This is somewhat of an experiment. The goal here is to post answers with reading recommendations for those that would like to learn more about the Bible. There are a lot of well read folks on BH.SE and I'd love to hear recommendations from you.

Some thoughts:

  • One answer per topic, that way the voting mechanism can be leveraged to some extent (not one book per answer, but one topic, such as "Hebrew Bible: Ancient Near East" as an example).

  • I'm going to avoid community wiki for now; post your recommendations under your own name. That way folks know who to interact with to learn more (perhaps why a certain book is recommended). I know this means there may be some duplication of topics, but this will help readers identify resources with specific biases (all resources are biased, but a Christian user will likely post resources from like-minded scholars, while a Jewish user will likely post completely different resources).

    • Please don't vote based on your agreement or disagreement with various resources. Vote purely on the quality of the resources (i.e. only DV if you know various resources to contain inaccurate or intentionally misleading information, and please comment with specifics so others can learn and evaluate these claims for themselves).
  • The books do not have to be available online nor must they be free or low cost. The goal is to recommend the best resources available.

  • Have fun! The goal is to share knowledge and learn from one another.

  • So just to clarify (and I think this is fairly clear from your "model answer" already): these are bibliographies of quality resources regardless of online availability. Any online access is "bonus" -- icing, rather than cake (as it were). Yes?
    – Dɑvïd
    May 19, 2014 at 19:00
  • @Davïd yes, even if it is not available online that is fine (I think that will often be the case, in fact).
    – Dan
    May 19, 2014 at 19:34

4 Answers 4


Hebrew Bible: Literature (Primary Texts, including Ancient Near Eastern Setting)

Clarification: COS = Context of Scripture (cf. Hallo below).

Karl Elliger & Wilhelm Rudolph, Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia (Hendrickson Publishers, 1997). ISBN: 9781598561630 (text available online without apparatus)

Dead Sea Scrolls


  • Neo-Assyrian, Neo-Babylonian, and Achaemenid inscriptions: COS 2:261-316 (cf. Hallo below)
  • Northwest Semitic inscriptions: COS 2:77-173

Legal Literature

Magic, Ritual, Divination, and Witchcraft

  • COS 1:416-18, 421-26
  • Maqlû (German), cf. also Schwemer. Also Abusch, I. Tzvi. The Witchcraft Series Maqlû: Transcription and Translation (Society of Biblical Literature, 2014) (forthcoming)
  • Akītu: Mark E. Cohen, The Cultic Calendars of the Ancient Near East (CDL Press, 1993), 441-7. Read online.

Myth and Epic


  • Mari (cf. Jean-Marie Durand, "Archives épistolaires de Mari, I", Journal of the American Oriental Society, vol. 111, no. 3 (Jul.—Sep., 1991), 626-8 (JSTOR). Also Jewish Virtual Library article


  • COS 1:485-95
  • Amenemope: Miriam Lichtheim, Ancient Egyptian Literature, A Book of Readings: Vol II: The New Kingdom, 2nd ed., ed. Hans-W. Fischer-Elfert (University of California Press, 2006), 146-63. ISBN: 9780520248434
  • The Instruction of Onchsheshonqy (learn Demotic): William Kelley Simpson, The Literature of Ancient Egypt: An Anthology of Stories, Instructions, Stelae, Autobiographies, and Poetry, 3rd ed., trans. Robert K. Ritner, Vincent A. Tobin, & Edward F. Wente, Jr. (Yale University Press, 2003), 497ff. ISBN: 9780300099201. Also Berend Gemser, The Instructions of 'Onchsheshonqy' and Biblical Wisdom Literature (E.J. Brill, 1959).
  • Sinuhe (cf. Simpson, 54ff)
  • Ahiqar (cf. Conybeare, Harris, & Lewis for translations from the Syriac, Arabic, Armenian, Ethiopic, Greek, and Slavonic versions)
  • W.G. Lambert, Babylonian Wisdom Literature (Eisenbrauns, 1996). ISBN: 9780931464942

William W. Hallo & K. Lawson Younger, Jr., The Context of Scripture: Canonical Compositions, Monumental Inscriptions, and Archival Documents from the Biblical World (COS), vols. 1-3 (Brill Academic Publishers, 2003). ISBN: 9789004131057

Simo Parpola, "Neo-Assyrian Treaties from the Royal Archives of Ninevah", in Journal of Cuneiform Studies, vol. 39, no. 2 (Autumn, 1987), 161-89. Read online.


Christian Hermeneutics (Standard Academic Texts)

  • Augustine, On Christian Doctrine (Christian Classics Ethereal Library, public domain).

