Top header graphic with link to CSUS Home Page california state university, sacramento
Header Graphic
sac state homeuniversity affairspublic affairs
 
 Search Sacramento
 State website

  Sacramento State
  main news page


media resources graphic
   news releases
   news and events
     archive

   facts & stats
   experts guide
   image downloads
   news by e-mail
   contact news
     services staff

   submit news
     & events

   feedback

publications graphic
   Sac State Magazine
   Sacramento State
     Bulletin

   Newslink
   Sacramento State
     Catalog


calendars graphic
   events this month
   search events
   academic
   athletics
   commencement

additional news graphic
   Capital Public Radio
   alumni association
   crime alerts
   construction
   CSU Newsline

visitors resources graphic
   visitor relations
   commencement
   Sacramento State
     ticket office

   campus directory
   campus tours

Printer Friendly Version
Capital University News, California State University, Sacramento

November 10, 2003

Book explores history of the Bible

For those who don’t know the difference between Sodom and Gomorrah, help has arrived. Two CSUS professors have co-authored, The Old Testament: An Introduction to the Hebrew Bible, a beginner’s guide to the origins, themes, and controversies of the Hebrew Bible and the later Biblical writings known as the Apocrypha.

“It’s not written for the specialist, it’s not written for the academic, it’s for those who want to know more about the Old Testament,” says co-author Robert Platzner, professor of humanities and religious studies. “It’s designed to be accessible to the average student and the non-academic reading public.” He and humanities and religious studies professor emeritus Stephen Harris put the book together with the novice in mind.

The book strives to get to the meanings of the works as they were originally intended by the authors, subsequent editors, and first readers. It also tries to give today’s reader a sense of the “life setting” the first biblical works were created in.

“The life setting is the historical context out of which the various books of the Hebrew Bible emerged,” Platzner explained. Much of that comes from biblical archaeology, a field that provides a changing, fragmentary, and often controversial view of biblical times.

“So much of this consists of conjecture that at every point of the argument you must caution students to be wary,” Platzner says. “But those controversies make their way into this book.”

Although Platzner says he and Harris did their best remain as neutral and objective as possible, he suspects that some will take issue with it.

“Some religious communities will find it controversial because it doesn’t mesh with their dogmatic views or their chronology of events,” he says.

Regardless of how each reader may react, Platzner says everyone should find the book easy to use. It’s logically organized and each chapter includes topics and key terms and review questions along with selections that explore issues in more depth. In addition the book offers a variety of maps, illustrations and chronologies.

####

California State University, Sacramento • Public Affairs
6000 J Street • Sacramento, CA 95819-6026 • (916) 278-6156 • infodesk@csus.edu
Bottom bar graphic back to top


California State University, Sacramento • Public Affairs
6000 J Street • Sacramento, CA 95819-6026 • (916) 278-6156 • infodesk@csus.edu