Author(s): Paula Gooder
From the language of Shakespeare to political campaigns in the US, the Bible's influence is all around us. And yet, upon reading it, we are met not by one text but by many: a complex mix of history, parable, law, teaching, and prophecy. In this authoritative introduction, respected Biblical scholar Paula Gooder ably guides the reader in how to approach this multifaceted text, and explores its enduring influence on Western culture, from Renaissance art to the controversial film The Last Temptation of Christ. Covering its history, translation, interpretation, and selection of the cannon, Gooder provides a comprehensive and illuminating framework for understanding the Bible. With informative textboxes focussing on key details and an infectious enthusiasm for the topic, this wide-ranging primer will be of invaluable benefit to those of any and no faith alike.
"With characteristic freshness and simplicity, Paula Gooder here provides an introduction to the whole Bible and to a huge range of questions about it. Deep learning lies beneath the attractive style and presentation, and readers can be assured that they have in this book a reliable guide to the Bible and to other writing about it." John Barton, Oriel & Laing Professor of the Interpretation of Holy Scripture, University of Oxford "A crisp and clear, helpful introduction to how the Bible came to be composed and formed, concluding with a fascinating panorama of its effect and legacy. This guide is to be greatly welcomed." Reverend Richard Burridge, Professor of Biblical Interpretation and Dean of King's College London "Countless people read the Bible, and countless more would like to read the Bible but are daunted by its bulk and complexity. With admirable clarity and intelligence, Paula Gooder explains all that we need to know." Sister Wendy Beckett, author of Encounters with God "In a clear, thoughtful and accessible way, this book succeeds in introducing the interested reader to the many complexities connected with the Bible, its history, reception and interpretation, from antiquity to the present day." James Carleton Paget, Senior Lecturer in New Testament Studies, University of Cambridge "With her characteristic clarity and ability to make biblical scholarship accessible to all, Paula Gooder here provides a valuable overview of key issues that affect how one should approach the Bible. Dealing with the complex areas of history, genre, canon, translation, interpretation and legacy, she is an extremely knowledgeable guide, offering the reader helpful signposts by which to navigate the terrain." Christine Joynes, Centre for Reception History of the Bible, University of Oxford "Gooder is a rare combination of distinguished scholar and superb communicator. Here, she combines these gifts to outstanding effect. Her learning is worn very lightly indeed. Highly recommended." Paul Joyce, Samuel Davidson Professor of Old Testament/Hebrew Bible, King's College London "A wonderful balance. Very engaging and remarkably complete." Roy Heller, Associate Professor of Old Testament, Perkins School of Theology at the Southern Methodist University
Paula Gooder is Canon Theologian of Birmingham and Guildford Cathedrals, Visiting Lecturer at King's College, London, and Theological Adviser to the Bible Society. She is the author of five critically acclaimed books on Biblical scholarship.