New to this edition: Includes rewritten material on historical questions in chapter 3, 'Did it all happen?'. Material on the theme of liberation theology in chapter 7, 'The Old Testament as Liberation', is revised and updated, as is material in chapter 4, 'What does archaelogy contribute?'.Women and the Bible are now considered in a separate chapter, and the new edition takes into account the continuing growth in biblical studies by women scholars. Other smaller revisions are made throughout, and a much revised bibliography now includes the most important works of recent years.Study of the Old Testament has in the past been dominated by what is often called the 'historical-critical' method': careful analysis of individual books with great emphasis on historical context, and concern to isolate what was original, and (it was therefore assumed) most important. This volumenot only retains the values of adopting this traditional approach, but also outlines the alternative understandings of the Old Testament which have gained currency in recent years. Exploring these less conventional ways of looking at the Old Testament, Coggins introduces sociological andanthropological, feminist and liberation perspectives, and literary criticism. In this new edition, Coggins looks again at key issues in the light of recent scholarly developments, addressing contemporary debate on historical questions, radical developments in the field of archaeology, andconsidering women's readings in a separate chapter.This introductory volume offers students a concise and engaging discussion of the different perspectives available in Old Testament scholarship.