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Visual History of the English Bible, A: The Tumultuous Tale of the World's Bestselling Book [Hardcover]

By Donald L. Brake (Author)
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Item description for Visual History of the English Bible, A: The Tumultuous Tale of the World's Bestselling Book by Donald L. Brake...

Presents the history of the translation of the Bible into English, from the fourteenth century to the twentieth century.

Publishers Description
With a full color layout and over one hundred illustrations, "A Visual History of the English Bible" covers the fascinating journey of the Bible from the pulpit to the people. Renowned biblical scholar Donald L. Brake invites readers to explore the process of transformation from medieval manuscripts to the contemporary translations of our day. Along the way, readers will meet many heroes of the faith--men and women who preserved and published the Scriptures, often at risk of their own lives.
From Wycliffe and Tyndale to King Henry VIII and the Geneva Bible, from the Bishop's Bible and the King James Version to the American Revolution and the Civil War, this tumultuous tale is history come alive. This book is perfect for history buffs, bibliophiles, and anyone interested in the colorful account of the world's most popular book.

From Publishers Weekly
Not unlike an epic story, the history of the formation and translation of the Bible is filled with intrigue and adventure, heroes and knaves. Considering how much ink has been spilled about the Bible's purported meanings, it's surprising how few authors have captured the excitement of its evolution from disparate manuscripts to accepted canon to bestselling book. Brake, who is president of Multnomah College and has a Ph.D. from Dallas Theological Seminary, takes the reader on a wonderful journey through several thousand years of history (though the heaviest emphasis is on the 15th century to the present), marking the people, events, and crises through which the Bible has had to pass, finally emerging in our time as a versatile and vital document. Nearly every page contains an illustration, chart or other visual aid to assist the reader. Refreshingly readable and lavishly illustrated, this volume is essential to anyone wanting to understand the Bible and its hazardous journey through the ages. (Sept. 15) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

Awards and Recognitions
Visual History of the English Bible, A: The Tumultuous Tale of the World's Bestselling Book by Donald L. Brake has received the following awards and recognitions -
  • Christian Book Award - 2009 Finalist - Bible Reference/Study category

Citations And Professional Reviews
Visual History of the English Bible, A: The Tumultuous Tale of the World's Bestselling Book by Donald L. Brake has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
  • Publishers Weekly - 06/09/2008 page 44
  • Library Journal - 07/15/2008 page 84
  • Library Journal Supplements - 11/15/2008 page 52
  • Wilson Public Library Catalog - 01/01/2009 page 9

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Baker Books
Pages   349
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.75" Width: 6.75" Height: 9.5"
Weight:   0.88 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Sep 15, 2008
Publisher   Baker Publishing Group
ISBN  080101316X  
ISBN13  9780801013164  

Availability  1 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 21, 2016 02:33.
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More About Donald L. Brake

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Donald L. Brake (PhD, Dallas Theological Seminary) is Dean Emeritus, Multnomah Biblical Seminary, Portland, Oregon. An avid collector of rare Bibles and manuscripts for more than 30 years, he amassed one of the most complete private collections of rare English Bibles and Greek New Testaments in America, which are now in the Dunham Bible Museum at the Houston Baptist University. He is a former pastor and the author of A Visual History of the English Bible. Brake lives in Washington.

Donald L. Brake was born in 1939.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Bible & Other Sacred Texts
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > General
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Church History > General
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Church History
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Hermeneutics

Christian Product Categories
Books > Church & Ministry > Church Life > Church History
Books > Bible Study > General Studies > General

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Reviews - What do customers think about Visual History of the English Bible, A: The Tumultuous Tale of the World's Bestselling Book?

