Lucidly written by a leading biblical scholar, this balanced, engaging, and up-to-date introduction to the Hebrew scriptures distills the best of current scholarship. Employing the narrative chronology of the Bible itself and the history of the ancient Near East as a framework, author Michael D. Coogan covers all the books of the Hebrew Bible, along with the deuterocanonical books included in the Bible used by many Christians. He treats every book of the canon with careful attention to its historical context, its particular genre, and its distinctive features. Dealing in detail with ancient Near Eastern sources and archaeological data, Coogan works from a primarily historical and critical methodology but also introduces readers to literary analysis and other interpretive strategies, especially current ones. The Old Testament: A Historical and Literary Introduction to the Hebrew Scriptures is enhanced by a glossary, timelines, photos, illustrations, maps, and a four-color insert on Jerusalem in biblical times. Strategically placed boxes address issues that often puzzle readers of the Bible, provide models of interpretation of particular texts, and discuss their significance for Judaism and Christianity. Each chapter includes key terms, questions for review and discussion, and suggestions for further reading. Providing a non-denominational and non-doctrinal treatment, The Old Testament is accessible to students of all backgrounds. It offers a unique and captivating introduction to the Hebrew scriptures themselves and to how they have been--and can be--interpreted.