The world is increasingly assuming the characteristic of a "global village,"as the development of transportation and information technologies makes travel and communications around the globe ever easier and quicker. The world of biblical scholarship has not been immune to such changes. Increasingly, biblical scholars everywhere are aware of the fact that they are " reading the Bible in the global village." The multiplication of scholarly methods and approaches to biblical criticism and interpretation presents new opportunities, but also raises new questions. Are some readings of the bible "better" than others, or more "true"? How do biblical scholars address questions of objectivity and meaning in the light of their social locations and ideological commitments? Have the once-dominant questions about what a text "meant" in its original context and what it "means" today lost relevance? In this volume, deriving from the 1999 SBL International Meeting in Helsinki, Finland, a group of distinguished biblical scholars addresses these and related issues. The contributors include Heikki Räisänen,Professor of New Testament Exegesis at the University of Helsinki; R.S. Sugirtharajah, Senior Lecturer in Biblical Hermeneutics at the University of Birmingham; Krister Stendahl, Andrew M. Mellon Professor of Divinity, Emeritus, at Harvard Divinity School; Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza, Krister Stendahl Professor of New Testament and Ministerial Studies at Harvard Divinity School; and James Barr, Distinguished Professor of Hebrew Bible, Emeritus, Vanderbilt University and Regius Professor of Hebrew, Emeritus, Oxford University.