The Lion Handbook to the Bible Fifth Edition

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An updated 5th Edition of the worldwide bestselling The Lion Handbook to the Bible.

Table of Contents

Introducing the Bible

14 The Books of the Bible
18 What is the Bible?
22 Reading the Bible

26 Making connections – the Bible and world history
28 The Bible in its time
30 Bringing the past to life
36 The land of Israel
38 Animals and birds
40 Trees and plants
42 Israel’s calendar

46 Keys to understanding
50 Understanding the Bible
52 The Bible as story
53 Interpreting the Bible down the ages
58 The text and the message

62 Storykeepers – the oral tradition
64 The scribes
66 Editors at work
68 The Hebrew Bible
70 An approved list – the ‘canon’ of Scripture
74 Spreading the word – the task of translation

80 Cultural perspectives – East and West
83 Jesus in a plural society
86 The Qur’an and the Bible
89 The Bible through women’s eyes
92 A scientist looks at the Bible
95 Our world – their world

The Old Testament

98 Introducing the Old Testament
100 Chart: The Old Testament story
104 Map: Israel in Old Testament times
105 The Old Testament and the ancient Near East

Genesis to Deuteronomy
108 Introduction
115 Genesis
117 Creation stories
119 People as God’s caretakers
121 Personal names in Genesis 1 – 11
123 Flood stories
131 Hagar
132 Abraham
136 Where were Sodom and Gomorrah?
138 Sarah
143 Women of faith
144 Jacob
149 Joseph
154 Egypt
159 Exodus
162 The names of God
170 A way of life: the Ten Commandments
176 The significance of the Tabernacle
180 Leviticus
182 Sacrifice
185 Priesthood in the Old Testament
190 The great festivals
193 Numbers
196 The quail
198 Nomadic life
205 Deuteronomy
206 Moses
210 Covenants and Near Eastern treaties
214 The promised land

Joshua to Esther
220 Introduction
225 Joshua
228 Cities of the conquest
231 Canaanites and Philistines
234 ‘Holy War’
238 Judges
242 Settled life
247 Understanding Judges
251 Ruth
252 A portrait of Ruth
254 A story through women’s eyes
255 1 & 2 Samuel
257 Hannah
265 Magic in the
Old Testament
269 David
276 1 & 2 Kings
279 Solomon’s Temple and its successors
283 King Solomon’s fortified cities
287 Unravelling the chronology of the kings
296 The Black Obelisk
301 Sennacherib’s Prism
302 The siege of Lachish
305 The lost Ark
306 Chart: Kings of Israel and Judah
308 1 & 2 Chronicles
325 Hezekiah’s conduit
328 Ezra
332 The scribe
334 Nehemiah
340 Esther
341 Portrait of Esther

Job to Song of Solomon
344 Introduction
349 Job
352 Understanding Job
359 Psalms
363 The Psalms in their setting
367 A poet looks at Psalms
379 God and the universe
382 Self-justification, cursing and vengeance in Psalms
388 Christ in the psalms
393 Proverbs
395 Wisdom in Proverbs and Job
397 Important themes in Proverbs 10 – 31
400 Ecclesiastes
403 Song of Solomon THE PROPHETS Isaiah to Malachi
408 Introduction
414 Chart: The prophets in their setting
417 Isaiah
420 Understanding Isaiah
423 Prophets and prophecy
432 The Assyrians
439 Jeremiah
441 Portrait of Jeremiah
456 The Babylonians
459 Lamentations
461 Ezekiel
473 Daniel
478 Old Testament views of the afterlife
480 The Persians
483 Hosea
486 Understanding Hosea
488 Joel
490 Amos
491 Justice and the poor
495 Obadiah
496 Jonah
498 Micah
500 Nahum
502 Habakkuk
504 Zephaniah
505 Haggai
507 Zechariah
512 Malachi
515 Deuterocanonical books
521 The Greeks


526 Map: Israel in New Testament times
527 What is the New Testament?
528 Jewish religion in New Testament times
532 Herod’s Temple
534 Jews under Roman rule: the province of Judea
536 Chart: The New Testament story

Matthew to Acts
538 Introduction: The Gospels and Jesus Christ
542 The life of Jesus
545 Studying the Gospels
549 Matthew
551 ‘God with us’ – the incarnation
553 The star of Bethlehem
557 The twelve disciples of Jesus
563 Jesus and the kingdom of God
566 Jesus and money
569 Jesus and the Old Testament
574 Passover and the Last Supper
577 Mark
581 Fishing in Lake Galilee
587 Jesus and the cities
589 Jesus and women
592 Roman soldiers in the New Testament
593 Pilate
595 Luke
596 The virgin birth
600 The census
602 Mary, the mother of Jesus
603 Women’s perspectives in the Gospels
605 The New Testament miracles
608 Martha and Mary
619 Jesus’ resurrection
621 John
627 The Herod family
630 Jerusalem in New Testament times
636 The peace of God
637 Love
641 Mary Magdalene
643 Acts
650 A historian looks at the New Testament
655 ‘Good News!’ – from the first Christians
659 The city of Athens
661 The Holy Spirit in Acts
670 Roman rule, Greek culture

Romans to Revelation
674 Introduction: The Letters
680 Chart: The New Testament Letters
681 Romans
684 The city of Rome
689 Paul
692 God’s sovereign choice
694 1 Corinthians
696 The city of Corinth
701 Sexual issues in the church at Corinth
703 Spiritual gifts
706 2 Corinthians
711 Galatians
714 Ephesians
716 The city of Ephesus
720 Philippians
723 Colossians
724 Understanding Colossians
727 Angels in the Bible
728 1 & 2 Thessalonians
732 1 & 2 Timothy
737 Titus
739 Philemon
740 Hebrews
742 The Old Testament in the New Testament
746 Understanding Hebrews
749 James
752 1 & 2 Peter
753 The Jewish Dispersion
758 1, 2 & 3 John
762 Jude
763 Revelation
765 The seven churches of Revelation
766 Emperor worship and Revelation
771 Understanding Revelation Nazareth, hometown of Jesus.

About the Author

Pat Alexander is co-founder and former editorial director of Lion Publishing. She is also the compiler and author of many books ranging from the best-selling Lion Handbook to the Bible to The Lion First Bible. Pat lives in Oxford where she is actively involved in local church and community life. David Alexander was a founder of Lion Publishing, and for 28 years a Director of the company. He spent much time researching and taking photographs for books such as The Lion Handbook to the Bible. Helping people to understand the Bible and communicating its message was a key factor in his work. David died in 2002.


The Lion Handbook to the Bible has been on the nearest shelf to my desk for a few decades – my `go to’ introduction for preaching and teaching but also to browse in a relaxed way amongst its many gems.
*David Wilkinson*

Indispensable guide for the serious Bible student.

It remains arguably the best single volume introduction to the Bible.
*Andy Bannister*

The best commentary ever.
*Jennifer Rees Larcombe*

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