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Introduction to the Hebrew Bible: 12 Paperback – 1 Mar 2004

3.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 613 pages
  • Publisher: Augsburg Fortress (1 Mar. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0800629914
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800629915
  • Product Dimensions: 23.8 x 17.6 x 4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 596,200 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

''John Collins'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 bibliographies 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

''Drawing on years of teaching in seminary and university, and of addressing Christian and Jewish popular audiences, Collins has produced a clear, concise, and up-to-date introduction to the Old Testament including the Deuterocanonical books. Wisely following the canonical order of books (slightly adapted), he describes each book's contents, critical issues, and religious meaning. Collins situates each biblical book squarely in its historical setting, and deals honestly with the problems as well as well as the bounty of the Bible. A special bonus is his masterful coverage of the often-slighted Second Temple literature. Its seriousness, detail, and sophistication set this textbook apart and make it an excellent resource for college and seminary courses, and for pastors and educated laity.'' --Richard J. Clifford, S.J., Professor of Biblical Studies, Weston Jesuit School of Theology, Cambridge, MA

''At last! This is the Introduction to the Hebrew Bible I have been looking for: a balanced and richly informative introduction that covers essential critical and comparative perspectives and sets up pertinent interpretive issues, leaving the instructor free to work with the class in any number of directions. Using Collins' textbook is like team-teaching with a master teacher. His tone is welcoming but often wry, accessible yet authoritative. This is a textbook written by someone who not only knows his students but who genuinely likes them and likes to challenge them. Collins does not take refuge in an antiquarian approach to the Hebrew Bible but repeatedly identifies the complex ethical issues raised by the text and by the responsibilities involved in interpreting the text.'' --Carol Newsom, Professor of Old Testament, Candler School of Theology

''Drawing on years of teaching in seminary and university, and of addressing Christian and Jewish popular audiences, Collins has produced a clear, concise, and up-to-date introduction to the Old Testament including the Deuterocanonical books. Wisely following the canonical order of books (slightly adapted), he describes each book's contents, critical issues, and religious meaning. Collins situates each biblical book squarely in its historical setting, and deals honestly with the problems as well as well as the bounty of the Bible. A special bonus is his masterful coverage of the often-slighted Second Temple literature. Its seriousness, detail, and sophistication set this textbook apart and make it an excellent resource for college and seminary courses, and for pastors and educated laity.'' --Richard J. Clifford, S.J., Professor of Biblical Studies, Weston Jesuit School of Theology, Cambridge, MA

''At last! This is the Introduction to the Hebrew Bible I have been looking for: a balanced and richly informative introduction that covers essential critical and comparative perspectives and sets up pertinent interpretive issues, leaving the instructor free to work with the class in any number of directions. Using Collins' textbook is like team-teaching with a master teacher. His tone is welcoming but often wry, accessible yet authoritative. This is a textbook written by someone who not only knows his students but who genuinely likes them and likes to challenge them. Collins does not take refuge in an antiquarian approach to the Hebrew Bible but repeatedly identifies the complex ethical issues raised by the text and by the responsibilities involved in interpreting the text.'' --Carol Newsom, Professor of Old Testament, Candler School of Theology

About the Author

John J. Collins is Holmes Professor of Old Testament Criticism and Interpretation at Yale Divinity School and author of many works, including Encounters with Biblical Theology (2005, Fortress Press, 978-0-8006-3769-9).


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3.3 out of 5 stars
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This the best introduction to the Hebrew Bible i read. All the main issues are introduced in a clear, simple but overall complete way. In contrast with other "introductions" which are very academic, the text is not overloaded with distinguos and therefore it is very readeble all across the 24 books of the Hebrew Bible. An ideal tool for study. The glossary at the end is also particulary useful.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book has no index. Hopeless!!!!!!
And it is full of assumptions and suppositions that are not backed up.
It is highly one-sided with no arguments provided for alternative views.
Greatly disappointing.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Useful for scholars of religion. Not introductory in the real sense of it. I think you need a good understanding of the Hebrew Bible to use this book efctively.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x903bbf24) out of 5 stars 51 reviews
49 of 54 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x90403984) out of 5 stars Extremely Informative, A Little Judgmental 17 Nov. 2008
By Jordan Pariah - Published on Amazon.com
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. Unfortunately, the rest of the Tetrateuch suffered. The last half of Exodus as well as Numbers receive, perhaps, the poorest treatment in the entire textbook. Leviticus, thankfully, was not treated so unjustly, but it's treatment still suffered. My biggest complaint is the biased judgment calls that Collins weaves subtly or not-so-subtly through the entire work. He repeatedly inserts factual judgments on ideas or arguments which he either has not presented evidence for or had previously discussed only as a possible way of viewing things. I found myself repeatedly writing the word "why?" in the margin or making some sort of note where Collins proceeded upon an assumption or argument that I found rather thin or unconvincing. It is clear that Collins attempts to bypass his own biases by giving time and attention to various arguments and evidences, but he is not consistent. Perhaps Collins felt the need when dealing with sacred literature to guard against the abuses of Fundamentalism. But since when was he the guardian of the text? Overall, the book comes highly recommended. One cannot fail to receive a great deal of critical, theological, and historical insight, while building a solid foundation in their study of the Hebrew Bible.
38 of 43 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x909b8b64) out of 5 stars An Excellent Book - Highly Recommended 20 July 2005
By Noel J. Fitzpatrick - Published on Amazon.com
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.
22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9146287c) out of 5 stars You'll keep coming back for more! 10 Nov. 2006
By Evelyn Dodd - Published on Amazon.com
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!
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x90403dbc) out of 5 stars Build Context into your Bible Study 5 Jun. 2009
By Matthew Schupbach - Published on Amazon.com
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.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x90403f6c) out of 5 stars Superb OT Introduction 8 July 2013
By Stevie Jake - Published on Amazon.com
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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