A History of the Bible: The Book and Its Faiths

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Book Rating (5)

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Written By: John Barton

Narrated By: Ralph Lister

Date: July 2019

Duration: 22 hours 0 minutes

Summary:

WINNER OF THE 2019 DUFF COOPER PRIZE

Penguin presents the audiobook edition of A History of the Bible by John Barton, read by Ralph Lister.

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.

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  • Anonymous

    I found this book to be excellently narrated and clearly, fairly written. That the Bible is full of inconsistencies is obvious when you read it, but this discussion about how some of that might have come about is something I have not come across before. A fascinating listen. It is worth noting, I think, that the author is a priest.

  • Chris

    Poorly narrated (he sounds constantly irritated) and written in a dry, uninspired style liberally peppered with ‘maybe’, ‘not known’, ‘uncertain’, this book would have been better titled ‘Perhaps a Possible History of the Bible’. Yet despite this high level of speculation, and despite his claims to be objective, the author backs very controversial standpoints, such as claiming some of Paul’s epistles to be forgeries, instead of acknowledging that such issues are open to interpretation. He seems to have a not-so-hidden agenda to discredit the most influential book in the history of humanity. A major disappointment.

History of the Bible: The Book and Its Faiths

by John Barton

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History of the Bible: The Book and Its Faiths, John Barton
History of the Bible: The Book and Its Faiths, John Barton
This title is due for release on July 25, 2019.

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