Engaging the Christian Scriptures, 2nd Edition

An Introduction to the Bible

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This readable, faith-friendly, one-semester textbook aids students as they engage in their first reading of the biblical text in an academic setting. The authors, who have significant undergraduate teaching experience, approach the Christian Scriptures from historical, literary, and theological perspectives. Text boxes, illustrations, maps, and suggestions for further reading are included. This new edition incorporates professor and student feedback, adds a glossary, has been revised throughout, and is supplemented by updated and expanded web-based pedagogical resources.


1. Places to Begin
Why Read the Bible?
How Did We Get the Bible?
How Shall We Read the Bible?
Suggested Reading
Part One: The Old Testament
2. Pentateuch
The Old Testament World
Primeval History
Ancestral Stories
The Composition of the Pentateuch
Exodus and Covenant
Sojourn in the Wilderness
Theological Reflection: Creation and Covenant
Suggested Reading
3. Former and Latter Prophets
Historical and Social Contexts of the Prophets
Settlement in the Land
Movement to Monarchy
The Latter Prophets
Exile and Beyond
Theological Reflection: Crises of Monarchy and Exile
Suggested Reading
4. Writings
The Context of the Writings
The Psalms
The Wisdom Books
The Five Scrolls
Theological Reflection: Faith and Culture
Suggested Reading
Part Two: The New Testament
5. Between the Testaments
Sociohistorical Developments
Jewish Beliefs and Religious Practices in Antiquity
Greek and Roman Beliefs and Religious Practices in Antiquity
Suggested Reading
6. The Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles
The World of the Gospels
The Genre and Literary Tradition of the Gospel
The Gospel according to Mark
The Gospel according to Matthew
The Gospel according to Luke
The Gospel according to John
The Acts of the Apostles
Theological Reflection: Unity and Diversity
Suggested Reading
7. Paul and the Pauline Tradition
Paul's Life, Ministry, and Letters
The First Letter of Paul to the Thessalonians
The Letter of Paul to the Galatians
The First Letter of Paul to the Corinthians
The Second Letter of Paul to the Corinthians
The Letter of Paul to the Romans
The Letter of Paul to the Philippians
The Letter of Paul to Philemon
The Pauline Tradition
Theological Reflection: The Contours of Paul's Theology
Suggested Reading
8. The General Letters and Revelation
The World of Early Christians
The Letter to the Hebrews
The Letter of James
The First Letter of Peter
The Second Letter of Peter and the Letter of Jude
The Johannine Letters
The Revelation to John
Theological Reflection: A Fitting Conclusion
Suggested Reading
Conclusion: Overarching Story of the Christian Scriptures

The Authors

  1. Andrew E. Arterbury

    Andrew E. Arterbury

    Andrew E. Arterbury (PhD, Baylor University) is professor of Christian Scriptures at Truett Theological Seminary, Baylor University, in Waco, Texas.

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  2. W. H. Bellinger Jr.

    W. H. Bellinger Jr.

    W. H. Bellinger Jr. (PhD, University of Cambridge) is the W. Marshall and Lulie Craig Chairholder in Bible, professor of religion, and chair of the Department of Religion at Baylor University. He has served on the editorial board of Catholic Biblical...

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  3. Derek S. Dodson
    Courtesy of Baylor University

    Derek S. Dodson

    Derek S. Dodson (PhD, Baylor University) is senior lecturer in religion at Baylor University.

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