This profusely illustrated book introduces the reader to both the content of the Bible and to the life, faith, and history of ancient Israel, early Judaism, and early Christianity. Part 1 offers an overall introduction to the study of the Bible, including the techniques of Bible criticism. Part 2 discusses the life, faith, and literature of ancient Israel from the earliest times to the end of Babylonian exile. Part 3 presents the history of the restored Jewish community from the days of the return through the early years of Roman rule, with a look at some apocryphal and apocolyptic literature. Part 4 concerns the life and literature of early Christianity from Jesus' life and ministry through Paul's contributions to early Christian theology and the church's ministry, the growing hostility between state and church, and the persecution of Christians, to the church's development of an orthodox faith and a more institutionalized structure.
The volume includes photographic illustrations, a full subject-oriented bibliography for further reading, and the Westminster Historical Maps of Bible Lands.