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The Oxford Companion to the Bible [Paperback]

Michael D Coogan (Editors) Bruce M Metzger
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Paperback: 874 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford Univ Press; 1st Edition edition (1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195046455
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195046458
  • ASIN: B005E8FUV2
  • Product Dimensions: 23.2 x 16 x 4.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 615,822 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A worthy companion 5 Nov 2004
By Kurt Messick HALL OF FAME
Format:Hardcover
Oxford University Press has a reputation second to none in the production of scholarly reference works, particularly in the humanities and social sciences. It has certainly upheld that fine reputation for scholarship, objectivity, and authoritative research with its latest 'Oxford Companion to the Bible', edited by Bruce Metzger and Michael Coogan.
Pulling together a worthy group of researchers and scholars (the directory of contributors spans seven pages of rather small typeset print), the 'Oxford Companion to the Bible' represents a major work of reference useful in any biblical endeavour. 'Interpretation of the Bible has of course not been consistent, and throughout history the Bible has been used to support contradictory positions on such issues as slavery, the role of women, war and peace, forms of government, and finance. The Companion reflects this diversity: it is consciously pluralistic, and its more than 250 contributors, as well as its editors and editorial advisory board, encompass a wide spectrum of intellectual and confessional perspectives.'
In keeping with the diversity of authorship, the Companion is meant to be useful to a diverse range of Bible readers and religious. The Companion includes systematic treatment of the use, development, and role of the Bible in Jewish, Christian, and Muslim traditions, as well as the influence and significance of the Bible in thematic areas such as the arts, literature, politics, law, history, and culture.
This is not a simple Bible dictionary -- it has encyclopedic entries with in-depth analyses that go beyond mere definition, and contains more than 700 articles, each with authorship noted (so that the perspective can be known from whence the essay's asssertions come).
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interpreting The Bible. 11 April 2011
Format:Hardcover
This Companion to the Bible was published in 1993 and is pluralistic in that there are more than 250 contributors. There are over 850 pages of text and 14 maps. The Companion is arranged by subject in alphabetical order and is well cross-referenced.

Ideal for the non-academic who seeks to find out the history and the whys and wherefores of the biblical stories.

The contributors are all named together with their affiliations. It makes an impressive list and gives assurance that the views and interpretations are well-balanced.

Talking of balances - it weighs 1.35 kilos !!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A worthy companion... 1 Dec 2004
By Kurt Messick HALL OF FAME
Format:Paperback
Oxford University Press has a reputation second to none in the production of scholarly reference works, particularly in the humanities and social sciences. It has certainly upheld that fine reputation for scholarship, objectivity, and authoritative research with its latest 'Oxford Companion to the Bible', edited by Bruce Metzger and Michael Coogan.
Pulling together a worthy group of researchers and scholars (the directory of contributors spans seven pages of rather small typeset print), the 'Oxford Companion to the Bible' represents a major work of reference useful in any biblical endeavour. 'Interpretation of the Bible has of course not been consistent, and throughout history the Bible has been used to support contradictory positions on such issues as slavery, the role of women, war and peace, forms of government, and finance. The Companion reflects this diversity: it is consciously pluralistic, and its more than 250 contributors, as well as its editors and editorial advisory board, encompass a wide spectrum of intellectual and confessional perspectives.'
In keeping with the diversity of authorship, the Companion is meant to be useful to a diverse range of Bible readers and religious. The Companion includes systematic treatment of the use, development, and role of the Bible in Jewish, Christian, and Muslim traditions, as well as the influence and significance of the Bible in thematic areas such as the arts, literature, politics, law, history, and culture.
This is not a simple Bible dictionary -- it has encyclopedic entries with in-depth analyses that go beyond mere definition, and contains more than 700 articles, each with authorship noted (so that the perspective can be known from whence the essay's asssertions come).
Read more ›
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Was this review helpful to you?
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Treasure Store 24 April 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I bought the paperback version many years ago. That the binding has now fallen apart is testimony to how often I have used it. It has never failed to provide illuminating answers to my questions.

Given the very low price quoted by some sellers, I expected the hardback to be just the paperback with hard covers. I was surprised to find that it is properly bound and finished to the usual high Oxford standard -- astonishing value.

A previous reviewer has complained that this work takes a liberal tone. I would say that it takes an academic tone, yet is at the same time very readable. Those who look to the bible as their source of authority need to study it and that means much more than treating it as though it were a single, flat work like an instruction book.

The bible is a human collection (the books included differ somewhat between faiths and denominations) of mostly occasional works. Anyone wanting to study any creative text needs to bear in mind the following questions. Who wrote it? Why? When? How? Whom was it addressed to? If such an approach is liberal, then this work is liberal, but failing to ask these questions is like going through the motions of studying the bible without really trying to understand it at all.
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