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A General Introduction to the Bible Hardcover – August 8, 1986

4.7 out of 5 stars 36 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

NORMAN GEISLER (Th.B., William Tyndale College; A.B., Wheaton College; M.A., Wheaton College Graduate School; Ph.D., Loyola University) Distinguished Professor of Apologetics at the Veritas Evangelical Seminary in Murrieta, California www.VeritasSeminary.com. He is the author or co-author of some 80 books including A General Introduction to the Bible, Baker Dictionary of Christian Apologetics, Christian Ethics, and Systematic Theology. He has also written hundreds of articles. He and his wife of 57 years, Barbara, have six children, fifteen grandchildren, and three great grandchildren. They live in Charlotte, North Carolina.

WILLIAM E. NIX (A.B., Wayne State University; A.M., University of Michigan; Ph.D., University of Oklahoma) is an editorial and educational consultant based in Dallas, Texas. He has taught at several colleges and seminaries, and served as Dean at Southern Evangelical Seminary. Dr. Nix currently serves at Veritas Evangelical Seminary, Murrieta, CA as Professor of Historical and Theological Studies and Director of Master of Theological Studies. He is also President of The Electronic Bible Society. Dr. Nix is co-author with Dr. Norman L. Geisler of From God to Us and A General Introduction to the Bible. In addition, Dr. Nix has edited several books and written numerous articles. He resides with his wife, Eulaine, in Dallas, Texas.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 728 pages
  • Publisher: Moody Publishers; Revised, Expanded ed. edition (August 8, 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802429165
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802429162
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #242,761 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This book contains an amazing amount of background information on the Bible and how it came to be in it's present form. It covers such topics as the way men were able to determine which books belonged in the Bible and which ones did not, how the books were preserved down through the centuries, how scholars are able to determine and correct mistakes that were made by well-meaning or not so well-meaning scribes, the history of our English translations of the Bible and much much more. If you want a well written book by two highly recognized Bible scholars that will be an excellent supplement to your study and understanding of the Bible plus provide an excellent reference to use whenever you need to find a quick and accurate answer to a historical Bible question, this is the book for you.
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Format: Hardcover
A great one volume work on the inspiration, canonization, transmission and translation of the Bible. There are also good B&W photos, e.g. the Habakkuk Commentary, one of the Dead Sea Scrolls, so one of the earliest extant manuscripts of the OT; and P52, the oldest NT fragment.
There are good refutations of a number of false views, e.g. that an inspired Bible can contain error. The authors demonstrate that Biblical errantists confuse several concepts:
Adaptation to human finitude vs accommodation to human error: the former does not entail the latter. A mother might tell her four-year-old `you grew inside my tummy' - this is not false, but language simplified to the child's level. Conversely, `the stork brought you' is an outright error. Similarly, God, the author of truth, used some simplified descriptions (e.g. using the earth as a reference frame, as modern scientists do today) and anthropomorphisms, but never error.
Limitation vs misunderstanding: while the Second Person of the Trinity was incarnate in Jesus of Nazareth, He voluntarily limited His omniscience (Phil. 2:5-11). I.e., in His humanity, He did not know all things. But this does *not* entail that He was mistaken about anything He said. All human understanding is finite, but this doesn't entail that every human understanding is errant. Also, what Jesus *did* preach, He proclaimed with absolute authority (Mt. 24:35, 28:18), because He was speaking with the full authority of God the Father (John 5:30, 8:28), who is always omniscient. So if errantists wish to maintain his charge that Christ was mistaken because of His humanity, they must logically charge God the Father with error as well.
Geisler and Nix also show that canonicity was *not* determined by men (e.g.
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Format: Hardcover
Christians should have a good reference book at arm's length on the subject of bibliology (the study of the nature, origin and reliability of the Bible). A General Introduction to the Bible by Geisler and Nix does a great job in filling this need.

The book is not a small book (it weighs in at a healthy 724 pages). However, it is a great resource. In addition to the chapters themselves, there are plenty of charts, photographs, indexes, a glossary, and a well annotated bibliography.

The book is divided up into four major parts,

Part one: Inspiration of the Bible

Part two: Canonization of the Bible

Part three: Transmission of the Bible

Part four: Translation of the Bible

You will find the authors articulating the traditional evangelical view of verbal plenary inspiration. Their chapters on the claims of inspiration in the Old and New Testaments are particularly helpful. They also interact in some detail with the divergent views on revelation and inspiration.

Canonization tends to be a bit of a blind spot for evangelicals. The authors do a terrific job in articulating a God-centered and historically consistent view of canonization. This is obviously quite helpful in light of the contemporary fascination with Gnostic writings. One quote that is particularly helpful:

"Canonicity is determined by God. A book is not inspired because men made it canonical; it is canonical because God inspired it. It is not the antiquity, authenticity, or religious community that makes a book canonical or authoritative. On the contrary, a book is valuable because it is canonical, and not canonical because it is or was considered valuable.
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Format: Hardcover
What exactly is a general introduction to the Bible? The first thoughts are, this must be really basic, this probably includes things like basic bibliology (doctrines of inspiration, inerrancy etc.), a basic overview of manuscripts and canonization including biblical themes. That is what I was expecting. You will find some of these themes in this book but it will be treated at a much more thorough and academic way. If you are familiar with Josh McDowell's Evidence that Demands a Verdict particularly the section on manuscripts and historical evidence you will recognize some of the things in this book. Take those facts (from McDowell's work) and imagine them being skived off the very brim of this masterpiece. This book can serve as the end all reference for matters of this type (see the table of contents, in the excerpt, and expect each topic to be masterfully treated). It is packed deep and dense yet will be one of the best references in your library. Also, the thickness of this book was unexpected it is more than 700 pages. Very exhaustive, in a good way! If you ever teach a lesson over Bibliology, or any type of survey class this book is a must have. It does not serve as an old and new testament survey (Geisler has other good books on those topics). It serves more as a detailed tome of other topics related to the Bible (see the table of contents). Get this book! Geisler is a true scholar and has a myriad of books, this one, in particular, seems almost more academic then most you will come across. Academic in the sense that it is packed with facts and discusses issues that you normally don't see in other books on this topic. That is not a bad thing as you can always skip over sections you find too difficult. There are so many good things in this book that you should not let its level of scholarship deter you from getting this book. Enjoy!
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