Professional historian Robin Lane Fox looks at the history of the Bible in this detailed book. It is a sad fact that most Christians tend to view the Bible as a singular work, devoid of important historical contexts. In so doing, the Scripture take on an undeserved sense of uniqueness. By examining the shifting social, historical and religious contexts that existed during the long periods when the Bible was being written, Fox deftly shows how the Bible is very much a product of it's times.
Fox examines a number of diverse subjects in this book. The Bible as mythology is contrasted with the Bible as history. The role of the Old Testament prophet is closely examined, as well as the contexts in which the prophecies were written. The Bible is compared with the ancient scriptures of other faiths, some of which are reflected in it's pages. The manner in which the New Testament writers used (and abused) the Old Testament is examined. Through it all, the reader is left with a much improved historical context, which helps to explain some of the more puzzling aspects of the Bible. This book is strongly recommended for the serious student of Bible history.
"The same standards apply to heathen evidence as to biblica. Is it based on a primary source? Is it biased, ambiguous or simply wrong? Relevant evidence is extremely scarce; what, if anything, does silence imply? In the early parts of the Bible's story, biblical persons have yet to be identified correctly in any external sources. There have been many attempts, and some confident claims, but as yet there is no good reason to identify Moses or Joseph with any known person or period in ancient Egyptian records." p. 252 [an error occurred while processing this directive]