This is a fantastic textbook on the Old Testament! I have read several, and this is the best one I have seen for beginning Bible/theology students. The book is highly accessible/readable with photographs, graphs, charts and study questions. I wish I had found this when I was just learning theology. Don't get me wrong; there is a wealth of information here that I found very interesting about archaeology, time-periods, and terminolgy. I had never heard the term "framework story" before. A framework story is a fill-in-the-blanks formula that could be used over and over again by Biblical writers and by Near Eastern writers in general. For example, Abram and his wife, Sarai, in Egypt, claiming that she is really his sister, and then the story is repeated later with different details and a different king. The textbook is organized according to the order of books in the Bible, starting with Genesis. Everything is placed in historical, cultural and literary context. Dr. Matthews is a great expert on comparative religious studies; so if you are interested in how the Bible has been influenced by pagan literature, this is a good first book for you to read.
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Review 2 for The Old Testament, Text and Context Second Edition
I bought this book because I wanted to get a look into the history, society and culture of the Old Testament from a Christian viewpoint. However, this book treats the Bible as an errant, man-made myth. I'm sure the writers have solid academic credentials, but the viewpoint one takes is a choice, and the Old Testament can be looked academically and believably also from a Christian viewpoint. If you, like me, wanted that, this book is not for you.