This lengthy book is subtitled “how we got our Bible” and is the heaviest theology I’ve read in a long time. I appreciated the clear organization into four sections: Inspiration, Canonization, Transmission, and Translation. Each of these sections are further divided into chapters delving into great detail about how the Old and New Testaments came to exist originally and as we know them today. As noted on the back cover:
“The chain of communication from God to us to is strong. It has several solid links: inspiration, collection, transmission, and translations. Together, these four links provide the contemporary Christian with the moral certitude that the Spirit-inspired original text of Scripture has been providentially preserved by God, so that for all practical purposes the Bible in our hands is the infallible and inerrant word of God.”
The intended audience is Bible students, pastors, and professors (also noted on the back cover) which explains why so much of the material seemed overwhelming to me. I tend to read the Bible in a devotional way and had never given much thought to all of the issues raised here. I learned a great deal of interesting information that I could never hope to regurgitate, but may be filed away in a corner of my mind for some future conversation. I know it is important to understand how we can trust the accuracy and authenticity of the Bible, which is why I wanted to read this book. It seemed almost like a textbook to me, with soooooo much detail on every jot and tittle. I found myself skimming and skipping over pages that bogged me down too much. The writing style itself was easy to understand, and the authors succeeded in providing a comprehensive guide for in-depth study of the historical origins of God’s Word. I especially enjoyed the middle pictorial section of ancient forms of Scripture through the ages. I would recommend this to any serious student of the Bible, but not for the average person who wants a greater understanding of this topic in a more simplified format.