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The Origin of the Bible [Paperback]

By Philip Wesley Comfort (Editor), Harlod O. J. Brown (Contributor), Roger T. Beckwith (Contributor), Frederick Fyvie Bruce (Contributor), Ray Elliott (Contributor), Milton C. Fisher (Contributor), R. K. Harrison (Contributor), Carl F. H. Henry (Contributor), Mark R. Norton (Contributor)
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Item Specifications...

Pages   325
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.2" Width: 5.5" Height: 0.9"
Weight:   0.9 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Feb 1, 2004
Publisher   Tyndale House Publishers
ISBN  0842383670  
EAN  9780842383677  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
You'll gain a deeper appreciation of the authority and inspiration of the Bible with this informative text. Distinguished contributors provide fascinating overviews of how the Bible was inspired, canonized, read as sacred literature, copied in ancient Hebrew and Greek manuscripts, and eventually translated for the entire world. An intriguing resource you'll use time and again.

Publishers Description
Many books have been written about the Bible, but few explain its origins. This volume provides a fascinating overview of how the Bible was first inspired, canonized, read as sacred literature, copied in ancient Hebrew and Greek manuscripts, and eventually translated into the languages of the world. No other one-volume work can match this wealth of information about the historical development of the Bible.

Buy The Origin of the Bible by Philip Wesley Comfort, Harlod O. J. Brown, Roger T. Beckwith, Frederick Fyvie Bruce, Ray Elliott, Milton C. Fisher, R. K. Harrison, Carl F. H. Henry, Mark R. Norton from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9780842383677 & 0842383670

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More About Philip Wesley Comfort, Harlod O. J. Brown, Roger T. Beckwith, Frederick Fyvie Bruce, Ray Elliott, Milton C. Fisher, R. K. Harrison, Carl F. H. Henry, Mark R. Norton

Frederick Fyvie Bruce Frederick Fyvie Bruce (F.F. Bruce) (12 October 1910 – 11 September 1990) was a Biblical scholar and one of the founders of the modern evangelical understanding of the Bible. His first book, New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable? (1943), was voted by the American evangelical periodical Christianity Today in 2006 as one of the top 50 books "which had shaped evangelicals".

Bruce was born in Elgin, Moray, in Scotland and educated at the University of Aberdeen, Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge and the University of Vienna. After teaching Greek for several years, first at the University of Edinburgh and then at the University of Leeds, he became head of the Department of Biblical History and Literature at the University of Sheffield in 1947. Aberdeen University bestowed an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree on him in 1957. In 1959 he moved to the University of Manchester where he became Rylands Professor of Biblical Criticism and Exegesis. In his career he wrote over 40 books and served as editor of The Evangelical Quarterly and the Palestine Exploration Quarterly. He retired from teaching in 1978.

Bruce was a distinguished scholar on the life and ministry of Paul the Apostle and wrote several studies, the best known of which is Paul: Apostle of the Free Spirit (published in the United States as Paul: Apostle of the Heart Set Free). He also wrote commentaries on several biblical books including Romans, Acts of the Apostles, 1 & 2 Corinthians, Galatians, the Gospel and Epistles of John, and the Epistle to the Hebrews.

Bruce was in Christian fellowship at various places during his life, though his primary commitment was to the Open Brethren among whom he grew up. He enjoyed the fellowship and acceptance of this group, though he was very much a maverick in relation to his own personal beliefs. He never accepted the dispensationalism and pretribulationism usually associated with the Brethren, and he was also an advocate of the public ministry of women – something that Plymouth Brethren would still disapprove of today. Most of Bruce's works were scholarly, but he also wrote several popular works on the Bible. He viewed the New Testament writings as historically reliable and the truth claims of Christianity as hinging on their being so. To Bruce this did not mean that the Bible was always precise, or that this lack of precision could not lead to considerable confusion. He believed, however, that the passages that were still open to debate were ones that had no substantial bearing on Christian theology and thinking. Bruce was honored with two scholarly works by his colleagues and former students, one to mark his sixtieth and the other to mark his seventieth birthday. He was elected a Fellow of the British Academy, and served as President of the Society for Old Testament Study, and also as President of the Society for New Testament Study. He is one of a handful of scholars thus recognized by his peers in both fields.

