The Biblical World is a comprehensive guide to the contents, historical settings and social context of the Bible. It presents the fruits of years of specialist study in an accessible form, and is essential reading for anyone who reads the Bible and would like to know more about how and why it came to be. Written by an international collection of experts, the volumes include a full overview of the full range of biblical material, before going on to more detailed discussions of myth and prophecy to poetry and proverbs. Explorations of the historical background are complemented by the findings of archaeology, and the book explores language, law, administration, social life and the arts as well. Major figures of the Bible - including Abraham, Jesus and Paul - are studied in detail, as are the main religious concepts it contains, such as salvation and purity. Also including an examination of how the Bible is viewed today, this monumental work will be an invaluable resource for students, academics and clergy, and for all to whom the Bible is important as a religious or cultural document.
John Barton is Oriel and Laing Professor of the Interpretation of Holy Scripture, University of Oxford, and Fellow of Oriel College, Oxford. He is the author of numerous books and articles on biblical texts, and is also the editor of The Cambridge Companion to Biblical Interpretation (1998) and (with John Muddiman) of The Oxford Bible Commentary (2001).