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Readings from the Ancient Near East: Primary Sources for Old Testament Study (Encountering Biblical Studies) Paperback – September 1, 2002

4.3 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Considering these works, it seems fair to say that the publisher's "Encountering Biblical Studies" series will make a useful contribution to a reader's biblical knowledge. The series, designed for undergraduate college courses in religion but useful for educated lay readers as well, is written from a very conservative or evangelical perspective and provides good examples of that approach. Aside from expository volumes like Hagner's, which address individual books of the Bible, the series consists of two surveys treating the Old and New Testaments plus two collateral volumes of readings aimed at placing the Testaments in historical context. With Readings from the Ancient Near East: Primary Sources for Old Testament Study, Arnold and Beyer (coauthors, Encountering the Old Testament) provide a selection of 91 documents from other cultures surrounding Israel and thus inform the reader of the wider cultural, religious, and social context in which the Old Testament documents were composed. Each selection is preceded by brief comments that make clear the background and content of the text. They are arranged in the same order as the books of the Old Testament and are collected under headings such as "Creation and the Flood" and "Law Codes." An excellent selection by the editors helps the reader compare and contrast biblical material with other readings from the same region. The book by Hagner (George Eldon Ladd Professor of New Testament, Fuller Theological Seminary) is not a verse-by-verse exposition but a chapter-by-chapter summary of the major themes of the New Testament Book of Hebrews. Hagner also includes commentary on how this applies to the Christian life. Each chapter is preceded by an outline, a list of supplemental reading from other biblical books, and suggested objectives for student learning. At the end of each chapter is a list of study questions, key terms, and a bibliography for further reading. A select bibliography, glossary, Scripture index, and subject index add to the usefulness of the volume. Both books are recommended for libraries looking to supplement their collection of evangelical books related to the study of the Bible.
David Bourquin, California State Univ., San Bernardino
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From the Back Cover

ìIt is paramount that students of the Bible learn the rich textual heritage of the ancient Near East, and this great resource helps them do just that. This is probably the best small single-volume work of its type to appear in over thirty years.î óMark W. Chavalas, University of Wisconsin-Lacrosse

ìA well-selected and well-introduced anthology. It is a natural and obvious choice as a textbook for introductory courses and is without doubt the most comprehensive, up-to-date, and affordable volume of its kind on the market.î óBrent A. Strawn, Candler School of Theology, Emory University

ìOur understanding of the Hebrew Bible is enhanced when we are familiar with similar texts from the ancient world. Until now it has been difficult to introduce students to these ancient texts because only two types of translations existed: too large (and expensive!) or too small (and superficial!). With this volume, Arnold and Beyer bring us a step closer to becoming competent readers of Scripture.î óKenton L. Sparks, Eastern University

ìThere are a number of new volumes of translated ancient texts that might be of interest to students of the Bible, but most are either far too long or too narrowly focused. This new volume promises a convenient, affordable reference for some of the most important writings that help us understand the world of the Old Testament.î óDaniel E. Fleming, New York University ìThis wonderful treasury of key ancient Near Eastern writings provides the essential background for interpreting the Bible in its original context. As an affordable and well-chosen selection of so many important literary works, it fills a need for a modern version of older anthologies that can be used in college survey courses on the Old Testament and its world.î óRichard S. Hess, Denver Seminary

ìThe editorsí familiarity with the primary sources has resulted in a careful selection of material judiciously arranged to be of maximum benefit to the student seeking acquaintance with the vast literature of the ancient Near East relating to the Old Testament.î óJohn H. Walton, Wheaton College

Bill T. Arnold (Ph.D., Hebrew Union College) is professor of Old Testament and Semitic languages at Asbury Theological Seminary, and Bryan E. Beyer (Ph.D., Hebrew Union College) is dean of students at Columbia International University. They are the coauthors of Encountering the Old Testament: A Christian Survey.

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Product Details

  • Series: Encountering Biblical Studies
  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Baker Academic; 2002 ED edition (September 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801022924
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801022920
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #77,267 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By G. Moore on April 27, 2008
Format: Paperback
This book is good for doing research in Ancient Near Eastern relgions and culture. Not much is given in terms of connection with biblical material, but it's not meant to be. It's a collection of very diverse primary sources that put the Tanakh (Old Testament) into its greater context - Ancient Near Eastern culture. I would recommend it for anyone doing research in that area. Its not as bulky, robust, and expensive as some other source collections, but it still offers a nice array of materials for a good price.
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Format: Paperback
My professor required this book as part of most of his Old Testament courses. He gave his own commentary showing how writings from other cultures influenced the authors of the Bible, and how the authors of the Bible answered the other cultures. The book helped shed light on Ancient Near Eastern practices that were common during the days of Abraham to the days of the Kings. For those who want to just read other texts and see how they compare to the Bible, it would be useful to have a commentary showing similar texts in the Bible. If it is required reading for class, it would be advisable to the professor to show the important correlations between the Biblical texts and the ANE texts.
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This book is helpful when undertaking an in-depth study of the Old Testament, especially when looking at the historical background of the writings. The photos and descriptions of ancient texts, cities and artifacts also added clarity.
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This is a great and very useful resource for studying the ANE background of the OT. However, the binding of the book is awful. It is beginning to fall apart after a year of minimal use. The same goes with other paperbacks of the same collection (e.g. Encountering the Book of Psalms; Readings from the First Century World), all of which have pages that are detaching after a few months of light use. Come on BakerAcademic, why the sub-par binding quality?
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The readings are taken from some of the hundreds of thousands of documents recovered from tels all over the Near East, and they make for fascinating reading. Better understand the cultural milieu of the OT with this reference book. Makes for a nice companion to De Mieroop's A History of the Ancient Near East.
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This is an excellent tool to travel back in time and compare literature from the days of the Bible.
Although this is mainly for students and faculty, others with more than a passing desire for early literature will be pleased also.

I enjoyed it and will keep for future reference.
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If everyone could read the contents of this book it would make the scriptures have such amazing depth and reality. It all makes such sense.
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This is a research book and a good one at that. I read the book while working my MA at Liberty University. The book is a collection of pictures and references from the Pentateuch, historical books, poetic books, and prophetic books. It is fascinating and will help you prove the Truth of the Bible for those interested in Apologists. I must admit it is dry and often hard to muddle through BUT, it is well worth the effort.
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