I am wondering what other folks have used, benefited from, and recommended in the way of handbooks of the Bible and introductions to each of the two Testaments—not necessarily textbooks, but they are not excluded. What would you recommend to the average young (or older) adult to be a companion? Not a book on hermeneutics or method, but on the Bible itself. (What prompted this was a query from a good friend who teaches a college- and career- class at his church.)
Let’s start with one-volume Bible handbooks and companions. Suggestions?
I very recently ran across a copy of The Complete Bible Handbook and Illustrated Companion, edited by John Bowker and published in 2001 by DK. Since I have regularly annotated such works here and there, I was surprised both that I did not know about it and that it was so good! I am now thinking of recommending or even requiring it for my students who are new to biblical studies. The team of contributors and editors is excellent, the text very historically responsible and theologically engaging, and the photos, etc. both lavish and helpful.