Frederick Fyvie Bruce was born in 1910 and died in 1990.

Frederick Fyvie Bruce has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Coleccion Teologica Contemporanea: Estudios Biblicos
  2. Jesus Library
  3. Nelson's Compact
  4. Nelson's Super Value
  5. New International Commentary on the New Testament
  6. Tyndale New Testament Commentaries (IVP Numbered)
  7. Unlock the Bible
  8. Word Biblical Commentary
  9. Zondervan's Understand the Bible Reference

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Solid, hype-free, but dry Biblical origins starting point  Dec 27, 2004
Recent works of fiction have regenerated interest in the Bible's origin. Many new best-sellers and best-seller hopefuls have been rushed to market in an attempt to capitalize on the interest to prove or disprove the "facts" behind the fictional "Da Vinci Code." Although I must be one of the last people not to read the Code (I read one of Brown's other books and it was so bad I didn't feel the need to torture myself with another) I wanted to start my own journey of understanding of Biblical origins. I turned to a couple of seminary students I know for book recommendations but unfortunately they had none so I struck out on my own. My main criteria was to read something that was written by a Christian Biblical expert or experts, that it was written prior to Brown's novel so it isn't a reactionary book, and that it cover a range of issues regarding Biblical origins and the authority or lack thereof of individual books that are or aren't included in the modern standard Bible.

This book fit all of these criteria. It is a collected work (some of the chapters appear to be articles from scholarly publications). The positives I gained from it are a good foundation to allow me to understand other books on the topic. I think having read this I can now arm myself with the questions to read and analyze books more specific to apocryphal works and the accuracy of our current translations relative to original writings.

The problems I faced in reading this are that parts of it were redundant from article to article and author to author. Parts of it were also well over my head as a lay person, introducing scholarly terms that were never explained or defined. In general, I was able to follow most of it by context. The writing is also extremely dry, and I believe it was never intended for a general audience. This paperback edition was probably released (following the original hardcover 10+ years ago) in reaction to seeing the new found interest for other books.

Fortunately, it's also easy to skip around in, and doesn't require a complete front-to-back read. I'd recommend it for you if you have a real interest in starting a solid understanding of Biblical origins and translations and you are looking to avoid the books being turned out by the current hype machine. But, it isn't an easy read, so prepare yourself for some work.
The Origin of the Bible  Sep 17, 2004
Back in August while on vacation in Pennsylvania, I "stumbled" across a sizeable Christian bookstore. (Those who know me realize that happenstances don't exist with me and bookstores.) To my delight, one of the books being carried was _The Origin of the Bible_. This book is a compilation of essays from writers, some of whom I would classify as modern stalwarts of the evangelical stream within Protestantism. Notable contributors include F.F. Bruce, J.I. Packer, R.K. Harrison, and R.T. Beckwith to name a few.

In providing a brief review of _The Origin of the Bible_, I feel it necessary to state a couple of important observations upfront: Firstly, this book is written from a perspective which assumes an evangelical readership. Secondly, and consequently, this book is not an apologetic for, say, the divine origin of Sacred Scripture; this belief is assumed a priori. Thirdly, _The Origin of the Bible_ is not overly ecumenical. It is a Protestant presentation of the Bible's origin. While this is not an overt emphasis in the book, the scattered references to Roman Catholicism, for example, are not always flattering, though I would not say they are acerbic or malicious either.

The content of the book is subsumed under five sections, the first of which deals with two prominent characteristics of the Bible, namely, its authority and inspiration. This treatment is followed by sections on canonicity, the Bible as literature, textual criticism and manuscript evidence, and translational theory/biblical languages/history of the Bible.

Admittedly, this breakdown is, to all appearances, pedantic and prosaic (a nice way of saying, "Boooooring"). However, the authors write in a popular and accessible style. (There are next to no footnotes.) This makes the material palatable even to the reader who has nothing more than an inkling of interest in the origin of that Book, which has had the greatest influence on the world in general and on western civilization in particular, not to mention western literature.

_The Origin of the Bible_ is a general treatment of a subject for which a huge corpus of material exists. It will whet the appetite of the neophyte just beginning to embark upon a journey of discovery of the Bible's origin and transmission through time. For those of us with a little knowledge in the area, _The Origin of the Bible_ serves as a well-written summary of what we already know, while also solidifying some things that we didn't catch from other sources the first time around.

