The Bible: The Basics is an accessible and engaging introduction to the Bible as both a sacred text, central to the faith of millions, and a classic work of Western literature, containing a tapestry of genres, voices, perspectives, and images. This guide skilfully addresses both aspects of the Bible’s character by exploring:

  • the rich variety of literary forms, from poetry to prophecy and epistles to apocalypses;

  • the historical, geographic, and social context of the Bible;

  • contemporary attitudes to the Bible held by believers and non-believers;

  • the status of biblical interpretation today.

The second edition has been updated throughout and includes maps and detailed suggestions for further reading. This is an ideal starting point for people of any faith, or none, who are studying the Bible in any setting or who simply want to know more about the best-selling book of all time.


chapter 1|20 pages

The Bible in the modern world

chapter 2|29 pages

The nature of the Bible

chapter 3|31 pages

Major genres

chapter 4|30 pages

Religious themes

chapter 5|24 pages

The Bible and history

chapter 6|22 pages

The social world of the Bible

chapter 7|24 pages

Biblical interpretation today