Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Story of the Bible: The Fascinating History of Its Writing, Translation & Effect on Civilization by Larry Stone

Larry Stone in The Story of the Bible provides the history of the Bible’s writing, canon, printing and translations. Stone provides his readers with detail on the ancient civilizations and languages in which the Bible was written and the discovery of manuscripts containing portions of the Bible. He then outlines how the Biblical manuscripts became canonized in the early church, and how additional manuscripts were discovered and furthered our understanding of Biblical content. Stone also demonstrates how the Bible was translated from manuscripts in original languages to Latin, German, eventually English and finally as a missionary tool in native languages. Along with the text, 23 life-size reproductions that can be removed and returned to the book are provided.

Overall this text is a straight forward survey text providing information that can be found elsewhere, such as Christian history textbooks, specific to the Bible. The text is readable and generally understandable. It is not however a complex historical discussion. However that should make it more usable for the general reader. Visually the book is also very pleasing and would look nice on any shelve. I was also surprised by the size of the book, expecting a very short pamphlet style book. This instead really is a coffee table book that’s strength really is its visual presentation. The reproductions to me however were a miss. I struggled to return two of the pullouts to their envelope in the book. In fact, one will never go back in to its original spot. And the reproductions are printed on the same paper as the book itself, making me wonder if it would have been just as effective as added pictures in the book. Really with a pullout I’m looking for something that I could not show in a book or shows the texture or feel of the actual item when teaching. Overall, this is a good introduction to the Bible that is visually pleasing.

Review Copy Provided by Thomas Nelson