Whose Bible Is It?: A Short History of the Scriptures

Overview

Jaroslav Pelikan, widely regarded as one of the most distinguished historians of our day, now provides a clear and engaging account of the Bible’s journey from oral narrative to Hebrew and Greek text to today’s countless editions. Pelikan explores the evolution of the Jewish, Protestant, and Catholic versions and the development of the printing press and its effect on the Reformation, the translation into modern languages, and varying schools of critical scholarship. Whose Bible Is It? is a triumph of scholarship...

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Whose Bible Is It?: A Short History of the Scriptures

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Overview

Jaroslav Pelikan, widely regarded as one of the most distinguished historians of our day, now provides a clear and engaging account of the Bible’s journey from oral narrative to Hebrew and Greek text to today’s countless editions. Pelikan explores the evolution of the Jewish, Protestant, and Catholic versions and the development of the printing press and its effect on the Reformation, the translation into modern languages, and varying schools of critical scholarship. Whose Bible Is It? is a triumph of scholarship that is also a pleasure to read.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
In Whose Bible Is It?, renowned historian Jaroslav Pelikan provides a succinct, accessible introduction to the history of the Bible. The author of Jesus Through the Ages traces the evolution of the holy book from oral traditions to biblical texts to its translations into Latin, Greek, and other languages. He explains how for centuries, Jews, Christians, and Moslems have used biblical interpretation to bolster their authority and doctrinal positions.
From the Publisher
"A crisp, remarkably succinct history of the Bible as preserved, interpreted, translated and canonized by the various faiths that believe in it." —Los Angeles Times

"Engaging . . . an excellent overview." —The New York Times Book Review

"Outstanding . . . Pelikan takes the reader through the process of scripture building with a fluency and ease that is both accessible and understandable." —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Masterly . . . Pelikan weaves a tapestry of the power of the Word to mold religious communities, nations, and culture. . . . Engaging, concise, and highly readable." —The Christian Science Monitor

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780143036777
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 1/31/2006
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 5.57 (w) x 8.45 (h) x 0.64 (d)

Meet the Author

Jaroslav Pelikan is Sterling Professor Emeritus of History at Yale University and past president of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His many books include the five-volume The Christian Tradition, Jesus Through the Centuries, and Mary Through the Centuries. He has received the Thomas Jefferson Medal of the National Endowment for the Humanities and an honorary degree from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America as well as forty-one other honorary degrees.

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Table of Contents

Preface

Introduction: The Bible, the While Bible, and Nothing but the Bible?

One: The God Who Speaks

Two: The Truth in Hebrew

Three: Moses Speaking Greek

Four: Beyond Written Torah: Talmud and Continuing Revelation

Five: The LAw and the Prophets Fulfilled

Six: Formation of a Second Testament

Seven: The Peoples of the Book

Eight: Back to the Sources

Nine: The Bible Only

Ten: The Canon and the Critics

Eleven: A Message for the While Human Race

Twelve: The Strange Ne World Within the Bible

Afterword

Appendix I: Alternative Canons of the Tanakh/Old Testament
Appendix II: New Testament
Notes and Further Reading

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 10 of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 11, 2008

    Makes the Reader Want More

    First, it is important to write that Pelikan's intelligence and depth of topic understanding humbles those that chance to read his work/s. The author himself has a brilliantly educated mind. This work isn't written as a textbook on Bible history of origin, but instead almost a commentary on that history. The reader if not careful, could be easily confused as to what is authentic fact and what is just really, very plausible theory. Pelikan, though, each and every time carefully draws a distinction between the two. His work heightens the unsettled realization that all the actual positive truths about the Bible may never be discovered. This is what draws a person to curiously want to know more and more. With great forethought, Pelikan included further reading notes at the back of the book. He totally impressed me with his brief and concise summaries of Bible content. His taking of a whole book of the Bible and reducing it down into a single sentence was remarkably well done. The only negative comment that I have is that Pelikan reworked his sentence structures so severely, making them as concise as possible, that the reader aches for a period now and then just to come up for air. This book is definitely for readers with a post high school reading ability. It is not an easy read.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 19, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Important Late Work

    Professor Pelikan was a master linguist, theological historian, and student of intellectual history. He was also a great English stylist. Reading his works always gives me pleasure.

    This work explores fundamental questions about the history of scripture. Reading it leaves one humble but inquisitive. The questions Professor Pelikan explored cause readers to ask more questions. This is a late work. One has the feeling that Professor considered the topic important and open.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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