Author Talk | Meet Author Jacob L. Wright, author of “Why the Bible Began”

November 15, 2023 Lawrenceville Free

Dr. Jacob L. Wright discusses his new book, “Why the Bible Began: An Alternative History of Scripture and Its Origins,” with Dr. Francine Allen.

Why did no other ancient society produce something like the Bible? That a tiny, out of the way community could have created a literary corpus so determinative for peoples across the globe seems improbable.

For Jacob Wright, the Bible is not only a testimony of survival, but also an unparalleled achievement in human history. Forged after Babylon’s devastation of Jerusalem, it makes not victory but total humiliation the foundation of a new idea of belonging. Lamenting the destruction of their homeland, scribes who composed the Bible imagined a promise-filled past while reflecting deeply on abject failure. More than just religious scripture, the Bible began as a trailblazing blueprint for a new form of political community. Its response to catastrophe offers a powerful message of hope and restoration that is unique in the Ancient Near Eastern and Greco-Roman worlds.

Wright’s Bible is thus a social, political, and even economic roadmap – one that enabled a small and obscure community located on the periphery of leading civilizations and empires not just to come back from the brink, but ultimately to shape the world’s destiny. The Bible speaks ultimately of being a united yet diverse people, and its pages present a manual of pragmatic survival strategies for communities confronting societal collapse.

Registration is recommended. Registration closes at the start of the program.

Dr. Jacob L. Wright is a professor of Hebrew Bible / Old Testament at Emory University, which boasts one of the world’s leading doctoral programs in biblical studies. Jacob Wright writes on an array of topics, ranging from social life in ancient Israel to the formation of biblical writings. His current research treats a wide range of phenomena related to war and society in ancient Israel. His first book, Rebuilding Identity: The Nehemiah Memoir and Its Earliest Readers, won the prestigious Templeton Award for first books in religion. 

Dr. Francine Allen is an assistant professor of English at Morehouse College. She has an M.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Ph.D. from Georgia State University. Her research focuses, in part, on how narratives of scripture can be seen as archetypes for exploring the way modern narratives revise ancient narratives.

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Fact Sheet
Wednesday, November 15, 2023, 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Gwinnett County Public Library
1001 Lawrenceville Hwy
Lawrenceville, GA 30046

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