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The Oxford Illustrated History of the Bible (Oxford illustrated histories) [Hardcover]

By John W. Rogerson (Editor) & J. W. Rogerson (Editor)
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Item Specifications...

Pages   395
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 10.05" Width: 7.7" Height: 1.14"
Weight:   2.65 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Jul 19, 2001
Publisher   Oxford University Press
ISBN  0198601182  
EAN  9780198601180  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Here is the story of a book--the Bible--a book like no other, which has been in continuous use for nearly 2000 years. In this new Oxford history, a distinguished team of scholars presents an authoritative account of that story, richly illustrated, and based on the latest research.
Readers will learn how a collection of writings in Semitic languages and in Greek--writings that we now call the Books of the Bible--developed over a period of about 800 years and how, even before the Bible existed as one volume, its constituent parts were interpreted and subjected to a scrutiny that no other writing has had to endure. The contributors trace the routes by which the canon of Scripture was determined, shedding light on the many controversies over which writings should be regarded as authoritative and which should be considered Apocrypha and hidden from public use. They describe how over centuries the writings were copied, translated, and printed, and how they were interpreted in Judaism and in the churches in the East and West. It concludes with surveys of how the Bible is used today in feminist criticism, and in the movements for theological liberation in Latin America, Africa, and Europe. The volume also features an index and a guide to further reading.
Written by an international team of 17 renowned biblical scholars, and handsomely illustrated with over 150 black-and-white illustrations and 24 pages of color plates, The Oxford Illustrated History of the Bible is an essential resource for everyone interested in the origin and interpretation of the Word of God.

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More About John W. Rogerson & J. W. Rogerson

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John Rogerson is Emeritus Professor of Biblical Studies, University of Sheffield, where he was Head of Department for 15 years. He is author of An Introduction to the Bible, Atlas of the Bible, The Old Testament World (with Philip Davies), and Chronicle of the Old Testament Kings.

J. W. Rogerson has an academic affiliation as follows - Emeritus Professor of Biblical Studies, University of Sheffield.

J. W. Rogerson has published or released items in the following series...
  1. JSOT Supplement (Hardcover)

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
The Oxford Illustrated History of the Bible  May 14, 2007
I purchased this book looking for a guide to the actual history of hos the Bible came to be. This book delivered, sort of. It covered what I was looking for, but not in the depth that I really wanted. The collection of writers seem to know their subject matter, but the editing of putting together is somewhat lacking. It seems to be an overview of everything it sets out to define. There is no cross referencing or anything else that would make this a single-volume research book. At times the book is down right boring. Very nlittle is offered to captivate the reader's attention.

Yet the book is not without its merits. It gives the casual reader enough information to promote further study. It has very colorful artwork, though perhaps not enough (too many black and white copies of paintings). This book takes a dedicated reader to plow through it, but it may very well be rewarding for the right person.
Extremely dull writing, not for Biblical Studies per se  Feb 5, 2007
Similar books on the smae subject are written in a much more lively style. I've tried several times to read this book and just can't go on. So i've only read about one fourth of the book. The train of thought is hard to follow because the author goes of on some tangent, or clouds the main idea with insignificant and/or irrelevent details. It takes more concentration than I can muster to return to the main point of that section, if a main point can even be sorted out.

The book seems to focus more on how the Bible has been used through the centuries, and not so much about authorship and dating of the individual books. The book is not really about the Bible itself, but about the people and societies/organizations that have used it or been impacted by it throughout history. I belongs in the category of western/European history and not in the category of Biblical Studies. It might also abe categorized as History of Literature, or something like that.

My disclaimer: for the aforementioned reasons I've based this review on a quick parousal of the entire book and a more thourough reading of the first quarter of the text. I hope this helps.
History With an Agenda  Jul 20, 2004
This book started out meeting my expectations of discussion concerning how the Bible as we know it today has evolved since its conception. There is adequate discussion of the various versions and how they were produced and the abundant trials along the way for many of the first translators trying to get the Bible into the common masses' hands.

