Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Book Review: The Story of the Bible by Larry Stone

book cover

The Story of the Bible:
The Fascinating History of Its Writing, Translation & Effect on Civilization
by Larry Stone

ISBN-13: 9781595551191
Hardback: 96 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Released: September 21, 2010

Source: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program.

Book Description from Publisher's Website:
A beautifully illustrated, hands-on history of the world's best-selling book.

With a highly readable and colorful narrative, The Story of the Bible covers in a sweeping panorama the writing and transmission of the Bible through the ages. The writing of the Old and New Testaments, the canonization of the Scriptures, and stories of those who gave their lives to make the Bible available in common language—all are reported clearly and reverently with the power of anecdotal illustrations. Readers encounter page after page of engaging illustrations set in a highly designed journey chock-full of removable documents.

My Review:
The Story of the Bible covered the history of the Bible from the writing of the books of the Bible and their canonization to the many translations made throughout the ages. This book was packed with interesting information, but it was still easy to read and understand. There were over 90 full color illustrations (including pictures of many Old and New Testament manuscripts and translations).

There were also 23 life-sized, full-color, removable copies of pages from important Bibles. They were tucked into pouches near the text that talked about them. These included copies of pages from the Dead Sea Scrolls, Codex Sinaiticus, Codex Vaticanus, The Morgan Crusader's Bible, The Book of Kells, New Testament translated by John Wycliffe, German New Testament text by Martin Luther, Gutenberg Bible, New Testament translated by William Tyndale, Geneva Bible, 1611 King James Bible, The Bay Pslam Book, Algonquin Bible translated by John Eliot, and Waodani Gospel of Mark translated by Rachel Saint.

There was also a timeline inside the front and back covers showing the various events mentioned in this book. Overall, I was very impressed and learned a lot I didn't know. I'd highly recommend this book.

Chapter One gave an overview of the Bible including the languages it was written in, material it was written on, and the number of remaining early manuscripts. Chapter Two gave an overview of Old Testament history from Abraham to the end of the Old Testament including who wrote what books. It also talked about how careful the Jewish scribes were when making copies, how the Old Testament cannon was determined, the early translations of the Old Testament (including the Septuagint), and the Dead Sea Scrolls and other manuscripts and how they confirm the accuracy of the Old Testament.

Chapter Three gave an overview of the New Testament and who wrote what and when. The "traditional" or standard views were given. It also covered the variety of New Testament manuscripts and how they confirm the accuracy of the New Testament that we have today. Chapter Four talked about how the New Testament cannon was determined, early church history, and early New Testament translations.

Chapter Five talked about Middle Ages translations, history, copying practices, and methods of teaching the Bible (including pictures, drama, etc.). Chapter Six discussed translations and history related to the Bible from Gutenberg to Luther.

Chapter Seven talked about William Tyndale and the other English Bible translations that came after his (including the King James Version). Chapter Eight talked about Bibles printed in America from 1640 until today. Chapter Nine talked about modern Bible translation efforts.

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

Excerpt: Read the introduction and chapter one using Christianbook.com's "view inside" feature.

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