A fascinating, worthwhile book  Dec 28, 2009
This book provides a fascinating history of the "tumultuous" path of the creation of many versions of the English bible. Not only is the information presented in a lively way, with stories and illustrations, but Dr. Brake also discusses his own stories of how he collected various bibles (this is one of the best parts--as he makes it clear he isn't rich, yet as I read I couldn't help but think "almost thou persuadest me to be a bible collector!") I am sorry that there are a few negative reviews, as this was a well-written book without any religious bias, full of information that I would have to glean from several other books if I had the time. It's all here and beautifully illustrated. I especially enjoyed the discussion of the flawed bibles which are known by their mistakes. Congratulations to Brake for producing this intriguing history in one volume. This is well worth the price and a unique offering among the many books written on the bible. It is also a good companion to Bobrick's book "Wide as the Waters Be."
One of the most helpful books on English Bible History ever written.  Oct 20, 2009
I have read a number of books on this subject and have found this the most user friendly and helpful of all I have read. The facts that I read in this book were consistent with those I've read before. The visuual aspect of the book as well as the stories of how Dr Brake found the various manuscripts and the well placed "imagine" type stories that surrounded the historical facts made this book incredible. It could easily be used as a university text book as well as a great read for the casual leaner.

As a side note, I read the review by V. Perry and actually feel sorry for him. I noticed that he's given reviews on 2 other books on similar subjects; 'William Tyndale, The Smuggler's Flame' and 'Let it Go Among Our People: An Illustrated History of the English Bible...'. In both cases he gave those books a 1-star rating. As an example of his pettiness, he stated regarding Dr Brakes book...

77/1. 'The incunabula helped to bridge the gap from a handwritten book to a printed book.' Incunabula are early printed books, especially those printed before 1501.

This is absolutely rediculous. Between 1451 and 1500, there was the beginning of printing utilizing the printing press as well as the continuance of Scribal work, therefore the incunabula "helped bridge the gap from a handwritten book to a printed book." V. Perry, you really need to get over your bitterness. You sound like a frustrated author and/or speaker.

Very compelling read  Oct 11, 2009
I have read this book several times and cannot recommend it highly enough. Dr. Brake's writing manages to be informative while remaining interesting; the book is both factual and lively. The illustrations and stories of the author's personal Bible collecting make the book worthwhile on its own. The history sections are essential reading for everyone who treasures God's Word or who just wants to know how we came to have the Bible in English as it is today. A Visual History of the English Bible is not just for seminary students or pastors; it contains very accessible and important information for today's Christians. I am happy to have a copy on my shelves and think you will be too.
'Visual history' corrections  Jan 12, 2009
This book may be considered as containing three types of material: the illustrations, the inserted sections often about Dr Brake's Bible collecting, and the historical text. These comments concern only the last. Besides what Daniel C. Harlow has written above, readers may care to enter the following corrections in their copies. I list first errors in the history of the English Bible, and then a few other miscellaneous mistakes. The mistakes are of very varied importance.

Note: 10/5 means p. 10 l. 5; 10/5b means p. 10 l. 5 from bottom

Errors concerning the Bible

57/8. 'Forshall and Madden supported Lindberg's observations when they wrote'. Use of the past tense: 'supported', makes it appear that F&M came after Lindberg, but the bibliography shows that they wrote over 100 years earlier.
77/1. 'The incunabula helped to bridge the gap from a handwritten book to a printed book.' Incunabula are early printed books, especially those printed before 1501.
80/15. 'the availability of the complete Bible in English just one year before the last edition of 1527': there was no complete English Bible published in 1526, but there was a New Testament translated by Wiliam Tyndale.
93/18. `When parts of the text were indecipherable': no, the text was incomplete.
94 caption. `While in prison he asked for his Hebrew Bible and dictionary, so it is believed he translated some of his unpublished Old Testament': rather it is generally understood as most unlikely that, as Tyndale's offence was translating the Bible, he would be given any facility for continuing to do so.
98/5b. 'the absence of notes in the Cologne printing': the 1525 Tyndale NT fragment does have notes.
102/12. By 1530, Tyndale had translated the Psalms and the Pentateuch': Tyndale did not translate the Psalms, cf. p. 119.
108/1b. These word usages and Roman Catholic objections really apply to the complete NT. 'Priest - elder or senior': the mention of 'priest' could be taken to imply that it was the normal translation in the Rhemes NT, for example, which it wasn't.
120/3b. '1537... a slight revision but primarily a reprint of the 1535 Coverdale': although it is not named, this will be the Matthew's Bible, which included Tyndale's translation of the OT historical books, rather more than 'a slight revision... primarily a reprint'. See p. 126, where this is stated and Matthew's Bible is more highly rated.
128/5. 'the only Bibles one could get were either Latin or black-market Tyndale versions': There were no Tyndale Bibles.
148/11. Hbrue: Ebrue
151/8b. textual variants: the Appendix in Scrivener's The New Testament in Greek according to the text followed by the AV...,does not list any variants in pre-Geneva Bible editions of the Greek text.
155/4. 'five editions of the Geneva Bible dated 1599': the reference is to the Geneva-Tomson-Junius editions, and the Historical catalogue of printed editions of the English Bible lists 8 editions.
155/9b. italics for words not in the Greek text: this aplies to the Hebrew as well.
168/3. 'Cromwell... Cranmer... each distributing the Bible to the laity': ct. 137/7: correctly 'Cromwell... to a layman... Cranmer... to a priest;.
193/6b. 'both readings ['He' and 'She'] have their support in the Latin and Hebrew Bibles'. The Latin Vulgate reads 'she', and all Hebrew Bibles in print at that time read 'he'.
225/7b. 'in my third edition': Erasmus would not have said this, but rather 'in later/ future editions'.
230/1. The cases of Rev. 22: 16-21 and Acts 9:5-6 are quite different. For the former there was a lacuna in Erasmus' ms, which he filled by translation from the Vulgate: in the latter instance there is no lacuna.
249, citation. [Englishmen in pre-vernacular Bible period]: Bobrick is referring to the time after 'the advent of the vernacular Bible'. People could not discuss biblical concepts before they read the Bible.

