"The Hebrew Scriptures, or "Old Testament" as Christians call it, has given the world some of the greatest literature known. With this fresh introduction, cutting-edge biblical scholars bring ancient Israel to brilliant Technicolor life. Readers will learn of unlikely heroes and courageous women, royal intrigues and slave rebellions, doubtful prophets and lovesick poets, bloody battles and miraculous triumphs. These retellings will delight observant Jews, faithful Christians, world historians and readers of great literature. Passed down for centuries as spoken stories, compiled around 450 BCE, and finalized probably around the time of Jesus, the various books of the Hebrew Bible took shape under a variety of cultures and time periods, influencing the formation of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The authors open our eyes to this diverse history shedding new meaning on well-worn texts. They point out how the Hebrew Bible has continually shaped society, and how our own cultural circumstances influence how we interpret it today. The authors highlight the Biblical themes with which readers continue to wrestle: human evil and God's response; war and peace; law and society; politics and economics; belief and practice; women and sexuality; Israel and the Nations; practical wisdom and apocalyptic vision. As relevant today as it was 2,500 years ago, Knight and Levine will open the reader's eyes to the riches of one of the greatest collections of literature known to humankind"-- Provided by publisher.