Fortress Press

The Bible: An Introduction, Third Edition

The Bible

An Introduction, Third Edition

Jerry L. Sumney (Author)


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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, Third 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. Filled with maps, charts, illustrations, and color photographs to enhance the student's experience with the text.

This third edition offers a number of revisions and a new section on the deuterocanonical books. 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.

  • Publisher Fortress Press
  • Format Paperback
  • ISBN 9781506466781
  • eBook ISBN 9781506466798
  • Dimensions 7.5 x 9.25
  • Pages 493
  • Publication Date January 5, 2021


"In my classes, I have found The Bible: An Introduction to be an ideal gateway into the study of the Bible. It covers the breadth of the Bible in ways that honor the historical settings in which the biblical authors wrote and in which Israel and the church formed the biblical tradition. It respects the different kinds and functions of literature in the Bible. Best of all, it identifies the distinct theological voices in Bible and helps students bring those voices into conversation. The volume is enhanced by illuminating graphs, charts, timelines, and pictures--many of them taken by the author in the Bible lands. From start to finish, the volume is written in language that is immediately accessible."

Ronald J. Allen, Christian Theological Seminary, Emeritus

"This comprehensive guide to the Bible, full of helpful charts and illustrations, will prove a valuable resource both for the classroom and for personal study. Sumney keeps a 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

"What amazed me was how this textbook united [the class] in a quest for an understanding the Bible and in an experience of being a community despite our differences. Here is a quote from one of the students: '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!"

Beth Marie Halvorsen, Belmont University