ReviewsOver-inquisitive children are often warned that ‘curiosity killed the cat’. But children of all ages, when curious about the Bible, may safely be encouraged to explore its varied contents and growth in this readable book by a noted scholar. Itself something of a ‘curiosity box’, it both informs and challenges.
Professor Graeme Auld, School of Divinity, University of Edinburgh
This is the book I would have written had I the intelligence and skill-of-pen that Professor Davies possesses. I will require it for all of my undergraduate courses in both Old and New Testament. It is much needed, and even more appreciated.
Professor Jim West, Pastor, Petros Baptist Church, and Lecturer, Ming Hua Theological College / Charles Sturt University
Philip Davies has bequeathed to us one last book, now published after his untimely death. The Bible for the Curious bears all the markings that have made him one of the foremost biblical scholars of the past half century – mastery of the historical and literary materials, cogent and forthright engagement with knotty problems, clarity of thought, and eminently readable prose. In this book Davies widens his field of vision to include not only the Hebrew Bible and the Dead Sea Scrolls but the New Testament as well. This fresh discussion is highly recommended for specialists and other interested readers.
Douglas A. Knight, Drucilla Moore Buffington Professor of Hebrew Bible, Emeritus, and Professor of Jewish Studies, Vanderbilt University
The importance of this last work of Davies, well illustrated with maps, charts, and photographs, is that it raises for the would-be reader of the scriptures the questions that must be asked. Davies does not provide all the answers, but he does open up a now sadly neglected part of our literary and spiritual heritage, and shows in a neutral but encouraging way how not merely the curious, but the serious enquirer, should embrace it.
An impressive achievement and reveals how readers become believers, how believers can become readers, and how a recognition of how scholarly approaches to scriptures can contribute in bringing Biblical scholarship to life. It seems fair to ask, how can I use these brilliant notions of the Bible within my own classroom, as a theological educator? Indeed, Davies’ work has manifested his objective in creating new possibilities to understand present actualities.
The late Philip Davies (professor of biblical studies, University of Sheffield) knew his Bible well, and in this introduction his deep knowledge of the history and contents of the Bible is on good display.
The Bible Today
This posthumous publication is a brief overview of what has happened in biblical studies since the Bible changed from being a sacred text into a factor in Western civilisation. It aims to persuade members of a modern secular society that the Bible still contributes to how we think about history and politics. The chapter on ‘Ancient Judaisms’ is an excellent introduction, and will surprise many of its intended readers.
Society for Old Testament Study Book List 2020