From there this book delves into textual criticism which is a logical course given that the Bible's various interpretations have much to do with the actions done in the name of God. This leads the authors to discuss how the Bible was/is used by its readership throughout history. I thought that there was not nearly enough discourse on the major threads of Christianity and Judaism, given the absolute importance of these denominations and Western civilization.

Finally, and discouragingly, the book ends with liberation theology with a main focus on feminism and African-American advances and here is where this book reads like a political agenda or a subtle apology. I found these issues a poor choice for the last 50 pages of the book. Should they have been ignored, probably not, but overkill comes to mind.

A mixed kettle of fish...  Jul 8, 2001
Like The Bible itself, this volume is a library of `books'. It includes works of varying styles and topics, written by various authors, and collected under a single cover. This collection of 16 essays, by an assortment of writers, (in my opinion) makes for a patchwork approach. The articles vary wildly in quality and approach.

The photographs, color plates, woodcuts, and engravings are absolutely spectacular, and complement the adjacent text. It's a pity they are not numbered, but they ARE indexed (by page number and T,B,L,C,R locations) in an addendum curiously titled `Acknowledgement of Sources'.

The Oxford Illustrated History of the Bible is divided into four sections: (1) The Historical Background of the Making of the Bible; (2) Text and Translation of the Making of the Bible; (3) The Study and Use of the Bible; and (4) Contemporary Interpretation. My ratings of each subsection are: 5-star, 5-star, 4-star, and 1-star.

Starting with the first two sections dealing with the Making of the Bible, don't miss the contributions of Philip Davies, `The Apocrypha,' David Parker's `The New Testament'; and Stanley E. Porter's `Modern Translations'. Be aware however that Porter is solely concerned with translation of the Bible into English... those expecting coverage of any other focus will be sadly disappointed. One `chapter' I had looked forward to reading was `The Bible in the Eastern Churches'. Bebawi's essay on this topic was a total disappointment. It was especially sad, since the next article (by Philip Alexander, see below) was so well done!

Despite the fact that The Bible is 70 percent Old Testament and 30 percent New Testament, this book reflects a predictably disproportionate interest in Christianity. (Predictable because so many more people adhere to Christianity than to Judaism). Nonetheless, Philip Alexander's section, `The Bible in Judaism' is an excellent contribution. Geoffrey Khan's portion, `The Hebrew Bible' is also superb.

I found the last section (Contemporary Interpretation) to be a waste of paper and ink. The four essays included are: Feminist Scholarship; Liberation Theology: Latin America; Liberation Theology: Africa and the Bible; and Liberation Theology: Europe. It boggled my mind to find (1) nothing about contemporary American fundamentalist interpretations of the Bible, (2) nothing about the technical problems of translation (like the problem of the shepherd/sheep analogy to island-dwelling fishermen who have never seen a sheep or any conception of why a shepherd would be involved with these creatures); (3) nothing about the relationship of the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament to religions and sects indebted to them but not based on them (such as The Church of Latter Day Saints and Islam just to mention two!); (4) nothing about the Pentecostal movement, especially important in Latin America; (5) nothing about Biblical interpretations by `sects' (ranging from the Branch Davidians to the Jehovah's Witnesses - I could go on and on... This work is obviously academic (in a very narrow cultural sense), and - despite the pretensions of Section four (Contemporary Interpretation) - parochial. I was tempted to use a razor blade, and cut this entire section out of an otherwise excellent book!

Considering the amount of effort that went into this work, I wish that the editors had provided timelines. It is probably a better learning procedure to go through the text with an Excel spreadsheet or Word tables open, extracting data from the text into a chronologically coherent summary, but it is `a pain'. If a reader can do it, the editor could have done it.

This is an excellent work, despite many lacunae. It filled an educational gap in my knowledge, and - given the partisan glosses that Bible study usually includes - should help others with a sincere desire to learn more about this library of religious readings.


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