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The Book : A History of the Bible Hardcover – Bargain Price, September 25, 2001
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From Publishers Weekly
In the "unadulterated wow" category is the dazzling offering The Book: A History of the Bible by paleographist Christopher de Hamel, who served for a quarter century as the head of the Western Manuscripts department at Sotheby's in London. Packed with full-color representations of illuminated manuscripts, ancient scrolls, stained glass windows and early published editions of the Bible, the art takes center stage here. (Even the back cover should win an award for the most imaginative, startling religion book jacket design in recent memory.) The narrative history of the Bible's many translations and editions is also captivating, particularly the closing chapter on 20th-century biblical discoveries such as the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Nag Hammadi Library.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to the Paperback edition.
From Library Journal
In this sumptuous feast for the eyes and mind, de Hamel, former manager of the Western Manuscripts department at Sotheby's, London, and author of A History of Illuminated Manuscripts, deals not with theological content but with the Bible as an artifact. Presented here in exquisite, full-color reproductions are the many forms in which the Bible has appeared over the centuries. Rather than opening with a discussion of the Hebrew and Greek texts (which he saves for Chapter 2), de Hamel relates a history of the texts and manuscripts of Latin Bibles. This organization makes sense, as Saint Jerome's seminal Latin translation, the Vulgate, became the blueprint for the modern Bible. The rest of the book covers the giant Bibles of the Middle Ages, commentaries on the Bible, portable Bibles of the 13th century, Bible picture books, English Wycliffite Bibles, the Gutenberg Bible, Bibles of the Protestant Reformation, the English and American Bible industry, and missionary Bibles. The final chapter, "The Modern Search for Origins," details modern discoveries such as the Dead Sea Scrolls. Even the bibliography, though not arranged alphabetically but by chapter with the author's running commentary on the sources, is a treasure. By contrast, The Oxford Illustrated History of the Bible (LJ 10/15/01) offers short articles by biblical scholars and covers not only the preservation of the Bible but also interpretations and contemporary theology. Also, its illustrations are mostly black and white. De Hamel's wonderful presentation is highly recommended. David Bourquin, California State Univ., San Bernardino
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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