Readings From The Ancient Near East

By Bill t. Arnold and Bryan E. Beyer

Essential to a proper understanding of the Old Testament is a knowledge of the political, historical, and theological environment of the ancient Near East. While there is an abundance of material explaining this environment, primary source texts are often unavailable or inaccessible to the beginning Old Testament student.

This volume in the Encountering Biblical Studies series fills that void. Readings from the Ancient Near East takes the student through a wide variety of primary source texts from the ancient Near East that illuminate every book of the Old Testament. It is the companion volume to Encountering the Old Testament, coauthored by Bill Arnold and Bryan Beyer.

The editors have compiled this volume with the beginning Old Testament student in mind. The selections are intended to move a learner with little or no knowledge of the ancient Near East to a basic understanding of its significant texts and authors.

Texts spanning more than two thousand years include Sumerian creation accounts, epic literature from Mesopotamia, cultic ritual texts from Egypt, and prophetic references from Syria. Readings from the Ancient Near East will surely become a standard text for professors, students, pastors, Sunday school teachers, and serious lay readers.

About the Author

Dr. Bryan Beyer grew up in a Christian home and gave his life to Christ at an early age. Around age 16, he sensed God’s call to church-related ministry. He graduated from Colorado State University (BA in Humanities), Denver Seminary (MDiv in Biblical Studies), and Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (Hebraic and Cognate Studies). From 1985-2021 he served at Columbia International University (SC) in a variety of roles (undergrad Bible faculty, dean of the college, dean of students, seminary Old Testament faculty, and dean of the College of Arts and Sciences). In 2021 he ceased full-time employment at CIU to focus more on teaching, writing, and taking groups to Israel.

Dr. Beyer has written extensively for LifeWay Christian Resources ( since 1991, writing Sunday School curriculum but also assisting both in the translation of the Christian Standard Bible (Jeremiah 29-49) and the CSB Study Bible (notes on 1-2 Samuel). Four of his more significant publications include:
• Encountering the Old Testament: A Christian Survey (co-authored with Bill T. Arnold; Baker Academic, 3rd edition, 2015)
• Readings from the Ancient Near East: Primary Sources for Old Testament Study (co-edited with Bill T. Arnold; Baker Academic, 2002)
• Encountering the Book of Isaiah: A Historical and Theological Survey (Baker Academic, 2007)
• Scripture’s Grand Story Through the Old Testament (co-authored with Bill Jones; Wipf and Stock, 2022)

Dr. Beyer and his wife Yvonne have three adult children and five granddaughters. The Beyers enjoy time with family and in the outdoors.

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