  • Rudolf Bultman, Faith and Understanding (Augsburg Fortress Publishers, 1987). ISBN: 9780800632021

  • Jacques Derrida, Margins of Philosophy, trans. Alan Bass (University of Chicago Press, 1984). ISBN: 9780226143262

  • Hans W. Frei, The Eclipse of Biblical Narrative: A Study in Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century Hermeneutics (Yale University Press, 1974). ISBN: 9780300026023

  • Hans-Georg Gadamer, Truth and Method, 2nd ed., trans. Joel Weinsheimer & Donald G. Marshall (Continuum International Publishing Group, 2006). ISBN: 9780826476975

  • Jürgen Habermas, Knowledge and Human Interests, trans. Jeremy J. Shapiro (Beacon Press, 1972). ISBN: 9780807015414

  • Martin Heidegger, Poetry, Language, Thought, trans. Albert Hofstadter (Harper Perennial Modern Classics, 2013). ISBN: 9780060937287

  • Martin Heidegger, Being and Time, trans. John MacQuarrie & Edward Robinson (Harper Perennial Modern Classics, 2008). ISBN: 9780061575594

  • Paul Ricoeur, Interpretation Theory: Discourse and the Surplus of Meaning (Texas Christian University Press, 1976). ISBN: 9780912646596

  • Paul Ricoeur, Hermeneutics and the Human Sciences: Essays on Language, Action and Interpretation, ed. and trans. John B. Thompson (Cambridge University Press, 1981). ISBN: 9780521280020

  • Friedrich D. E. Schleiermacher, Hermeneutics: The Handwritten Manuscripts (American Academy of Religion Texts and Translations Series: Book 1), ed. Heinz Kimmerle, trans. James Duke & Jack Forstman (Oxford University Press, 1978). ISBN: 9780891301868

  • Paul Tillich, Theology of Culture, ed. Robert C. Kimball (Oxford University Press, 1964). ISBN: 9780195007114

Honorary Mention

  • Gerald L. Bruns, Hermeneutics Ancient and Modern (Yale University Press, 1995). ISBN: 9780300063035

  • Kathy Eden, Hermeneutics and the Rhetorical Tradition: Chapters in the Ancient Legacy and Its Humanist Reception (Yale University Press, 2005). ISBN: 9780300111354

  • 1
    There's some intersection with this material and the philpapers Hermeneutics bibliography - worth checking for those interested in the work listed here (+ see the "Related subcategories" linked at the bottom of that page).
    – Dɑvïd
    May 31, 2014 at 20:47

Jewish Intertestamental and Early Rabbinic Literature

The following two links are two JETS articles online (titled in part like my heading) that themselves are an extensive bibliographic summary of literature relevant to those topics.

Part 1

David W. Chapman and Andreas J. Köstenberger, "Jewish Intertestamental and Early Rabbinic Literature: An Annotated Bibliographic Resource Updated (Part 1)," JETS 55/2 (2012): 235–72.

Part 2

David W. Chapman and Andreas J. Köstenberger, "Jewish Intertestamental and Early Rabbinic Literature: An Annotated Bibliographic Resource Updated (Part 2)," JETS 55/3 (2012) 457–88.

  • One must certainly include Jacob Neusner, with his Talmud and Midrash in Context. He is perhaps the most prolific author of Jewish Scribal sources.
    – Tau
    Mar 31, 2016 at 4:10

Grammatical/Historical (Evangelical*) Hermeneutics

These are grouped as indicated and then given in alphabetical order, not any order of priority.


  • Christopher Cone, Prolegomena on Biblical Hermeneutics and Method 2nd ed. (Tyndale Seminary Press, 2012).
  • Elliot E. Johnson, Expository Hermeneutics: An Introduction (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1990).
  • Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart, How to Read the Bible for all Its Worth (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2003).
  • Walter Kaiser and Silva Moises, An Introduction to Biblical Hermeneutics (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1994).
  • Henry A. Virkler and Karelynne Gerber Ayayo, Hermeneutics: Principles and Processes of Biblical Interpretation, 2nd ed. (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2007).
  • Roy B. Zuck, Basic Bible Interpretation: A Practical Guide to Discovering Biblical Truth (Colorado Springs, CO: David C. Cook, 1991).


  • E.D. Hirsch, Jr., Validity in Interpretation (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1967).
  • Terry S. Milton, Biblical Hermeneutics: A Treatise on the Interpretation of the Old and New Testaments, 2nd ed. (New York: Phillips & Hunt, 1885). Access free online here.
  • Bernard Ramm, Protestant Biblical Interpretation 3rd rev. ed. (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1970).


  • Robert L. Thomas, Evangelical Hermeneutics: The New Versus the Old (Grand Rapids: Kregel, 2002).
  • Walter C. Kaiser, Jr. Toward an Exegetical Theology: Biblical Exegesis for Preaching and Teaching (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 1981).


(These are resources that are not broadly about hermeneutics, but tackle aspects related to it.)

  • D. A. Carson, Exegetical Fallacies, 2nd ed. (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1996).
  • Norman L. Geisler and Ronald M. Brooks, Come, Let Us Reason: An Introduction to Logical Thinking (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1990).

* My tradition is Baptist and Dispensational, both of which have a heritage of affirming a grammatical/historical hermeneutic, so some of these resources will be coming from that side of the evangelical spectrum.

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