Some other errors
29/12. 'The word Scripture comes from the Greek term for writing': Scripture comes from Latin scriptura, from scribere to write.
32/2. `versio vulgata (or Vulgate), which simply means "the published translation"' The term vulgate means "common", as is correctly stated on p. 319 n.5.
35 and other places. Biblia Pauperum' is not Poor Man's Bible, as pauperum is plural. Therefore, Bible of the Poor, Paupers' Bible.
38/23. 'In AD 597 Gregory the Great brought Christianity to England': There was Celtic Christianity in Britain long before Augustine landed in Kent.
95/2. 'Tyndale... in prison for nearly a year': Tyndale was in prison before his execution for almost a year and a half, as is corectly stated on p. 105.
95/8. 'The story of William Tyndale has long been neglected in the church': as lives of Tyndale by David Daniell and Brian Moynahan have been published in recent years and The Tyndale Society has been founded, it would be less inaccurate to write 'was neglected'.
95/14. 'He continued his studies at Cambridge for another six to seven years': This is a view accepted by some and rejected by others. There is no evidence (university record) that Tyndale was in Cambridge.
118/18. Common Book of Prayer: Book of Common Prayer.
118/ Exodus 2:1-2. In the Tyndale some abbreviations are expanded, but 'whe' may be taken to be a simple misprint, whereas in the original it has a macron above it to show it is an abbreviation of 'when'. Coverdale is copying Tyndale, but the 'y' may be found baffling. In the original it has a superscript 't' as an abbreviation for 'that'.
144/16. 'burnings and beheadings of Protestants': beheading was reserved for the nobility and royalty, but to link it with burning makes it appear a general alternative.
151/1. Ewart: Ewert correctly in bibliography.
304. Bale: Ossory is in Ireland.
306. Cranmer. At first Cranmer declared the marriage of Henry VIII to Anne Boleyn valid.
325, n.6 on ch. 8: illusions: allusions.
327/n. 21. biographers: bibliographers.

Victor Perry

Wonderful, but a little flawed  Dec 26, 2008
This is a stunningly beautiful book, and definitely worth having. It gives a wonderful overview of the history of the Bible in English, along with some helpful charts and timelines. It also contains pictures of old Bibles from the author's collection.
However, be warned - it is not written well. The flow is often awkward, he contradicts himself many times, and there are times at which it is difficult to understand exactly what he is trying to say.

Poor writing aside, much of the text is clear and readable, the illustrations and the layout are wonderful, the author gives tidbits of information that I've not found in other offerings on the subject, and I consider this book to be a prized part of my personal library on the history of the English Bible.

So if you are interested in learning the history of the English Bible (note, however, that he drops off after the King James Version, with only a cursory discussion of later versions), this is a wonderful book with which to begin your studies.

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