RESPECTED AND WELL-KNOWN CHRISTIAN SCHOLAR: John served as the Oriel and Laing Professor of the Interpretation of Holy Scripture at Oxford for 23 years and is also an ordained Anglican priest. His approach brings scholarship and faith into dialogue, much like Reza Aslan’s Zealot took Jesus Christ from the confines of religious tradition and situated him instead among the accurate and rich details of that historical moment.
PERENNIAL TOPIC OF INTEREST: The Bible is the best-selling book of all time, and its ancient, convoluted history has remained a topic of interest to both the history and religion reader for years.
THE BIBLE AS LITERATURE: Barton’s careful scholarship follows the Bible from oral tradition to the printing press; from ancient Mesopotamia to Greece to Israel to Egypt. Like Diarmaid Macculloch’s Christianity, it’s a complete history in a single volume.
Praise for A History of the Bible:
“In addition to laying out the historical contexts in which the Old and the New Testaments were created, this stimulating study considers how they have been read, taught, and lived by believers…[Barton] proposes a nuanced approach that seeks to give the Bible its due without asking too much of it.”—The New Yorker
“A History of the Bible is a lucidly written distillation of a vast array of scholarship.”—Wall Street Journal
“A supple and intelligent recap of the Holy Scriptures, their origins and contexts, [and] their meaning in a broad historical sense”—Lit Hub
“Immensely impressive…A HISTORY OF THE BIBLE is a confident, distinctly courteous performance, wary of overstatement and sure of its intellectual footing. No work of literature has a more fascinating life story than the Bible, and Barton has told it with a precision and insight that will make this the definitive account of the century.“— Christian Science Monitor
”John Barton has written a wise and eminently sane book about a book which has inspired both insanity and wisdom. It is a landmark in the field, and it will do great good.“—Diarmaid MacCulloch
”John Barton’s new book gives a superb overview…condensing masses of research into an easily accessible volume for the non-specialist… even for those deeply familiar with the Bible there is much here to be learnt.“— Bart D Ehrman, author of The Triumph of Christianity: How a Forbidden Religion Swept the World
”With emotional and psychological insight, Barton unlocks this sleeping giant of our culture for the untrained but curious general reader…He has produced a masterpiece.“—Peter Stanford, Sunday Times
”This strikingly accessible yet wonderfully erudite volume will be welcomed by many … a tour de force.“ — BBC History Magazine
“Barton’s rigorous, accessible history will appeal to academics and general readers alike.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review
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