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How We Got the Bible: A Visual Journey (Zondervan Visual Reference Series) [Hardcover]

Clinton E. Arnold

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Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  12 reviews
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fascinating Exploration of the Origin of the Bible (in Full Color) 4 Dec 2008
By Jonathan Morrow - Published on Amazon.com
We live in a visual society. People like to "see" the history they are learning about--this is one of the reasons that the Discovery and History channels are so popular. Combine vivid, full-color images and a fascinating topic like "how we got the Bible" with a top notch New Testament scholar and you have a great book indeed.

There is a lot packed into this 96 page survey. For example there are images of the oldest manuscripts that have been discovered, discussion of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the transmission of the text, the history of translations, the apocrypha, various attempts to destroy or ban the Bible, the first Bible printed in America (and the list goes on).

There is a lot of hype and confusion today about the Bible. Has the Bible been accurately translated and passed down to the 21st century? What about missing Gospels? This is an enjoyable place to start exploring those questions with a seasoned guide.

How We Got the Bible is not text heavy, but provides enough substance to keep the reader interested, informed, and following the line of thought. Highly recommended!!!

Welcome to College: A Christ-Follower's Guide for the Journey
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very helpful book 14 Jan 2012
By Robert Connolly - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Does a great job of explaining how the Bible was formed over the years and is loaded with lots of colorful,helpful pictures, charts, maps and illustrations. Written on a popular level, not technical at all - and yet gives a lot of valuable facts and information. Could be read to and understood by children ages 10 and above. I wish that every Christian would take the time to read this book - it would really help them to better understand and appreciate their Bible in an age when many of the attacks on the Bible are focused on it's origins.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Visual Journey of the Bible 15 Nov 2010
By danny - Published on Amazon.com
This review originally appeared at [...] on 9/17/08.

Special thanks to Chris at Zondervan for a copy of this book to review.

Every year in my classes, one of the most common questions I get is "how did we get the Bible?" Most don't know much about how the Bible was written, copied, and translated through the centuries. Thankfully, Dr Clinton Arnold has given us a book that covers all of this, and more, entitled How We Got the Bible.

The subtitle is "A Visual Journey," a most accurate subtitle. Each "chapter" (never actually called that) takes 2 pages, with a short paragraph on the topic and quite a few great pictures. The pictures alone make this book worth owning (but maybe I just like pictures). You'll find pictures of papyrus used for copying the Bible, pictures of ancient scrolls, fragments, etc. When you see the pictures of the ancient copies with their holes and tears, you'll realize just how much trouble it is for scholars to determine what the ancient documents actually say.

Arnold also includes information on how and where the Bible was copied through the centuries- from scribes in monasteries and scriptoriums to the Gutenburg Press. You get a sense of the battles over translating the Bible- for John Wycliffe, William Tyndale, Martin Luther and even in modern times, such as with the Yali people of Indonesia. In my mind, after working through these pages you get a little more perspective on the ridiculous "translation wars" of our culture.

I couldn't find much to argue with in this book. Sure, there were times you could have wished for more information, but this book isn't an academic treatise. Perhaps a recommended reading list would have been helpful for those who wanted to pursue a particular topic further. On his chart of recent English Bible translations, Arnold categorizes some Bibles as "gender neutral," a term that I find loaded and misleading to many. But if that's the worst thing I can say about this book, then I won't complain too loudly.

For me, there were two powerful aspects of reading through the book. First, it continues to amaze me how God's people painstakingly copied and produced the Scriptures over the centuries. While you'll still find some who argue that the Bible we have today is so corrupt that we'll never know what it originally said, I find it so hard to support such a claim given the evidence. This book illustrates this truth.

Second, Arnold does give a couple examples of modern Bible translation in languages that did not have the Bible- the Yali people of Indonesia (first Bible in 2000) and the three languages of the people of Kambari, in Nigeria. It reminded me of just how far we have to go to get the Word of God into the hands of those who most desperately need it. I've said for some time that the Bible is the best missionary there is, but it's something we often take for granted. In honor of this, here are links to 2 organizations highlighted in the book that are working to solve this problem: United Bible Societies and Wycliffe Bible Translators.

It's quite a feat to produce a book that is informative yet brief and interesting, Dr Arnold has accomplished this. I highly recommend this book and hope it gains a wide readership.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clear, concise, and accurate 23 Sep 2010
By C. Blake Loy - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book is extremely useful for pastors, laypeople, and students alike. I have been able to teach my 6-year-old daughter and my 70-year-old grandmother about how the Bible has been preserved and maintained over the years.

I have had many Master's level Greek and Hebrew courses including a Textual criticism course and this book sits on my shelf next to Metzger, Ehrman, Comfort, and Aland.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice book 21 Dec 2009
By IN LA - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
An informative to the point type of book. Great pictures. I like that it is not a novel size text. Quick and easy information to add to your other books on the study that you might have.
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