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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Refreshing look at the Bible
Henry Wansbrough has produced an easy to read yet comprehensive explanation of how the Bible came to be in the form we now use. It has a singular quality for a theology book - it is compact, not at all wordy and humourous. A delight to read. The author debunks the myths surrounding the evolution of the Bible without undermining its value to Christians.
Published on May 9, 2009 by D. R. Croft

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2 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Story of the Bible:.......
There was some useful information in the book, but I feel there were times when the author made assumptions that I don't feel are common knowledge to everyone. For instance, the author made references to another Bible that I have never heard of. He wrote like everyone should know this particular Bible. Sometimes he even used unfamiliar terms. Maybe it is just the...
Published on January 14, 2007 by K. Schwarzkopf


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Refreshing look at the Bible, May 9, 2009
This review is from: The Story of the Bible: How It Came to Us (Paperback)
Henry Wansbrough has produced an easy to read yet comprehensive explanation of how the Bible came to be in the form we now use. It has a singular quality for a theology book - it is compact, not at all wordy and humourous. A delight to read. The author debunks the myths surrounding the evolution of the Bible without undermining its value to Christians.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive yet brief, June 29, 2007
This review is from: The Story of the Bible: How It Came to Us (Paperback)
An excellent introduction. Not for evangelicals who accept no element of historicity in the background of biblical texts and bypass. However for measured thinkers wishing to know more about the background of the bible this is a treasure.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Story of the Bible: How it came to us., August 26, 2013
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This review is from: The Story of the Bible: How It Came to Us (Paperback)
The book was as advertised. It is just what I ordered. It was reasonably priced, it arrived promptly, and arrived in good shape. I would repeat this purchase.
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5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Story of the Bible: How It Came to Us, March 8, 2007
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needles & pins (Central Illinois, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Story of the Bible: How It Came to Us (Paperback)
Concise historical backround...easy to understand.
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2 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Story of the Bible:......., January 14, 2007
This review is from: The Story of the Bible: How It Came to Us (Paperback)
There was some useful information in the book, but I feel there were times when the author made assumptions that I don't feel are common knowledge to everyone. For instance, the author made references to another Bible that I have never heard of. He wrote like everyone should know this particular Bible. Sometimes he even used unfamiliar terms. Maybe it is just the British style of writing that I had some difficulty with.
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8 of 24 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Avoid this like the plague, April 14, 2007
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John Paul (Oklahoma City, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Story of the Bible: How It Came to Us (Paperback)
The Story of the Bible: How It Came To Us
Henry Wansbrough, OSB

The author comes highly recommended to the potential buyer of this book, having served as the general editor of The New Jerusalem Bible, and a member of the Pontifical Biblical Commission. However, the discerning purchaser would do well to avoid this book.

The author does not believe many of the stories contained in the Bible, at least in the historical, orthodox sense.

On the very first page of this book, in the introduction, he states that the Bible is "a disparate collection, including myth, folk-history." He says, on page 3 of Chapter One, that contributing the authorship of the Pentateuch to Moses "must be regarded as a myth..." Continuing on page Four, "Again, the important myth of Moses' descent from the mountain, with the Ten Commandments inscribed on two tablets of stone, is an oversimplification."

Our author obviously adheres to the Documentary Hypothesis, which first became popular in the 19th Century.

He says, "The stories placed first in the Bible (Adam and Eve, Noah, the Tower of Babel are among the latest to be composed." (page 4).

Rather than recognizing the spiritual and linguistic genius of a single prophet, or man of God, Wansbrough attributes the authorship of the Old Testament books to unknown disciples and communities. He says, "The sayings united in the book of Isaiah span at least two centuries..." (page 5).

New Testament writings fare no better, in the estimation of our writer.

Speaking of St. Paul, he writes, "To Rome, a community he had not founded, he wrote in a very different tone befitting a letter written to the magnificent capital of empire. He needs their help for his projected mission to distant and unknown Spain, and hardly dares to give them any advice or guidance." (page 9). This just left me scratching my head in bewilderment. "Distant and unknown Spain"? Unknown to whom? The Romans had inherited the Carthaginian colonies in Spain after defeating them at the battle of Zama in 203 BC. By the time St. Paul wrote the letter to the Romans, the Empire had been in the Iberian peninsula for 2 ˝ centuries. Not too long after St. Paul wrote, Spain began producing emperors from there, most notably Trajan & Hadrian.

As for St. Paul "hardly daring" to give advice to the Christians at Rome, I wonder just how long it has been since dear Henry picked up his New Jerusalem Bible to read all 16 chapters of this wonderful opus by St. Paul.

This is only a small part of this book that constantly left me astonished. I was continually shocked that a trained, scholarly monk came across again & again like a member of the notoriously unorthodox "Jesus Seminar."

In all fairness, the middle portions of this short book (140 pages, if you count the Index in the back) were not too shabby. But poor Henry again stumbles badly at the finish of his work. On page 121 he writes, "The early chapters of Genesis certainly do not teach about history, physics or biology. The gospels make mistakes about history. Jesus himself is historically wrong in ascribing the authorship of the psalms to David."

Not only does the Bible relate half-truths, myths and distorted history, but Jesus himself, the Son of God, was mistaken about the authorship of the psalms. I'm surprised that old Henry didn't call Jesus deluded for ascribing the authorship of the Torah to Moses (cf. John 5:45-47).

At the end of the book, the author discusses several modern translations of the Scriptures into the English language. What he has to say is good, as far as it goes. He mentions the Revised Standard Version and the New Revised Standard Version; the Jerusalem Bible and the New Jerusalem Bible (of which he was the editor-in-chief); the New English Bible and Revised English Bible; the Good News/Today's English Version; the New American Standard Bible; and, last, the Catholic New American Bible. The author's treatment of the above mentioned translations is praiseworthy. However, I am baffled by what the author left out: the New International Version, published in 1978.

Perhaps it is because the author is English, and is unacquainted with American taste for the Scriptures.

But, in a book that was published so recently, in 2006, I cannot understand that the NIV did not so much as rate an honorable mention. The NIV has achieved a rapid acceptance by many of the evangelical communions in the United States. It has been embraced by Southern Baptists, Church of Christ, Pentecostals and charismatics, and many others in America`s "Bible Belt." The NIV is now the most widely read contemporary English translation in the world. Yet the author says exactly nothing at all.

The author also omits other notable additions to the English speaking world: The Living Bible (1971) , New Living Translation (1996); the New King James Version (1982); the New Century Version (1987); the Amplified Bible (1965), the Christian Standard Bible (2004), God's Word translation (1995), and J.B. Phillips' New Testament (1958). I am also at a loss to understand why the author did not so much as mention the English Catholic Ronald Knox translation of the Bible in modern English, published in 1955.

There are only two things I thoroughly enjoyed about this book: It was blessedly short, and only $11.95.

I recommend that you avoid this trash.

---John Paul, Oklahoma City, USA
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The Story of the Bible: How It Came to Us
The Story of the Bible: How It Came to Us by Henry Wansbrough (Paperback - July 31, 2006)
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