Beth Sheppard’s "Craft of History"

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Friday, November 30, 2012

Beth M. Sheppard, associate professor for the practice of theological bibliography and director of the Duke Divinity School Library, has published a new book titled "The Craft of History and the Study of the New Testament.” The Society of Biblical Literature published the book in November.

In this interdisciplinary book Sheppard, who holds a Ph.D. in New Testament from the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom, explores whether professional historians and New Testament scholars use the same methods to investigate the past.

The textbook introduces students to the vocabulary and methods employed by historians. Sheppard uses examples of historiographical approaches drawn from a wide range of New Testament scholarship to demonstrate the applicability of individual methods for interpreting the New Testament text and exploring its background.

In the book, overviews of the philosophy of history, common historical fallacies, and the basics of historiography are followed by three original exegetical studies that illustrate the various historical methods for New Testament interpretation.