The Text of the Bible

Its Path Through History and to the People

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About the Book

For 2000 years the Bible has provided evidence and witness for the beliefs of three major world religions. Some consider the Bible dangerous, while others have died for it, but the response to the Bible is always passionate. This book relates the story of such passions, from the Roman Empire to the present. It is a story primarily about individuals, the drama of their lives woven into the tapestry of their times: barbarian invasions, Black Death, Waldensian heresy, the pageantry of medieval romance, the debauchery of the medieval Vatican, the spirit of the Renaissance, the tradition of monk and scholar. All of these historical currents influenced the text—now corrupted and distorted and existing in a confusing number of versions. This book tells how today’s Bible came to be what it is and provides an understanding of the richness of its text.

About the Author(s)

David S. New, holds an M.A. from Princeton and a Ph.D. in religious studies from McMaster University. He lives in Ontario, Canada.

Bibliographic Details

David S. New
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 228
Bibliographic Info: bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2013
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7353-3
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0270-7
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Preface 1

 1. In the Beginning Was the Word 5

 2. Of Making Many Books 10

 3. Gothic 17

 4. Doctor Maximus 25

 5. Cloistered 33

 6. Magic Talisman 39

 7. The Emerald Isle 44

 8. A Light in the Dark 56

 9. Life in the Big City 64

10. Birds of the Air, Lilies of the Field 72

11. Clandestine Operation 81

12. Archheretic 93

13. Prison of Doubt 97

14. A Scholar and a Gentleman 104

15. Hijacked 112

16. Room with a View 122

17. The Gutenberg Bible 128

18. Cloak and Dagger 135

19. The King James Bible 144

20. Man on a Mission 150

21. A Young Photographer 158

22. Discovery 162

23. Ancient Treasure 165

24. Scandal 174

25. The Original Text 182

26. A Babel of Bibles 188

Bibliography 193

Index 215


Book Reviews & Awards

“New seeks to tell how today’s Bible came to be what it is and to provide an understanding of the richness of its text. He describes this book as a lay person’s guide to events and persons from the Roman empire to the present, a romp through popular history; the myths surrounding St. Columba, the beauty and magic of illuminated Irish manuscripts, the barbarian invasions, the Black Death, the Waldenisan heresy, the color and pageantry of medieval romance, the gluttonous and sumptuous life of medieval monks and clergy, the scandalous debauchery of the medieval Vatican, the spirit of the Renaissance, and the tradition of monk and scholar, as well as the Dead Sea scrolls, and the texts and translations used today”—New Testament Abstracts.