters in the Roman Colonial Context
Marks Story of Jesus in the Midst of Roman Retribution

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About the author (2010)

DAVID M. CARR is Professor of Old Testament/Hebrew Bible at Union Theological Seminary in New York. His previous books include Reading the Fractures of Genesis: Historical and Literary Approaches (1996);The Erotic Word: Sexuality, Spirituality and the Bible (2003); and Writing on the Tablet of the Heart: Origins of Scripture and Literature (2005).

COLLEEN M. CONWAY is Professor of Religious Studies at Seton Hall University, South Orange, New Jersey. Her books include Men and Women in the Fourth Gospel: Gender and Johannine Characterization (1999) and Behold the Man: Jesus and Greco Roman Masculinity (2008).

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