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The Bible

by Karen Armstrong

The Bible Synopsis

The Bible is the most widely distributed book in the world. Translated into over two thousand languages, it is estimated that more than six billion copies have been sold in the last two hundred years alone. In this seminal account, Karen Armstrong traces the gestation of the Bible to reveal a complex and contradictory document created by scores of people over hundreds of years. Karen Armstrong begins her analysis with the origins of the very earliest books of the Hebrew Bible, in which God was called both 'Yahweh' and 'Elohim'. She then traces the development of both the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament to reveal the disparate influences that helped to form these sacred texts. From the Jewish practice of Midrash and the Christian cult of Jesus; to the influence of Paul's letters on the Reformation and the manipulation of Revelations by Christian fundamentalism, Armstrong explores the contexts in which these sixty-six books were understood and explains the social needs they answered. In the process she reveals an unfamiliar and paradoxical work that will permanently alter our understanding of the Bible.

The Good Book Guide Review

In this wonderful book, originally published in 2007 and now reissued, Karen Armstrong goes back to the Bible’s ancient origins and explores how a series of unconnected spiritual and political texts became linked together and passed down to generations of different faiths. Placing the Bible’s stories in a geographical and historical context, examining its very many contradictions and how it has been shaped and reinterpreted so differently over the centuries, Armstrong’s gripping and instructive biography corrects many surprising assumptions about this complex but monumentally significant document, and argues that it could still have a spiritual relevance today if approached differently.

The Bible Press Reviews

A fascinating exploration of the origins of the most widely circulated and influential book in history. -- Clemency Burton Hill * Spectator * Characteristically wise and searching... Armstrong leads us through the story [of the Bible] at unflagging speed... fascinating. * Sunday Times * There could not be a better guide [to the Bible] than Karen Armstrong... Her great achievement is that, as well as leaving you with a clearer, more historically accurate picture as to what precisely the Bible is (and isn't), she also makes you want to go back and read it again with fresh eyes. * Independent *

Book Information

ISBN: 9781782396406
Publication date: 2nd April 2015
Author: Karen Armstrong
Publisher: Atlantic Books
Format: Paperback / softback
Pagination: 320 pages
Categories: Biblical studies & exegesis,

About Karen Armstrong

Karen Armstrong is one of the world's foremost commentators on religious affairs. Her bestselling books include Islam: A Short History; Buddha; A History of God; Through the Narrow Gate; The Spiral Staircase and The Great Transformation, also published in paperback by Atlantic Books in 2007.

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