The Context of Scripture illuminatingly presents the multi-faceted world of ancient writing that forms the colorful background to the literature of the Hebrew Bible. Designed as a thorough and durable reference work for all engaged in the study of the Bible and the ancient Near East, and involving 63 of the world's outstanding scholars in the field, it provides reliable access to a broad, balanced and representative collection of Ancient Near Eastern texts that have some bearing on the interpretation of the Bible. Translations of recently discovered texts are included, alongside new translations of better-known texts and in some cases the best existing translations of such texts.
The substantial three-volume work, with its specially designed page layout and large format, features full cross-referencing to comparable Bible passages, and new, up-to-date bibliographical annotations with judicious commentary. Its many distinct advantages over other collections will ensure the place of The Context of Scripture as a standard reference work for the 21st century.
The Context of Scripture is previously published in hardback by Brill (ISBN 90 04 09629 9, still available). Individual volumes are available separately in hardback only.
William W. Hallo is the William M. Laffan Professor of Assyriology and Babylonian Literature and Curator of the Babylonian Collection at Yale University. He holds degrees from Harvard, Leiden, and Chicago. He is author or co-author of Seals and Seal Impressions (2001), The Ancient Near East: a History (1998, 1971), Origins (1997), The Book of the People (1991), Scripture in Context (4 vols. 1980-1991), Heritage: Civilization and the Jews (2 vols. 1984), The Tablets of Ebla (1984), Sumerian Archival Texts (1973), The Exaltation of Inanna (1968), and Early Mesopotamian Royal Titles (1957).
K. Lawson Younger, Jr., Ph.D. (1988) at the University of Sheffield is Professor of Old Testament, Semitic Languages and Ancient Near Eastern History at Trinity International University -- Divinity School, Deerfield, Illinois. He is the author of Ancient Near Eastern Conquest Accounts: A Study of Ancient Near Eastern and Biblical History Writing (1990), co-editor of Mesopotamia and the Bible (2002), as well as numerous scholarly articles and reviews.
'Now that it is complete, this major publication project will clearly replace James B. Pritchard's long-standard Ancient Near Eastern Texts. The three volumes of The Context of Scripture offer improved renderings of familiar texts, introduce more recently published texts to a wider audience, and shed new light on the Bible by means of detailed introductions and copious annotations. Yet one can happily read the texts without ever consulting the footnotes. The Context of Scripture will no doubt stimulate the reading of the Bible in its ancient context, resulting in a better understanding of what Israel shared with her Near Eastern neighbors, and how she differed from them.'
Alan Millard, Biblical Archaeology Review, 2004.
'All students and scholars of the Hebrew Bible and the Ancient Near East will be grateful for this impressive and authoritative work. It is wonderful to have so much of ancient Near Eastern literature in one collection, translated by the best scholars in the field.'
Ronald S. Hendel, Bible Review, 1998.
'…this volume will prove an indispensable tool for all who seek to intepret the Old Testament within its cultural and linguistic environment.'
Daniel L. Block, Review and Expositor.
'…the three volumes in COS will be reliable and frequently used companions of Old Testament scholars in the next fifty years. Biblical commentaries and journal articles will regularly refer to them.'
Ralph W. Klein, Currents, 2001.
‘…an up-to-date and indispensable collection of Near Eastern literature.’
William M. Schniedewind, Religious Studies Review, 2001.
'COS I zeigt bereits deutlich an, daß der unmittelbare Vorläufer Pritchard und alle vergleichbare früheren und gleichzeitigen Unternehmen ähnlicher Art auf unschlagbare Weise überholt werden sollen...Dem Verlag, dem Herausgeber und seinen Mitarbeitern verdanken wir den Anfang eines Werkes, das alles Vergleichbare in den Schatten stellt und das sicher der biblischen Forschung viele neue Impulse und Erkenntnisse vermitteln wird. Verlag und Herausgeber wünschen wir die Kraft zu baldigen Vollendung des großen Vorhabens.'
Oswald Loretz, Ugarit Forschungen, 1996.
'Given the high quality of this compendium, one of the editor's hopes for this series would seem to be well founded, namely, the The Context of Scripture will become a standard reference work in college, seminary, and university libraries well into the twenty-first century.'
Gary N. Knoppers, Review of Biblical Literature, 2000.'
Students and scholars of the Hebrew Bible and the ancient Near East.