The Bible: The Biography

Front Cover
Thorndike Press, 2008 - Religion - 375 pages
11 Reviews
As the single work at the heart of Christianity, the world's largest organized religion, the Bible is the spiritual guide for one out of every three people in the world. The Bible is also the world's most widely distributed book. Translated into over two thousand languages, it is estimated that more than six billion copies have been sold in the last two hundred years. It remains the best-selling book in the United States, year after year, with at least twenty-five million copies sold in 2005 alone. But the Bible is a complex work with a complicated and obscure history. Made up of sixty-six books written by various authors and divided into two testaments, its contents have changed over the centuries. The Bible has been transformed by translation and, through interpretation, has developed manifold meanings to various religions, denominations, and sects. In this seminal account, acclaimed historian Karen Armstrong discusses the conception, gestation, life, and afterlife of history's most powerful book. Armstrong analyzes the social and political situation in which oral history turned into written scripture, how this all-pervasive scripture was collected into one work, and how it became accepted as Christianity's sacred text. She explores how as the pragmatic scientific ethos of modernity took hold, scripture was read for the information that it imparted and how, in the nineteenth century, historical criticism of the Bible caused greater fear than Darwinism. As she writes, 'If Jonah did not spend days in a whale, ' asked a Lutheran pastor, 'did Jesus really rise from the tomb?' Karen Armstrong's history of the Bible is a brilliant, captivating book, crucial in an age of declining faithand rising fundamentalism.

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
1
4 stars
5
3 stars
3
2 stars
2
1 star
0

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - bibleblaster - LibraryThing

Karen Armstrong is a great purveyor/interpreter/teacher of religious history and this book (an awe-inspiring task, to write a "biography" of the Bible in a couple hundred pages) is no exception. She ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - bgknighton - LibraryThing

The first part of the book is best, where she goes into the history of the Bible. Also goes into the ways of studying the Bible in the second half of her book. Kind of loses her way in places, but a good first history for the Bible. Read full review

Other editions - View all

About the author (2008)

Karen Armstrong is one of the foremost commentators on religious affairs in both Britain and the United States. She spent seven years as a Roman Catholic nun and received a degree at Oxford University.

Bibliographic information