The Bible for the Curious - A Brief Encounter - Philip R. Davies†

The Bible for the Curious - A Brief Encounter - Philip R. Davies†

1. Approaching the Bible

The Bible for the Curious - A Brief Encounter - Philip R. Davies†

Philip R. Davies† [+-]
University of Sheffield, (Emeritus)
Philip R. Davies, who died in 2018, was Professor Emeritus of Biblical Studies at the University of Sheffield. Educated at Oxford and St Andrews, Scotland, he edited, authored or co-authored 37 books on the Dead Sea Scrolls and various aspects of interpretation of the Hebrew Bible, including In Search of Ancient Israel (1992), Whose Bible Is It Anyway? (1995), Scribes and Schools: The Canonization of the Hebrew Scriptures (1998), The Complete World of the Dead Sea Scrolls (2002) and Memories of Ancient Israel: An Introduction to Biblical History (2008). He was co-founder of Sheffield Academic Press and former President of the British Society for Old Testament Study and European Association of Biblical Studies.


Most Bible readers, perhaps, think the Bible contains truth, or some truth, about God, humans and the world, and teaches us this partly by describing the past and predicting the future and directing how we should live. Others dismiss it as containing myths, unscientific superstitions and oldfashioned ethical views that have little or no relevance to the twenty-first century. Additionally, for many people in our multicultural society the Bible has no historical or cultural value at all. Whether the Bible should play any role in a modern secular society is questionable. Should we bother to read it, let alone try and understand it? Having been at the centre of European (Western) culture for two thousand years, is it now of little relevance? Does it still help us to understand our culture or contribute to it? The first response to this challenge needs to be that in order to understand, appreciate and use the Bible, we do not have either to believe in it as the Word of God, nor reject it as upholding obsolete values like patriarchy, warfare, slavery, absolute monarchy or racism.

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Davies, Philip. 1. Approaching the Bible. The Bible for the Curious - A Brief Encounter. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. 3-14 Nov 2018. ISBN 9781781797440. Date accessed: 22 Oct 2021 doi: 10.1558/equinox.35682. Nov 2018

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