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A History Of The Bible : The Book and Its Faiths - John Barton

A History Of The Bible

The Book and Its Faiths

Hardcover Published: 16th April 2019
ISBN: 9780241003916
Number Of Pages: 640

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The Bible is the central book in Western culture, yet extraordinarily there is no proper history of it.

This exceptional work, by one of the world's leading Biblical scholars, provides a full account of how the different parts of the Bible came to be written; how some writings which were regarded as holy became canonical and were included in the Bible, and others were not; what the relationship is of the different parts of the Bible to each other; and how, once it became a stable text, the Bible has been disseminated and interpreted around the world.

It gives full weight to discussion of the importance of the Tanakh (Old Testament) in Judaism as in Christianity. It also demonstrates the degree to which, contrary to widespread belief, both Judaism and Christianity are not faiths drawn from the Bible texts but from other sources and traditions. It shows that if we are to regard the Bible as 'authoritative' it cannot be as believers have so often done in the past.

About the Author

John Barton was the Oriel and Laing Professor of the Interpretation of Holy Scripture at the University of Oxford from 1991 to 2014 and since 1973 has been a serving priest in the Church of England. He is the author of numerous books on the Bible, co-editor of The Oxford Bible Commentary and editor of The Cambridge Companion to Biblical Interpretation. He was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 2007 and is a Corresponding Fellow of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters.

Industry Reviews

As eminently readable as the best of travelogues, it floods with light a subject too often regarded by many as a closed book. ... With emotional and psychological insight, Barton unlocks this sleeping giant of our culture. In the process, he has produced a masterpiece. ... If it can only be liberated from such a straitjacket and allowed to become its full self, the Bible might just chime once more in a sceptical age. Barton's extraordinary tour de force is the first book I have ever read that makes that feel possible. -- Peter Stanford * Sunday Times *
A superb overview ... Barton wears his erudition lightly, but even for those deeply familiar with the Bible there is much here to be learnt -- Bart D Ehrman * Telegraph *
John Barton has written a wise and eminently sane book about a book which has inspired both insanity and wisdom. It is a landmark in the field, and it will do great good -- Diarmaid MacCulloch
Belief in the Bible as 'the preserved word of God' is prevalent in many sections of the Christian Church, but it is one Barton sets out to challenge in this calm and magisterial work -- Richard Holloway * Spectator *
Barton remains the scholar that he ever was. ... Barton's book is an achievement in the finest tradition of Anglicanism: learned, mild-mannered and quietly anxious about the challenges of reconciling scepticism with faith. -- Tom Holland * Financial Times *
This magisterial account of the book and its history ... is the book to hurl at the new atheists who quote from the embarrassing bits of the Old Testament to discredit the God project. ... It's fascinating. -- Melanie McDonagh * Evening Standard *
Barton is a sure-footed guide ... A serious book for serious readers. In it they will find all they want and much more, lucidly set out and explained -- Richard Harries * Literary Review *
Hugely important ... This very readable and judicious work should be a must for preachers, teachers, and all who are serious about the Bible's place in their religion. -- Anthony Phillips * Church Times *
This is a remarkable book. ... It is just the thing for educated and intelligent readers who want to know more about the Bible, which has left so deep a mark on the cultures of the world. ... This is a book for our time, and it is warmly recommended. -- Nicholas King SJ * Tablet *

ISBN: 9780241003916
ISBN-10: 0241003911
Audience: General
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 640
Published: 16th April 2019
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.9 x 16.4  x 4.4
Weight (kg): 1.09
Edition Number: 1

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