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The Oxford History of the Biblical World An in-depth chaptered work by leading scholars providing a chronological overview of the history of biblical times.

General Bibliography

Bibliography references:

The works listed here are applicable to the volume as a whole, or to more than one chapter. Our intention has been to provide interested readers with accessible sources for some of the ideas contained in this book, as well as with current reference works dealing with the biblical world. More detailed bibliographies will be found after each chapter, as well as in most of the works that follow.

Encyclopedias and Encyclopedic Dictionaries

Achtemeier, Paul J., ed. The HarperCollins Bible Dictionary. Rev. ed. San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 1996. A current and comprehensive handbook.

Cross, F. L., and E. A. Livingstone, eds. The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church. 3d ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 1997. A recent revision makes this standard current.

Freedman, David Noel, ed. The Anchor Bible Dictionary. 6 vols. New York: Doubleday, 1992. The standard reference both for the Bible and for the biblical world. (Also available on CD-ROM from Logos Research Systems, Oak Harbor, Wash.)

Hornblower, Simon, and Anthony Spaworth, eds. The Oxford Classical Dictionary. 3d ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996. Recently revised and expanded, this is the place to start for information about the Greco-Roman world.

Metzger, Bruce M., and Michael D. Coogan, eds. The Oxford Companion to the Bible. New York: Oxford University Press 1993 (also available on CD-ROM).


Ben-Tor, Amnon, ed. The Archaeology of Ancient Israel. Trans. R. Greenberg. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1992. A detailed survey by a number of scholars, with excellent plans and photographs.

Levy, Thomas, ed. The Archaeology of Society in the Holy Land. New York: Facts on File, 1995. A collection of essays covering a wide chronological span from earliest times through the Ottoman period.

Mazar, Amihai. Archaeology of the Land of the Bible 10,000–586 B.C.E. New York: Doubleday, 1990. A useful synopsis of the archaeological history of ancient Israel.

Meyers, Eric M., ed. The Oxford Encyclopedia of Archaeology in the Ancient Near East. 5 vols. New York: Oxford University Press, 1997. A comprehensive work that is especially valuable for its coverage of sites outside Israel and for its thematic discussions.

Stern, Ephraim, ed. The New Encyclopedia of Archaeological Excavations in the Holy Land. 4 vols. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1993. Lavishly illustrated with photographs and plans, this is the best resource for sites in Israel.

Stillwell, Richard, ed. The Princeton Encyclopedia of Classical Sites. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1976. Although dated, a useful resource.

Primary Sources

Barrett, C. K., ed. The New Testament Background: Selected Documents. Rev. ed. San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1989. A handy anthology of historical and literary primary sources.

Ehrman, Bart D. The New Testament and Other Early Christian Writings: A Reader. New York: Oxford University Press, 1998. A collection of all known Christian writings up to 130 CE.

Foster, Benjamin R. Before the Muses: An Anthology of Akkadian Literature. 2d ed. 2 vols. Bethesda, Md.: CDL, 1996. An extensive collection of prose and poetry, with a general introduction to the literary world of ancient Mesopotamia. An abridged edition, From Distant Days: Myths, Tales, and Poetry of Ancient Mesopotamia, was published in 1995.

Hallo, William W., and K. Lawson Younger, eds. The Context of Scripture. 3 vols. to date. Leiden, The Netherlands: E. J. Brill, 1997–. A new anthology of ancient New Eastern texts.

Matthews, Victor H., and Don C. Benjamin. Old Testament Parallels: Laws and Stories from the Ancient Near East. Rev. ed. New York: Paulist, 1997. Selections from ancient Near Eastern texts arranged according to the order of the biblical books.

Pritchard, James B., ed. Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament. 3d ed. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1969. The standard anthology. Its companion volume, The Ancient Near East in Pictures Relating to the Old Testament, 2d ed. (1969), is still useful, although much new material has come to light since its publication. There is an abridged edition of both, The Ancient Near East: An Anthology of Texts and Pictures (2 vols., 1958; 1975).

Vermes, Geza. The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls in English. New York: Allen Lane, 1997. Recently updated, this is the best translation available.

Historical Surveys

Ahlström, Gösta. The History of Ancient Palestine. Minneapolis: Fortress, 1993. An idiosyncratic yet stimulating survey from earliest times to the Hellenistic period.

Ben-Sasson, Haim H., ed. A History of the Jewish People. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1976. Parts 1–4 give a comprehensive survey from the origins of biblical Israel through the compilation of the Mishnah and the Talmud, with emphasis on source analysis.

