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Very Short Introductions: Brilliant, Sharp, Inspiring The Bible is one of the world's most read and most influential books. It has provided many rules for people to live by, and has shaped our language and our shared beliefs in ways that have both drawn communities together and fueled bitter disputes and conflicts. Having played a major role in the
development of Western culture, the Bible continues to exert an enormous influence over millions of lives. This Very Short Introduction explores the material, cultural, and religious history of the Bible. Looking first at how the books of the Bible came to be written down and collected as authoritative sacred texts, John Riches goes on to show how they were produced and distributed across the world, and
how they have been read and interpreted by differing communities in different languages. Riches compares how Jewish and Christian communities have interpreted the same passage of the Bible, and looks at some of the strikingly varied readings a very short book like Galatians has received over 2,000
years. Finally, he explores post-colonial and feminist readings of the Bible, and concludes by surveying the uses of the Bible in art, music, poetry, and politics. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and
enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
About the Author
John Riches, Emeritus Professor of Divinity and Biblical Criticism, University of Glasgow John Riches was the Chaplain and Fellow at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, where he taught philosophy of religion from 1968 to 1972. He then taught the New Testament at Glasgow University from 1973 to 2002, with periods as a visiting lecturer in theological colleges in apartheid and post-apartheidSouth Africa. Riches' major areas of study have been the Gospels and Paul, with a particular interest in the history of reception of the Bible.