Joel S. Kaminsky, Joel N. Lohr, Mark Reasoner. The Abingdon Introduction to the Bible: Understanding Jewish and Christian Scriptures. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2014.
I am very excited about this book. I had a chance to look at an early draft a few months ago and was impressed on a number of levels. The authors are sensitive to multiple theological perspectives and navigate historical-critical discussions well. Kaminsky, Lohr, and Reasoner are among the most erudite voices in biblical studies. They also write elegantly for beginners. (A rare combination of talents.)
This text is an excellent choice for classrooms in universities, colleges, and seminaries. There are other fine choices available for Bible students. But what makes this particular text unique is that this is the first Bible introduction that is co-authored by a Jew, a Catholic, and a Protestant.
To my knowledge, this is also the first introduction written by a scholar from America, a scholar from Canada, and a scholar from Japan.
To my knowledge, this is also the first introduction written by an East Coast resident, a Midwest resident, and a West Coast resident.
To my knowledge, this is also the first introduction written by a redhead, a deadhead, a metalhead.
To my knowledge, this is also the first introduction written by a tall person, a small person, and a Paul person.
To my knowledge, this is also the first introduction written by a joker, a smoker, and a midnight toker.
[This last factoid may be less than factual. I will have to do more research.]
I offer my highest recommendation for this text. It really is the perfect classroom resource and is among the more inexpensive options available.