The Literary Guide to the Bible (1987 Alter, Kermode), edited volume

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The Literary Guide to the Bible (1987) is a volume edited by Robert Alter and Frank Kermode.


This literary guide leads the reader toward an understanding and appreciation of a book that has shaped the minds of men and women for two millenia and more. Provides an analysis of the Bible's structures, themes, narrative techniques and poetic forms. 1 line illustration. Rediscover the incomparable literary richness and strength of a book that all of us live with an many of us live by. An international team of renowned scholars, assembled by two leading literary critics, offers a book-by-book guide through the Old and New Testaments as well as general essays on the Bible as a whole, providing an enticing reintroduction to a work that has shaped our language and thought for thousands of years.

Editions and translations

Published in London [England]: Collins; and Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1987.


The Old Testament:

  • Introduction / Robert Alter
  • Genesis ; Exodus / J.P. Fokkelman
  • Leviticus / David Damrosch
  • Numbers / James S. Ackerman
  • Deuteronomy / Robert Polzin
  • Joshua and Judges / David M. Gunn
  • 1 and 2 Samuel / Joel Rosenberg
  • 1 and 2 Kings / George Savran
  • Isaiah / Luis Alonso Schökel
  • Jeremiah and Ezekiel / Joel Rosenberg
  • The twelve prophets / Herbert Marks
  • Jonah / James S. Ackerman
  • Psalms / Robert Alter
  • Proverbs and Ecclesiastes / James G. Williams
  • Job / Moshe Greenberg
  • The Song of songs / Francis Landy
  • Ruth / Jack M. Sasson
  • Lamentations / Francis Landy
  • Esther / Jack M. Sasson
  • Daniel / Shemaryahu Talmon
  • Ezra and Nehemiah ; 1 and 2 Chronicles / Shemaryahu Talmon

The New Testament

  • Introduction ; Matthew / Frank Kermode
  • Mark ; Luke / John Drury
  • John / Frank Kermode
  • Acts / James M. Robinson
  • The Pauline epistles / Michael Goulder ; The Epistle to the Hebrews and the Catholic epistles / Gabriel Josipovici
  • Revelation / Bernard McGinn

General essays

  • The Hebrew Bible and Canaanite literature / John C. Greenfield
  • The New Testament and Greco-Roman writing / Helen Elsom
  • Fishing for men on the edge if the wilderness / Edmund Leach
  • The canon / Frank Kermode
  • The characteristics of ancient Hebrew poetry / Robert Alter
  • Midrash and allegory / Gerald L. Bruns
  • English translations of the Bible / Gerald Hammond

External links

  • [ Google Books]