A History of the Bible

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spot
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A History of the Bible

Post by spot »

I picked up a copy of “A History of the Bible: The Story of the World’s Most Influential Book,” by John Barton, 2019. I thought I'd jot my reaction here rather than let it evaporate. Has anyone else seen it so far?

This is the one... A History of the Bible: The Book and Its Faiths
From the introduction:
There are many ‘prophecy novels’ on the market that deal with these themes. The most famous and
influential are the eighteen or so in the ‘Left Behind’ series. 17 The first, called simply Left Behind,
envisages the rapture as happening all over the world at a single moment. Aeroplanes drop from the
sky as their pilots are ‘raptured’, cars crash and there is immense suffering, but there are also
conversions to Christian faith by those who recognize what is happening. The plot is tied up with other
themes of modern American thought: the threat of Russia, the undesirability of pan-global
organizations such as the United Nations, the need to keep American culture pure and pristine, safe
from demonic influences such as the European Union. Naturally, by no means all Christian Americans
who support Israel do so because they believe in this scenario, but a substantial number do. Pre
millennialism, as the system of thought is known technically, is a widespread evangelical strain in
Anglophone Christianity.

That's a helpful pointer to the way John Barton might be approaching matters.
Nullius in verba ... ☎||||||||||| ... To Fate I sue, of other means bereft, the only refuge for the wretched left.
When flower power came along I stood for Human Rights, marched around for peace and freedom, had some nooky every night - we took it serious.
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spot
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Re: A History of the Bible

Post by spot »

Here's a further part of the introduction, very much along the lines of what I'd subscribe to. I'm pleased to see it actually in a book.
The books of what is now the Old Testament thus probably came into existence between the ninth
and the second centuries BCE. This does not necessarily mean that the records of earlier ages are
pure fiction, but it makes it hard to press their details as solid historical evidence. Many readers of the
Bible would recognize that the stories of the early history of the world – Noah’s Ark, the Tower of
Babel – are mythical or legendary, but it may be more challenging to think that the stories of Abraham
or Jacob or Moses are also essentially legends, even though people bearing those names may well
have existed. No one is in a position to say they are definitely untrue, but there is no reasonable
evidence that would substantiate them. This is also the case with the early kings, Saul, David and
Solomon, even though the stories about them do make sense within a period (the eleventh and tenth
centuries BCE) about which we know something, from the archaeological record. With the later,
eighth- and seventh-century kings (for example, Hezekiah and Jehoiachin) there is definite
corroboration from Assyrian and Babylonian records, and we are less in the dark. But even some of
the stories of life after the exile, in the Persian period, may be fictional: most biblical scholars think
that the book of Esther, for example, is a kind of novella rather than a piece of historical writing. A
later date does not of itself mean that a given book is more likely to be accurate: much depends on its
genre, as we shall see in the next chapter.
Nullius in verba ... ☎||||||||||| ... To Fate I sue, of other means bereft, the only refuge for the wretched left.
When flower power came along I stood for Human Rights, marched around for peace and freedom, had some nooky every night - we took it serious.
Who has a spare two minutes to play in this month's FG Trivia game! ... My other OS is Slackware.
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WenSamya
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Re: A History of the Bible

Post by WenSamya »

Hey Spot, I haven't read "A History of the Bible" yet, but it sounds interesting and informative. The Bible is a complex and influential book that has shaped many cultures and beliefs throughout history. It's fascinating to explore the various interpretations and translations of the Bible, as well as the historical context in which it was written
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Bryn Mawr
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Re: A History of the Bible

Post by Bryn Mawr »

WenSamya wrote: Mon May 01, 2023 6:20 am Hey Spot, I haven't read "A History of the Bible" yet, but it sounds interesting and informative. The Bible is a complex and influential book that has shaped many cultures and beliefs throughout history. It's fascinating to explore the various interpretations and translations of the Bible, as well as the historical context in which it was written
If A History of the Bible correlates the biblical stories with the archeological and recorded evidence then it’s essential reading.

If not then such a book is way overdue.
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spot
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Re: A History of the Bible

Post by spot »

WenSamya wrote: Mon May 01, 2023 6:20 am Hey Spot, I haven't read "A History of the Bible" yet, but it sounds interesting and informative. The Bible is a complex and influential book that has shaped many cultures and beliefs throughout history. It's fascinating to explore the various interpretations and translations of the Bible, as well as the historical context in which it was written
Hi WenSamya, welcome to ForumGarden.

The Bible is one of the most informative books available to demonstrate the mindset of its authors. As you say, it's complex.

It has also been, as you point out, influential.

I have often put my mind to the question of where, and when, the influence of the Bible has been a benefit to any society. I'd be delighted to hear your view on that, it seems to me to be one of the central issues relating to the use the book has been put to. The more instances and examples you can bring to the thread relating to any society gaining any benefit, the better. You could even come back repeatedly with more instances as they occur to you.
Nullius in verba ... ☎||||||||||| ... To Fate I sue, of other means bereft, the only refuge for the wretched left.
When flower power came along I stood for Human Rights, marched around for peace and freedom, had some nooky every night - we took it serious.
Who has a spare two minutes to play in this month's FG Trivia game! ... My other OS is Slackware.
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LarsMac
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Re: A History of the Bible

Post by LarsMac »

I found it on Kindle for 5 bucks.
I'll check it out.
The home of the soul is the Open Road.
- DH Lawrence
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WenSamya
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Re: A History of the Bible

Post by WenSamya »

WenSamya wrote: Mon May 01, 2023 6:20 am Hey Spot, I haven't read "A History of the Bible" yet, but it sounds interesting and informative. The Bible is a complex and influential book that has shaped many cultures and beliefs throughout history. It's fascinating to explore the various interpretations and translations of the Bible, as well as the historical context in which it was written
I also like discussing such books with my friend from firstchurchlove.com. So, thanks for sharing!
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spot
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Re: A History of the Bible

Post by spot »

WenSamya wrote: Thu May 11, 2023 4:52 am
WenSamya wrote: Mon May 01, 2023 6:20 am Hey Spot, I haven't read "A History of the Bible" yet, but it sounds interesting and informative. The Bible is a complex and influential book that has shaped many cultures and beliefs throughout history. It's fascinating to explore the various interpretations and translations of the Bible, as well as the historical context in which it was written
I also like discussing such books with my friend from firstchurchlove.com. So, thanks for sharing!
Do you not suspect that bible fundamentalists have a different understanding of the bible than those who wrote the books? Rather than study it they strike me as having hijacked it for their own purpose.
Nullius in verba ... ☎||||||||||| ... To Fate I sue, of other means bereft, the only refuge for the wretched left.
When flower power came along I stood for Human Rights, marched around for peace and freedom, had some nooky every night - we took it serious.
Who has a spare two minutes to play in this month's FG Trivia game! ... My other OS is Slackware.
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LarsMac
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Re: A History of the Bible

Post by LarsMac »

I've found the book to be fairly interesting, so far.
The home of the soul is the Open Road.
- DH Lawrence
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