One particular section with which I was pleasantly surprised was Section Three on the Bible as literature. From my own church experience, I have found that the Bible is more often manipulated and treated as a "magic" book than viewed for what it really is: A literary text, albeit with God as author. Nonetheless, this section reinforced what I had heard elsewhere: "The Bible is more than mere literature, but it is literature."

I commend this book to the evangelical Christian reader. For those coming from other perspectives, unless you're a glutton for frustration and/or have a genuine interest in the evangelical understanding of the Bible, I recommend you look elsewhere for a book on the Bible.
More posturing than substance  Sep 2, 2004
The first thing anyone who reads this book needs to realize is that all of its contributors are recognized in evangelical circles, but do not reflect more widespread scholarly opinion. Few academics today will tell you that the Bible is infallible, and even fewer will point to statements from the Bible as proof.

Also, a lot of statements in the book were made without adequate factual backing. Most of the opinions expressed were supported only by rhetoric, making me even more wary of a book that is already questionable. Refutations of common beliefs in Biblical scholarship, including multiple authorship of the Old Testament, were dismissed with cursory arguments that lacked real depth.

Overall, "The Origin of the Bible" failed to be convincing. This book was clearly designed for those who are already Christian fundamentalists, and not for someone searching for well-developed answers to tough biblical questions.
All you ought to know about the bible  Jan 25, 2002
What is the Bible:
The Koran calls Christians and Jews': The people of the Book 'F.F.Bruce, Rylands professor of biblical Criticism tells you all about it: the scriptures old and new, in the few first pages.

The contributors:
The editor: P. W. Comfort,a leading authority on the subject orchestrates the effort of a dozen scholars in the field, to an up-to-date, well balanced, concise introduction to the subject: definition, history, theology, and translation of the bible.

The articles: scholarly essays in plain English
The book displays the information in five sections: I. Authority, II. Canon, III.Literature, IV. Manuscripts, V.Translation. There can be no better "Bible Study 101," in English, only that it is offered by some of the finest Anglo-American scholarship. In almost all the articles, a great deal of attention is given to definitions of bible study terminology:
higher criticism, inerrancy, inspiration, autographs,Mauratorian Canon, hagiographa, Rylands papyrus, apocrypha, Gospel of Thomas, wisdom of Amenemope, etc.

A History of the recovery of the original text of the new Testament:
Philip Comfort takes you on an enlightening tour of Oxyrynchus, Beatty, Bodmer papyri to the great Alexandrine codices. "The Alexandrine scribes, associated with the scriptorium of the great Alexandrian library and/or members of the Didaskelion of its catechtical school were trained philologists, grammarians, and textual critics"; this is the quality of information you get reading this book, unless you have access to books By K. Aland, B.Metzger, E.Nestle among few others.

Biblical languages and translation:
Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek, and Hebrew as a changing Semitic language, difficult to translate requiring twice as much English words. How did Ptolemy Philadelphius start its translation into the Septuagint for the Jews of Alexandria, who soon appropriated some expressions beyond the scope of Hebrew terminology?
L. Walker takes the mantle to shows how St. John used Logos in reference to Christ, while apostle Paul style was influenced by lexical and grammatical parallels used by the Greek speaking Alexandrines.

English Bible and versions
Now you come to perceive the conclusion to this great drama that started by Origen's Hexapla, but not terminated by the Complete bible versions of Christendom. Devoted efforts by translators in affirmation of Biblical truth explains R. Elliott, "translate without interpreting"

Around 260 AD, Dionysius of Alexandria found that the stylistic and lexical features of the book of revelation could not come from the same author of the fourth Gospel! All the eastern 'Orthodox' Churches do not include readings from the Apocalypse to this moment, thus was the honest and scholarly pursue of biblical truth.

Great introduction. Not overly academic.  Nov 5, 2000
A well written introduction to the history of the Bible as we have it today -- written by some outstanding scholars of our day. If you're looking for the nitty-gritty details, try one of Bruce Metzger's numerous books -- all very good, but highly academic.

More than just a straight look at the transmission of manuscripts, this book looks at translation issues (including questions translators need to address when translating from Greek into languages other than English, a nice touch).

Highly recommended.


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