The Rise and Fall of the Bible by Timothy Beal

I don’t think there is any question to the power of the Bible. It is easily the most influential work in history. However, the Bible is also the most divisive work in history. The Christian church, which puts great authority in the Bible, has split over and over again due to the abundant interpretations of Scripture. How the Bible came to be is an important question that needs to be answered.

I picked up this book because it sounded very interesting and I have always been intrigued by the evolution of the Bible and biblical interpretation. This book definitely did not include the harsh criticism I expected. Though critical toward biblical inerrancy proponents, I felt like this book examined the history of biblical publications and the Bible itself. The author objects to modern versions of valued-added Biblical literature such as biblezines, graphic novelizations, and audience-oriented study Bibles.

The book gets better as the author starts reviewing the history of the Bible and how books became canon and others did not. I liked the history of different translations like the New American Standard (NASB) and the King James (KJV).

I was hoping for a better history lesson on the formation of the Bible than what this book provided. I feel like there is a lot of information out there can could have been included.

I enjoyed the conclusion of the book, though I know most conservative Biblical scholars would be appalled. The author attempts to create a conversation about the Bible and I think that is admirable.