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The Oxford Companion to the Bible (Oxford Companions) - Hardcover

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9780195046458: The Oxford Companion to the Bible (Oxford Companions)
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The Bible has had an immeasurable influence on Western culture, touching on virtually every aspect of our lives. It is one of the great wellsprings of Western religious, ethical, and philosophical traditions. It has been an endless source of inspiration to artists, from classic works such as Michaelangelo's Last Judgment, Handel's Messiah, or Milton's Paradise Lost, to modern works such as Thomas Mann's Joseph and His Brothers or Martin Scorsese's controversial Last Temptation of Christ. For countless generations, it has been a comfort in suffering, a place to reflect on the mysteries of birth, death, and immortality. Its stories and characters are an integral part of the repertoire of every educated adult, forming an enduring bond that spans thousands of years and embraces a vast community of believers and nonbelievers.

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Review:
This comprehensive one-volume companion to the Bible is more than just a dictionary. Words are defined and concepts explored in clear, succinct sentences. In addition, the influence of the Bible on contemporary culture is related in such articles as "The Bible and the Arts", "Dance and the Bible", and "Freud and the Bible." The many contributors read as a veritable who's who among biblical scholars. Although this companion is not meant to be an exhaustive reference, it is a highly reliable guide whose presence will enhance any library's reference section. Mary Deeley, (Booklist)

The Oxford Companion to the Bible is excellent, packed with solid information soberly and carefully presented, a reliable guide to an intricate subject. (The Very Reverend Professor Henry Chadwick, Ex-master of Peterhouse College, Cambridge)

the best attempt I have yet come across to interpret Scripture with that ambitious yet practical parallel of intellectual depth and popular presentation. I firmly believe that it deserves a priority place on the bookshelf of all who wish to take their reading of the Bible seriously. (The Most Reverend Dr Robin Eames, Archbishop of Armagh, Primate of All Ireland)

to serious students of the Bible worth every penny ... The really strong feature of this excellent work is the abundance of interpretive essays which distinguish it from the ordinary Bible dictionary. (Evening Press)

This is a single volume of everything the modern reader of the Bible - be they scholar, member-of-the-clergy, believer or non-believer - needs fully to appreciate its meaning and importance. A very worthwhile companion. (The Irish Catholic)

This overflowing cornucopia of biblical learning well deserves its title. It is not a conventional dictionary of the Bible, but a companionable volume for curious browsing. This Oxford Comapnion, richly deserves the general reader. He will take pleasure in such gems as the article on "Names for the Nameless", in which one of the editors, wearing his learning lightly, unearths the names invented by Jewish and Christian writers for all those left anonymous in the biblical record. (Eric Heaton, Country Life)

Riveting 1,000-page, one-volume ... dictionary of biblical terms, names, references, influences and background to biblical texts and events. Intriguing. (Lucy Lethbridge, Catholic Herald)

The Oxford Companions are pleasing books - attractive in the bookcase, comfortable in the hand, and easy to read. It will be desirable to those who are of a dilettante disposition (I do not mean the word unkindly), those who read widely and those who enjoy browsing in Oxford Companions. (D.C. Parker, University of Birmingham, Religion and Theology, August 1994)

While the whole volume has a scholarly atmosphere, it is cast in manageable English, not overweighted with technical terminology or theological jargon. There is a good balance of information, interpretation and application of Bible literature. For private study, the "Companion" has a lot to offer by way of vibrant, thoughtful articles and clear analysis. The format is attractive ... the quality of the writing and the variety of the material included in this production is very good value at just over 3p per page. In circles where the Bible is a bestseller, it deserves to be taken seriously. (Robert Dunlop (Revd), Baptist Times)

a mass of useful information and some penetrating analysis not usually found in works of this kind ... a wealth of useful information assembled within the book's covers (Bible Study Monthly, July/August, 1994)
Synopsis:
The Bible has had an immeasurable influence on Western culture, touching on virtually every aspect of our lives. It is one of the great wellsprings of Western religious, ethical, and philosophical traditions. It has been an endless source of inspiration to artists and writers, and for countless generations, it has been a comfort in suffering; a place to reflect on the mysteries of birth, death, and immortality. Its stories and characters are an integral part of the repertoire of every educated adult, forming an enduring bond that spans thousands of years and embraces a vast community of believers and nonbelievers. The Oxford Companion to the Bible provides an authoritative one-volume reference to the people, places, events, books, institutions, religious belief, and secular influence of the Bible. Written by more than 250 scholars from some 20 nations and embracing a wide variety of perspectives, the Companion offers over seven hundred informative entries. These range from brief identifications (who is Dives? Where is Pisgah?) to extensive interpretive essays on topics as diverse as the Bible's influence on music, immortality, ethics, grace, baptism, and the Holy Spirit.

The contributors also explore biblical views of modern issues such as homosexuality, marriage, and anti-Semitism, and the impact of the Bible on the secular world. Of course, the Companion can also serve as a handy reference, the first place to turn to find factual information on the Bible. Readers will find fascinating, informative articles on all the books of the Bible - including the Apocrypha, Dead Sea Scrolls, and many other ancient texts. Virtually every figure who walked across the biblical stage is identified here, ranging from Rebekah, Rachel, and Mary, to Joseph, Barabbas, and Jesus. The Companion also offers entries that shed light on daily life in ancient Israel and the earliest Christian communities, with fascinating articles on feasts and festivals, clothing, medicine, units of time, houses, and furniture. Finally, there are twenty-eight pages of full-colour maps, providing an accurate, detailed portrait of the biblical world. A vast compendium of information related to scriptures, here is an ideal complement to the Bible, an essential volume for every home and library, the first place to turn for information on the central book of Western culture.

Includes: Aaron, Angels, Apocrypha, Assyria, Baptism, Chapter and Verse Divisions, Cherub, Dead Sea Scrolls, Feminism and the Bible, Freud and the Bible, Leaven, the Gospel According to Luke, Miriam, Music and the Bible, the Book of Ruth, Suffering, Tabernacle, Zion.

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