Biblical Literacy: The Essential Bible Stories Everyone Needs to Know

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9780061718625: Biblical Literacy: The Essential Bible Stories Everyone Needs to Know

“The Bible...is a locked treasure for those unfamiliar with the Scriptures....Beal offers a key with his accessible guide.” —Cleveland Plain Dealer

“With skill and insight, Timothy Beal has given us a great gift: a lucid and engaging introduction to the most important book ever published.” —Jon Meacham, author of American Lion, winner of the Pulitzer Prize

In the tradition of Stephen Prothero’s Religious Literacy, and with the deftness of Bill Bryson’s Mother Tongue, Timothy Beal’s Biblical Literacy is a one-stop course in the Bible passages and background information that everyone needs to know to navigate our nuanced cultural landscape—from devout believers to decided atheists, average citizens to pop-culture aficionados. Like Religion in America, Religion and its Monsters, and other of his highly acclaimed books, Beal’s Biblical Literacy is a must-have handbook for understanding today’s world.

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From the Back Cover:

Whether watching political candidates quote Jesus or tracking court cases on how the stories of Adam and Eve should be taught in schools, we are surrounded by the legacy of the Bible in our contemporary world. Every person needs to know the core Bible stories—those biblical stories that have cultural, historical, or literary significance—that lie at the foundation of Western civilization. Professor Timothy Beal argues that without knowing these core stories, we cannot fully participate in the popular, political, and especially spiritual worlds that surround us.

Have you ever been told that you are the apple of someone's eye? Have you ever described a disastrous situation as the blind leading the blind or easily predicted the future by reading the writing on the wall? Unbeknownst to most of us, all these common expressions have biblical roots.

In Biblical Literacy, Beal showcases the Bible stories that have most shaped history and our world and provides the key information we need to know for how to understand these profound stories. In addition, Beal delves into the important historical and cultural back-ground information so that readers can fully understand the impact of these stories on the world we live in now.

For a quick and fun reference, Beal provides the reader with a complete glossary of common phrases and images that have surprising biblical origins, as well as an easily navigable glossary of biblical keywords. Whether an atheist or a churchgoer, every person will benefit from this entry-level course into the heart of the most influential book of all time.

About the Author:

Timothy Beal is Florence Harkness Professor of Religion at Case Western Reserve University. He has published ten books as well as essays on religion and American culture for the New York Times, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Washington Post, and The Plain Dealer.

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