A professor of religion offers an “engrossing and excellent” look at how the Good Book has changed—and changed the world—through the ages (Publishers Weekly, starred review).
In a lively journey from early Christianity to the present, this book explores how a box of handwritten scrolls became the Bible, and how the multibillion-dollar business that has brought us Biblezines and Manga Bibles is selling down the Book’s sacred capital.
Showing us how a single official text was created from the proliferation of different scripts, Timothy Beal traces its path as it became embraced as the word of God and the Book of books. Christianity thrived for centuries without any Bible—there was no official canon of scriptures, much less a book big enough to hold them all. Congregations used various collections of scrolls and codices. As the author reveals, there is no “original” Bible, no single source text behind the thousands of different editions on the market today. The farther we go back in the holy text’s history, the more versions we find.
In calling for a fresh understanding of the ways scriptures were used in the past, the author of Biblical Literacy offers the chance to rediscover a Bible, and a faith, that is truer to its own history—not a book of answers, but a library of questions.