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Biblical Literacy: The Essential Bible Stories

Eveyrone Needs to Know

Author(s): Timothy Beal

ISBN13: 9780061718625

ISBN10: 0061718629

Publisher: Unknown

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  • Whether watching political candidates quote Jesus or tracking court cases on how the stories of Adam and Eve should be taught in schools, we are surrounded by the legacy of the Bible in our contemporary world. Every person needs to know the core Bible stories, those biblical stories that have cultural, historical, or literary significance, that lie at the foundation of Western civilization. Professor Timothy Beal argues that without knowing these core stories, we cannot fully participate in the popular, political, and especially spiritual worlds that surround us.

    Have you ever been told that you are the apple of someones eye? Have you ever described a disastrous situation as the blind leading the blind or easily predicted the future by reading the writing on the wall? Unbeknownst to most of us, all these common expressions have biblical roots.

    In Biblical Literacy, Beal showcases the Bible stories that have most shaped history and our world and provides the key information we need to know for how to understand these profound stories. In addition, Beal delves into the important historical and cultural back-ground information so that readers can fully understand the impact of these stories on the world we live in now.

    For a quick and fun reference, Beal provides the reader with a complete glossary of common phrases and images that have surprising biblical origins, as well as an easily navigable glossary of biblical keywords. Whether an atheist or a churchgoer, every person will benefit from this entry-level course into the heart of the most influential book of all time.

  • Timothy Beal

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    Tim Beal has written about the rich, thick connections between the Bible and popular culture. The Bible does not live in a bubble of religious isolation, but is always offering telling and illuminating linkages to the life we live. Beal shows that literacy is crucial in being able to grasp the biblical allusions that are everywhere in popular culture. In a society of deep and dangerous disconnects, the connects of this book serve exceedingly well.

    - Walter Brueggemann, author of The Prophetic Imagination

    "With skill and insight, Timothy Beal has given us a great gift: a lucid and engaging introduction to the most important book ever published."

    - Jon Meacham, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of American Lion and editor of Newsweek

    "To be illiterate about the Bible in our world today is to be incapable of understanding who we are and where we came from. No book has shaped more culture, value and meaning. Beal skillfully retells key biblical narratives but also cogently relates them to significant events in history. This is a readable, informative and timely book."

    - Harvey Cox, Hollis Research Professor of Divinity, Harvard University, and author of The Future of Faith

    "For those who are approaching the Bible for the first time and do not know where to start, or for those want to be reminded of some of the real highlights, there is no better place to turn than Timothy Beals Biblical Literacy. Here you will find numerous gems of the Jewish and Christian Scriptures, along with pithy, helpful, and at times even witty, introductions."

    - Bart D. Ehrman, James A. Gray Professor of Religious Studies, University of North Caroline, Author of Jesus, Interrupted

    "The Bibles prodigious influence on Western cultureliterature and drama, classical and popular music, common expressions in everyday languageis a locked treasure for those unfamiliar with the Scriptures. . . . Beal offers a key with his accessible guide. . . . Beals intended readers are likely to find an engaging meal in Biblical Literacy and plenty of food for thought."

    - Cleveland Plain Dealer

    "A fun and refreshing reference that gives a fresh look at Bible stories many people thought they knew."

    - The News-Herald

    "Beal takes a look at the most famous and most quoted stories from the Bible, giving us a look at where we have seen these stories in our culture. Mr. Beal also makes an argument that knowing the major stories of the Bible is important, because it surrounds us in our society and that not understanding the Bible will make it difficult to understand how it is being used in our culture."

    - Sacramento Book Review

    "Beal, who compiled need-to-know Bible stories in his new book, Biblical Literacy, talks about how these Sunday school stories are ingrained in pop culture. They are making appearances at your dinner parties, in your favorite music and in a theater near you."

    - Religion News Service

    "One could offer another reason to read Biblical Literacy that the author doesnt advance: to fall in love with the Bible again. Even believers and long-time scripture fans will find plenty to woo them to this excellent selection of texts. Beal does a fabulous job of connecting the dots between pop culture, high-brow literature, music, the art world, current events, and biblical sources."

    - US Catholic

    "In his new book, Beal makes a case for reading, and yes, enjoying, the Bible."

    - Interfaith Voices

    "Whether you believe in it or not, you need to know the Bible, says Timothy K. Beal. In his new book, Biblical Literacy: The Essential Bible Stories Everyone Needs to Know (HarperOne), he introduces readers to key biblical passages and their cultural significance."

    - United Methodist Reporter

    "Beal begins with an essay arguing that from a cultural perspective biblical literacy is essential. The bulk of the book consists of what Beal considers to be essential stories from the Bible, not all of which are narratives. Along the way Beal serves as a guide for getting into the texts; sidebars serve as explanatory notes or a bridge between the biblical texts and our own cultural context. The book concludes with a list of familiar biblical phrases and images (with their sources) and a glossary of biblical terms. Biblical Literacy provides a remedial education."

    - Christian Century

    "Beal. makes a well-stated case that a knowledge of the Bible is essential to understanding our culture. His book will serve as a handy first step toward that goal especially for the reader who may feel intimidated by the boring bits."

    - Bookpage


Biblical Literacy: The Essential Bible Stories