Written in a clear, creative, and accessible style, this first volume of two introduces readers to the historical and literary intricacies of the ancient biblical world, beginning with Genesis and spanning through to the Prophets. Particularly refreshing is the pedagogical approach and tone that Bergant uses to unlock a treasure chest of knowledge containing pearls of wisdom suitable for a wide variety of audiences. Bergant's ability to synthesize a breadth of material without compromising scholarship makes this volume a substantial contribution to the field of Biblical Studies.
Carol J. Dempsey, OP, PhD, Associate Professor of Theology, University of Portland, OR,
In this first volume, Dianne Bergant takes us on an easy journey through Old Testament history from creation to the time of the eighth century B.C. prophets. Along the way she highlights the personalities and places God used in revealing the divine plan of salvation. This book provides an excellent panoramic view which puts the pieces together for an introduction to or a recap of the biblical story.
Abbot Jerome Kodell, OSB, Subiaco Abbey, Subiaco, Arkansas
Israel's Story would be a useful text in college-level introductory courses on the Old Testament. It is also useful for those who simply want to learn more about that section of the Bible. It provides a good framework for understanding the main themes and characters.
Combining the breadth of her teaching experience and the depth of her knowledge of the Old Testament, Bergant has produced a very helpful and user-friendly introduction. As she reviews the biblical narrative, she gracefully inserts along the way helpful background material of various kinds (e.g., historical, archeological, literary, cultural, theological, and spiritual). For someone beginning to read the Old Testament, this would be a fine book to `read-along-with.'
Michael Guinan, Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, California
By presenting a grand sweep of the literature of ancient Israel, Dianne Bergant offers readers a marvelous introduction to studying the Hebrew Bible. Because she is both an outstanding scholar and popular teacher, Dianne Bergant offers an overview of Israel's sacred history that is equally insightful and accessible. Readers will be enlightened and elated by this synopsis of Israel's inspired writings, which are the inheritance of both Judaism and Christianity.
Stephen J. Binz, Biblical Scholar and Author of Threshold Bible Study
. . . a thoroughly researched and well-written book that can be used as a text for Old Testament study groups and also for personal reading by those interested in the subject. It is recommended.
Catholic Library World
Bergant offers a highly readable retelling of the biblical story that includes minimal information from critical scholarship. As such, it may prove helpful to those attempting to read the Old Testament for the first time.
Bergant slices through the incongruities to reveal the essential elements of the traditions and then carefully folds them into a concise overview of the history of Israel. By concentrating on these essential elements she provides the reader with a compass to navigate through the text to discover the simple wonder and beauty of the text. In so doing, Bergant has provided the necessary foundation on which to build an incredible story. Israel's Story-Part One would be a welcome addition to any library. It is thoroughly researched, easy to read, and provides a great catalyst for storytellers to delve between the lines of the page to understand and tell the awesome stories of the God of Israel-the same God who guides our own work.
The Biblical Storyteller
The special grace here is the combination of serious minded study with a readable, engaging style.