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The Bible

An Introduction, Second Edition

What is the Bible? How did it get to us? Why are translations so different? And what influence has the Bible had on culture? From its very first pages, The Bible: An Introduction, Second Edition offers clear answers to the most basic questions that first-time students and curious inquirers bring to the Bible.

Without presuming either prior knowledge of the Bible or a particular attitude toward it, Jerry L. Sumney uses straightforward language to lead the reader on an exploration of the Bible’s contents and the history of its writings, showing how critical methods help readers understand what they find in the Bible.
 
This second edition offers revised chapters and auxiliary material and new discussions of biblical studies methods and the question of inspiration. It can be purchased individually or as part of a Course Pack, which includes the Study Companion. Neither polemical nor apologetic, The Bible presents the biblical writings as the efforts of men and women in the past to understand their lives and their world in light of the ways they understood the divine.

Explore the books

The Bible: An Introduction, Second Edition
The Bible: An Introduction, Second Edition

By Jerry L. Sumney
Paperback
464pp
ISBN: 9781451469240
$49
Request an Exam Copy
Look inside the book!
Contents
Prefaces
Chapter 1 excerpt

A Study Companion to The Bible: An Introduction, Second Edition
A Study Companion to The Bible: An Introduction, Second Edition

By Anthony Le Donne
Paperback
160
ISBN: 9781451483628
$19
Request an Exam Copy
Look inside the book!
Contents
How to use the Study Companion
Introduction
Chapter 1

The Bible: An Introduction, Second Edition, Course Pack
Course Pack

Textbook and Study Companion
ISBN: 9781451483635
$59
Request an Exam Copy

Authors

Jerry L. Sumney

Jerry L. Sumney is professor of biblical studies at Lexington Theological Seminary. He is the author of Colossians: A Commentary (2008) and Identifying Paul’s Opponents (1990). He is also the editor of Reading Romans (2012) and the coeditor of Theology and Ethics in Paul and His Interpreters (1996) and Paul and Pathos (2006).

Anthony Le Donne is assistant professor of New Testament at United Theological Seminary. He is the author/editor of seven books. He is the cofounder of the Jewish-Christian Dialogue and Sacred Texts Consultation and serves as an editor of the Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus.

My Teaching Tools

Test and Answer Key

To receive the Premade Test and Answer Key for this textbook contact our Textbook Adoption Consultant

A Word from the Author

Hear from Jerry L. Sumney on how to put this textbook to best use, and a word of advice for those whose primary field is not biblical studies.
How to teach this book
A word for those whose field is not biblical studies

Sample Syllabi

Sample syllabus from the author

Syllabi from current users
Introduction to the Literature and World of the New Testament, Missouri State University, Mark Given
The Christian Scriptures, Baylor University, Jesse Hoover
The Christian Scriptures, Baylor University, Roy E. Garton

Supplementary Guides on the Deuterocanonical Books

1 Maccabees
2 Maccabees
Baruch
Judith
Sirach
Tobit
Wisdom of Solomon
Bonus Article! Greek Esther


A series of lectures from Jerry L. Sumney going deeper into the divine inspiration of Scripture

Lecture: The Inspiration of Scripture Part 1

Jerry Sumney on Inspiration

Lecture: The Inspiration of Scripture Part 2

Jerry Sumney on Inspiration (Part 2)

My Study Tools



Find quizzes for additional chapters at Quizlet!

Interview with Jerry L. Sumney

Fortress Press Live podcast: Teaching Introduction to the Bible
At the 2014 AAR/SBL annual meeting in San Diego, we had the pleasure of sitting down with Dr. Jerry L. Sumney and a group of professors to discuss teaching introduction to the Bible. Listen to their discussion and get expert tips for teaching this course!

Endorsements

[An] enlightening journey through the Bible. . .

"Serving as an expert tour guide, Jerry Sumney provides informed, understandable, and interesting descriptions of the biblical terrain from Genesis to Revelation, calling attention both to prominent features and important particulars. 'Tourists' who have been this way before as well as those who have not will profit from the knowledge that Sumney shares on this enlightening journey through the Bible."

—Victor Paul Furnish | Southern Methodist University

Helps students to realize they can still be faithful yet also think critically about their faith and Scripture. . .

“The challenge many of my students have is first being willing to critique the Bible as a piece of literature. Many of them do not believe it is appropriate to do so. The Sumney volume helps them to realize they can still be faithful yet also think critically about their faith and Scripture.”

—Roy Garton | Baylor University

A valuable resource both in the classroom and for personal study. . .

"This comprehensive guide to the Bible, full of helpful charts and illustrations, will prove a valuable resource both in the classroom and for personal study. Sumney keeps an excellent balance between the big picture—for those beginning to explore the Bible—and the more sophisticated details that will assist those who seek to expand their biblical knowledge."

—Leticia Guardiola-Sáenz | Seattle University

Features type that's easy on the eyes and includes full-color photos on nearly every page. . .

“I selected Sumney for my class because, honestly, I thought my freshman students would be more likely to read it. It features type that's easy on the eyes and includes full-color photos on nearly every page. Sumney's text allows me to assign them manageable readings over the topics we'll be covering for the day. I've found Sumney to be a helpful summarizer of the biblical narratives we cover for each day.”

—Jesse Hoover | Baylor University

A clear, concise, and engaging invitation to the study of the most influential book on the history of Western civilization. . .

"Jerry Sumney's The Bible: An Introduction provides a clear, concise, and engaging invitation to the study of the most influential book on the history of Western civilization, without sacrificing either the complexities of academic approaches to biblical studies or the nuances of people's relationships with biblical texts within all kinds of communities of commitment. This book embodies such a delicate balance, struck so appropriately, and should not be overlooked!"

—Davina C. Lopez | Eckerd College, Saint Petersburg

This textbook united the class in a quest for understanding the Bible and in an experience of being a community despite our differences. . .

"What amazed me was how this textbook united [the class] in a quest for understanding the Bible and in an experience of being a community despite our differences. Here is a quote from one of the young men. 'In this class, we all pushed forward and studied biblical texts hand in hand, regardless of religious identification or beliefs. This was definitely something I thought was cool.'  What a testimony!  What made this happen? Multiple students noted that this textbook is 'like a conversation that I can actually follow.'”

—Beth Marie Halvorsen | Belmont University

Reviews

Hear praise from Taylor Agan, a student user at Belmont University!

Hear praise from Beth Marie Halvorsen, who used the textbook at Belmont University

Videos

Jerry Sumney gives tips for teaching his book


 

Visit Fortress Press's YouTube channel to see the rest of the chapter videos!

Books

Anthony LeDonne (Author)
Release date: June 1, 2014

This Study Companion is a handy complement to The Bible: An Introduction textbook, providing primary readings and a running glossary of terms keyed to the textbook along with exercises for further reflection.

Jerry L. Sumney (Author)
Release date: June 1, 2014

A leading textbook in studying the Bible, this Course Pack is designed to help students in their research of and knowledge of the Bible.

Jerry L. Sumney (Author)
Release date: June 1, 2014

From its very first pages, The Bible: An Introduction, Second Edition offers clear answers to the most basic questions that first-time students and curious inquirers bring to the Bible. This second edition offers revised chapters and auxiliary material and new discussions of biblical studies methods and the question of inspiration.