This best-selling nonsectarian guide is designed for students undertaking their first systematic study of the Bible. Placing each book of the Old Testament, Apocrypha, and the New Testament fully in its historical and cultural context, Understanding the Bible acquaints readers with the content as well as the major themes of each biblical book, and familiarizes them with the goals and methods of important scholarship.
Stephen L. Harris is Professor Emeritus of Humanities and Religious Studies at California State University, Sacramento, where he served ten years as department chair. A Woodrow Wilson Fellow, he received his M.A. and Ph.D. from Cornell University. A member of the Society of Biblical Literature, his publications include Understanding the Bible (8th edition, 2011); The Old Testament: An Introduction to the Hebrew Bible (with Robert Platzner); Classical Mythology: Images and Insights (with Gloria Platzner); Exploring the Bible; and Fire Mountains of the West: The Cascade and Mono Lake Volcanoes, a survey of volcanic hazards on the U.S. Pacific Coast; and for National Geographic Books, Restless Earth, a study of global earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions. He contributed the chapter on "Archaeology and Volcanism" to the Encyclopedia of Volcanoes (Academic Press, 2000).