The Rise and Fall of the Bible

The Rise and Fall of the Bible: The Unexpected History of an Accidental Book by Timothy Beal

BS 511.3 .B43 2011

“In this revelatory exploration, a noted religion scholar and former evangelical Christian takes us back to early Christianity to ask how a box of handwritten scrolls became the Bible, and forward to see how the multibillion-dollar business that has brought us Biblezines and manga Bibles is selling down the Bible’s sacred capital.  Showing us how a single text was created from the proliferation of different scripts, Beal traces its path as it became embraced as the Book of books and the Word of God.  Among his surprising insights:

  • Christianity thrived for centuries without any Bible.  Early congregations used collections of scrolls; there was no official canon of scriptures and no book existed that was big enough to hold them.
  • There is no “original” Bible behind the thousands of Bibles on the market today.  The further back we go in the Bible’s history, the more versions we find.
  • The idea of the Bible as the literal Word of God is only about a century old.

In calling for a fresh understanding of the ways scriptures were used in the past, Beal offers a chance to rediscover a Bible, and a faith, that is truer to its own history – not a book of answers but a library of questions.” – publisher description


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