Making of the Bible
From the First Fragments to Sacred Scripture
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The authoritative new account of the Bible's origins, illuminating the 1,600-year tradition that shaped the Christian and Jewish holy books as millions know them today. The Bible as we know it today is best understood as a process, one that begins in the tenth century BCE. In this revelatory account, a world-renowned scholar of Hebrew scripture joins a foremost authority on the New Testament to write a new biography of the Book of Books, reconstructing Jewish and Christian scriptural histories, as well as the underappreciated contest between them, from which the Bible arose. Recent scholarship has overturned popular assumptions about Israel's past, suggesting, for instance, that the five books of the Torah were written not by Moses but during the reign of Josiah centuries later. The sources of the Gospels are also under scrutiny. Konrad Schmid and Jens Schroeter reveal the long, transformative journeys of these and other texts en route to inclusion in the holy books. The New Testament, the authors show, did not develop in the wake of an Old Testament set in stone. Rather the two evolved in parallel, in conversation with each other, ensuring a continuing mutual influence of Jewish and Christian traditions. Indeed, Schmid and Schroeter argue that Judaism might not have survived had it not been reshaped in competition with early Christianity. A remarkable synthesis of the latest Old and New Testament scholarship, The Making of the Bible is the most comprehensive history yet told of the world's best-known literature, revealing its buried lessons and secrets.
With this exemplary account of both origins and canonization, Schmid and Schroeter have given us a superb book on how the Bible came into being. The Making of the Bible is invaluable for anyone interested in Scripture and in the intertwined histories of Judaism and Christianity. -- John Barton, author of A History of the Bible: The Book and Its Faiths The Making of the Bible will be a go-to for me. It does for the history of the Bible what I've sought to do for the Bible's languages: to make this book real. -- Sarah Ruden, author of The Gospels: A New Translation An erudite history of 'How We Got the Bible' that addresses the key issues-historical backgrounds, oral traditions, ancient manuscripts, canon formation, and the books that were left out. Schmid and Schroeter are expert guides along these rocky paths for all readers interested in the New Testament and the Hebrew Bible. -- Bart Ehrman, author of Heaven and Hell: A History of the Afterlife This impressive book tells the story of how the Bible was made. In the process of that telling, the authors unearth a second story of equal significance: how these different Bibles formed us, creating a world shaped by sacred scripture. Today, we're grappling with the consequences of both stories, which makes this book an essential guide for the future. -- Martin Puchner, author of The Written World: The Power of Stories to Shape People, History, and Civilization This comprehensive book on the Bible-the Hebrew Bible as well as the New Testament-by two world-renowned theologians is for students and teachers alike. It will be read with pleasure and benefit by everyone interested in the most important document of Western civilization. -- Thomas Roemer, author of The Invention of God A remarkable deep dive into foundational books whose origins are often taken for granted. * Publishers Weekly *