This edition appears a little different from the earlier edition which has three short reviews. The text is the same, but the earlier edition had better-size headings, layout friendlier and easier to take in at a glance, and text areas broken up by little boxes with icons for different things: alerts for common misunderstandings, scholarly quotations, further information inside or outside the book, issues for discussion, etc. The new format is definitely a loss on the old one.
This is a classic textbook for Old Testament studies. Intelligently written by people familiar with teaching, interspersed with black-and-white pictures. It's worth peeping inside to read the chapter headings, which gives a good "feel" of the book. Highly recommended and useful starting-point for academic, cultural, or church-led Bible studies focussing on the encounters with God and the deep questions of life over a historical period, of a nation who believed themselves, with reason, to be "God's chosen people" but who failed the agreement with God time and again.
It is a good starting-point to ground yourself in, if you ever wish to differ with the scholars and authorities - which I encourage, with all that I have seen and experienced of the esoteric dimensions of spirituality and Bible study. For starters, the common lack of reference to, or knowledge of, the Kaballah is a shame, because this was so well-known and well-regarded traditionally in Jewish circles, and after all this is their book. And if you really want to understand the OT from a Hebrew point of view, you need to be able to read and understand the meaning and significance of all those names. However, the inclusion of the Hebrew alphabet with a few comments is a plus.
Five stars for content. Two stars for presentation which is stupidly worse than the original, and starts to shut out the enquiring child's mind in all of us.