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Introduction to the Hebrew Bible Paperback – March 1, 2004


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 700 pages
  • Publisher: Fortress Press; Paper edition (March 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0800629914
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800629915
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.9 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #101,031 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"John Collin"s introduction is a timely and welcome contribution, one based on his own extensive research and on his many years of teaching the subject. The reader will find not only a careful presentation of the biblical material but also a judicious assessment of scholarship on it. This book will be a valuable tool for classroom use, and the bibliographics appended to each chapter will help the student who wishes to pursue a topic in greater detail." --James C. VanderKam, John A. O'Brien Professor of Hebrew Scriptures, University of Notre Dame

About the Author

John J. Collins is Professor of Old Testament Criticism and Interpretation in the Holmes Chair at Yale University. His many publications include Daniel (Hermeneia: Fortress Press, 1993), Apocalypticism in the Dead Sea Scrolls (1997), and Jewish Wisdom in the Hellenistic Age (1998).

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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So far I am very much enjoying this book.
Marguerite McDermed
Unlike some other books on the Hebrew Bible, this text is well written and explains topics clearly with enough information without becoming to wordy.
Christopher Boyer
This is an excellent book for studying the Hebrew Scriptures.
Ordy

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

44 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Jordan Pariah on November 16, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It is difficult to imagine a critical, scholastic, introductory textbook to the entire Hebrew Bible (and deuterocanonical texts) that could do a better job than this. The book tops out at just over 600 pages, which is somewhat daunting, but well-worth a studious read. There is only so much that can be done in an introductory textbook without becoming overwhelming. I believe the book found it's way to that boundary between too much and not enough. Inevitably, with a book of this quality, criticisms might tend to become nit-picky. The "illustrations" gathered together in the center of the textbook are lackluster, few in number, and rather common. Anyone with a real interest in the Hebrew Bible or the ancient Near East will be familiar with most of the objects and places pictured. They could at least have presented color photographs. Even better, they could have included a CD with a large archive of photographs to flip through as you read--which brings us to the included CD. I've always felt that including the textbook on an accompanying CD was rather pointless. It's probably done to claim an added value for the product and substantiate an increase in price. Fortunately, you can find the book steeply discounted on places like Amazon.com and then toss the CD without regret (except, perhaps, for the increase in environmental waste). But even if having the book on CD was a welcome option, the publisher chose to discriminate against a large number of its customers by making the work accessible only through a Windows-based operating system. The CD will not load, install, or run on Linux or (I assume) Mac. Being a Linux user, therefore, I found the CD doubly worthless. As a lover of the Tetrateuch, I was thrilled at how much space and time was committed to Genesis and the first half of Exodus.Read more ›
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36 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Noel J. Fitzpatrick on July 20, 2005
Format: Paperback
This is an excellent book, which is exactly what it claims to be an "Introduction to the Hebrew Bible". It will be welcomed by all who want a scholarly, balanced and clear introduction to the difficult topic of the Hebrew Bible. In over 600 pages the Hebrew Bible is discussed, based on solid research. However Professor Collins does not get bogged down excessively with erudite "on the other hands", which might confuse excessively.

Professor Collins skill as a teacher in Yale comes through clearly, as he covers such an amount of material with expertise and knowledge.

This book fulfills a real need for educated, interested readers who wish to gain an insight into the Hebrew Bible, which underlies our civilization.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Evelyn Dodd on November 9, 2006
Format: Paperback
In my six years of study as a post-graduate Theology student,I have read many books introducing me to Hebrew Scripture. Many were excellent and scholarly yet none possessed the "flow and enticement" of Collins' research and presentation. I looked forward each night to resuming my study. Collins managed to tie all the information together, fill in all the gaps, present many perspectives and offer the latest assessment of the evidence thus far. I teach an Adult Bible Study - and ALWAYS have this book at my side. It's as pleasurable a read as it is informative!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Matthew Schupbach on June 5, 2009
Format: Paperback
John Collins' book gives a "big picture" view of the context within which the literature was written/edited. He discusses the culture, politics, geography, theology, and potential understanding of the authors/editors throughout history.

I would recommend this book as a textbook for introductory Hebrew Bible courses and also for arm-chair Bible enthusiasts who want a deeper examination of the text.

Appropriate for all Christian denominations: Catholic/Protestant, etc.

John Collins writes in an easy-to-read style which allows for people of all reading levels to gain an appreciation for the Hebrew Bible.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By NYU Student on October 16, 2005
Format: Paperback
This is a great overview of Biblical content and the main issues facing Biblical scholarship. An excellent resource for any student of Biblical literature, at all levels.
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful By David W. Eitland on October 11, 2005
Format: Paperback
Collins in a straight forward fashion brings the complexities of the Hebrew Bible in an understandable way. He clearly states an overview of scholarship of a particular topic and then provides a compact review of current ways of thinking. I particularly like his book by book overviews. His charts and eaze of language makes the text readable and enlightening. I also like the CD included in the version which give more flexability in studying the text.

Collins will be ranked with Bright in the study of the Old Testament and yet making it accessable to the advanced student reader.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ordy on September 21, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an excellent book for studying the Hebrew Scriptures. I never tired when reading it. One problem is that the CD is not compatible with a Mac computer so it is useless to me. Trouble is I had to pay for something that I cannot use.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Stevie Jake on July 7, 2013
Format: Paperback
The title of the book says it all. This is an introduction to the Hebrew Bible. And one could not ask for a more comprehensive and easy to understand introduction at that. Collins brings Old Testament scholarship down to the level of the layman while managing to salvage all the depth that is associated with such scholarship. Collins has a gift for bringing the material down to level of the average reader. Not once did I feel lost or bogged down in any academic rambles. For this reason alone this book is a gem.

But Collins depth of the material needs also to be applauded. Coming in at over six hundred pages this book seems heady. This is because Collins gives all the relevant information one is looking for and more. One will learn a great deal about the Hebrew Bible as well as the surrounding context (aNE) that gave rise to such literature. The reader will leave this book with a wealth of information and insight. Moreover, at the end of each chapter is a list of books for further study.

I cannot recommend this book highly enough. Collins has produced the best up to date introduction to the Hebrew Bible-the second best would go to Lawrence Boadt's Reading the Old Testament. I will continue to go back to this book in the future because of its usefulness. Get the book!
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