Grabbe, Lester L. Judaism from Cyrus to Hadrian: Sources, History, Synthesis. 2 vols. Minneapolis: Fortress, 1991, 1992. An extremely helpful survey, with judicious summaries of the primary sources, specific critiques of recent scholarly work, and extensive bibliographies.

Grant, Michael, and Rachel Kitzinger, eds. Civilizations of the Ancient Mediterranean: Greece and Rome. 3 vols. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1988. Essays on all aspects of life in the Greco-Roman world.

Edwards, I. E. S., et al. The Cambridge Ancient History. 3d ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1970–. Although earlier volumes are dated, the fullest account of ancient Mediterranean civilizations.

Hallo, William W., and William Kelly Simpson. The Ancient Near East: A History. 2d ed. Fort Worth, Tex.: Harcourt Brace College Publishers, 1998. Recently revised, this useful survey treats Mesopotamia and Egypt separately.

Kee, Howard C., et al. The Cambridge Companion to the Bible. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1997. A discursive treatment that sets the biblical traditions in their historical and social contexts.

Koester, Helmut. Introduction to the New Testament. 2d ed. Vol. 1, History, Culture, and Religion of the Hellenistic Age; vol. 2, History and Literature of Early Christianity. New York: de Gruyter, 1995; 2000. A comprehensive reconstruction of the development of the Jesus movement, and a detailed description of the broader world in which that development took place.

Kuhrt, Amélie. The Ancient Near East, c. 3000–330 BC . New York: Routledge, 1996. A detailed and masterful treatment.

Millar, Fergus. The Roman Near East 31 BC–AD 337. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1993. A political and cultural history of the peoples and provinces of the Roman Near East through the reign of Constantine, based on a wide array of literary and archaeological sources.

Miller, J. Maxwell, and John H. Hayes. A History of Ancient Israel and Judah. Philadelphia: Westminster, 1986. An excellent history of Israel and Judah through the Persian period, with careful attention to historiographical issues.

Safrai, S., and M. Stern, eds. The Jewish People in the First Century: Historical Geography, Political History, Social, Cultural and Religious Life and Institutions. 2 vols. Assen, The Netherlands: Van Gorcum; Philadelphia: Fortress, 1974–76. A landmark anthology of essays concerning formative Judaism.

Sasson, Jack M., ed. Civilizations of the Ancient East. 4 vols. New York: Simon & Schuster/Macmillan, 1995. A compendium of essays on all aspects of life in the ancient Near East.

Schürer, Emil. The History of the Jewish People in the Time of Jesus Christ (175 B.C.–A.D . 135). Rev. by Geza Vermes et al. 3 vols. Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1973–87. Substantially updated version of a classic work.

Soggin, J. Alberto. An Introduction to the History of Israel and Judah. 2d ed. Valley Forge, Pa.: Trinity, 1993. A valuable survey, with special attention to historiography.

Vaux, Roland de. The Early History of Israel. Trans. David Smith. Philadelphia: Westminster, 1978. A detailed treatment of nonbiblical and biblical evidence for the history of Israel before the monarchy.

Social History and Institutions

Albertz, Rainer. A History of Israelite Religion in the Old Testament Period. Trans. John Bowden. 2 vols. Louisville, Ky.: Westminster John Knox, 1994. A detailed survey with special focus on social history.

Dearman, J. Andrew. Religion and Culture in Ancient Israel. Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson, 1992. A useful discussion of biblical and nonbiblical evidence.

Matthews, Victor H., and Don C. Benjamin. Social World of Ancient Israel, 1250–587 BCE . Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson, 1993. An accessible survey, organized by social roles.

Vaux, Roland de. Ancient Israel: Its Life and Institutions. Trans. John McHugh. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1961. A valuable and detailed survey of the biblical data that also refers to archaeological evidence and nonbiblical sources.


Aharoni, Yohanan, et al. The Macmillan Bible Atlas. 3d ed. New York: Macmillan, 1993. The handiest historical atlas, with 271 maps covering from prehistoric times to the second century CE.

Bahat, Dan. The Illustrated Atlas of Jerusalem. Trans. Shlomo Ketko. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1990.

Baines, John, and Jaromír Malék. Cultural Atlas of Ancient Egypt. Rev. ed. New York: Facts on File, 2000.

Cornell, Tim. Atlas of the Roman World. New York: Facts on File, 1982.

Day, John. The Oxford Bible Atlas. 3d ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1984.

Levi, Peter. Atlas of the Greek World. New York: Facts on File, 1980.

Roaf, Michael. Cultural Atlas of Mesopotamia and the Ancient Near East. New York: Facts on File, 1990.

Rogerson, John. Atlas of the Bible. Oxford: Phaidon, 1989.

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