Item description for How We Got The Bible-3rd Ed (Revised & Expanded) by Neil R. Lightfoot...
Overview An account on the origins of the Bible considers how its books have been preserved, translated, and passed on to subsequent generations, featuring in a new addition chapters on the Septuagint and Latin Vulgate.
Publishers Description How and when did the books of the Bible originate? In what sense are these books different from other books? How have these books been preserved and transmitted to us? Why do we have so many different translations of the Bible? How We Got the Bible provides factual, accessible answers to questions like these. A classic guide for Bible students, it has sold more than 300,000 copies during its forty years in print. Now, in this new edition, each chapter has been revised and chapters have been added, including two on the Septuagint and the Latin Vulgate. This thorough revision will tempt fans of the previous edition and pave the way for a new generation of readers as well.
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Studio: Baker Books
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.35" Width: 6.3" Height: 0.85" Weight: 1.1 lbs.
Release Date Jul 1, 2003
Publisher Baker Publishing Group
ISBN 080101252X ISBN13 9780801012525
Availability 0 units.
More About Neil R. Lightfoot
Neil R. Lightfoot (PhD, Duke University) serves as Frank Pack Distinguished Professor of New Testament at Abilene Christian University in Abilene, Texas. He is the author of several books, including "Everyone's Guide to Hebrews."
Neil R. Lightfoot currently resides in the state of Texas.
Reviews - What do customers think about How We Got The Bible-3rd Ed (Revised & Expanded)?
Excellent book to start... Jan 1, 2007
I have only recently started diving into the history of the Bible. I purchased my book at a Christian bookstore only 2 weeks ago and am currently halfway through the book, BUT while reading the book I found out that there was an exhibit of many of the texts that Lightfoot refers to on display at the Smithsonian Freer Museum! It was extremely exciting to see the actual texts from the codices that was mentioned in the book. It brought everything alive!
The museum also had a extremely documented text of the exhibit which I have purchased as well, but I will finish the Lightfoot text to give me the background needed to begin my next course of study into the material.
I disagree with an earlier review that said this book was written for a teenager. This book is written for the layperson...young or old and will lay a foundation. For more inquiring minds, it will be a jumping board to more intensive research.
4.5 stars, give or take . . . Jul 15, 2006
Here's a book that should have a large niche audience. On a recent trip to a large bookstore, I was immediately greeted by the "Gospel of Thomas" and the "Gospel of Judas". These, and a number of other 'Gnostic' and 'heretical' "gospels" are lately popularly argued to evidence a conspiracy through which Christianity (as the world believes it knows it) has been a mere arbitrary artifice; one that might just as well have been something else. Popular movies and television "documentaries" present just this picture -- Christianity is essentially a vast and ancient conspiracy, arbitrary and artificial.
Lightfoot is a rather orthodox scholar, and I emphasize both 'orthodox' (in the Protestant sense) and 'scholar'. I point this out because many conservative / main-stream / orthodox writers who treat issues such as this have done so with an embarrassing lack of serious scholarship, and thankfully this is not the case with Mr. Lightfoot. Interested Christians and interested non-Christians alike will learn a great deal in the reading of this volume. Although the author may be questioned on some points, he is generally not especially dogmatic, particularly on points where sound scholarship should indeed admit uncertainty. I thought he started rather weakly, defending, albeit from important recent findings, the traditional idea of Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch. Is this necessary? Moses is the Hebrew personality around whom most of the Pentateuch is related, and it is apparent, both in terms of best explanation and textual claims, that he would have been the point of origin for many of the accounts, but this does not in any way establish him as "the" author of the whole of the Torah. In fact the text does not at all make such a claim; in fact, as Lightfoot freely admits, it claims that (at the least) Joshua was also a contributor, and the possibility of other contributors is not denied. But this is a small problem, if it is one at all. It will probably not be of particular interest to individuals with no exposure to, or concern for, so-called higher (i.e., source) criticism.
There will also be some objections to the author's assertions that the apocryphal books should not be included in a Christian Bible. As is obvious, most Roman Catholics will hold such objections. This well-worn disagreement is not going to be resolved to everyone's satisfaction and it is dealt with as a very small portion of Lightfoot's exposition.
These 'problems' are, at worst, small. This is an excellent and even entertaining book. Among ancient texts, the writings of the New Testament and the Tanakh / Old Testament are extremely unique in both the quantity and the quality of their extensive corroborating documentation. There is a wealth of information here regarding the writings that have, and have not, been consistently accepted as canonical (literally meaning compliant with a standard "measure") throughout history. Further, the writings of ancient expositors and commentators make it clearly evident that the canon accepted today is the same canon accepted by the early Christian church. One looks at the extensive commentaries of Origen, for example, and suspects that the entire canon is exposed in these commentaries alone. On the other hand, actual evidence for would-be conspirators artificially contriving a canon is conspicuously non-existent.
A great primer on how the Bible came to us. Apr 19, 2006
I enjoyed Lightfoot's informative book on how the text of the Bible came to us through the ages. This is a good primer for anyone wanting to know or get into a deeper study of this subject. This would certainly be a good place to start.
I had a copy of his 2nd edition printed by ACU Press and had read that, but the 3rd edition is greatly improved with a lot more updated information so if you have read his earlier editions and enjoyed them, you will only get more out of this one.
Certain points jumped out at me. In chapter nine, I found his discussion of textual variants interesting. It seems that any book that discusses the canon of Scripture would need to include the topic of textual variation and Lightfoot does here in this chapter.
In chapter twelve, he discusses the reason as to why there are no early extant copies of the Old Testament that date any earlier than the 9th century A.D. The fact that older copies of the O.T. scriptures were burned and buried when newer copies were completed was the custom and tradition; however, the fact that these scribes were so precise and immaculate in their transmission of the text does speak to its reliability as well. He also discusses in this same chapter the Dead Sea scrolls and their significance to Old Testament scholarship and its authenticity.
He also addresses the alleged problem of "lost gospels" in the canon of scripture. With all the hype and sensationalism of the Gnostic scriptures such as the "Gospel of Thomas" and the "Gospel of Judas" being touted as "lost books" of the Bible, Lightfoot here reminds us that scriptures like these cannot be lost gospels because they were never a part of the canon or collection of the 1st and 2nd century churches. No council came together to canonize anything. The canon eventually came about as churches universally recognized the inspired teachings and doctrine with which they were familiar with. Christians would do well to ignore the sensationalism of those today who promote these "lost gospels" in efforts to destroy the credibility of the Bible.
In chapter eighteen, the author gives a good chapter by chapter summary, of what had been discussed previously in the book. If you want to know what the book discusses more in-depth, aside from the chapter headings in the table of contents, then read the chapter summaries in this chapter.
Overall, this is a great book.
Very simple and basic Mar 25, 2006
I was disappointed in this book. It seemed to be written for young people. (I would recommend it for teenagers.) If you're an adult, choose something else.
How We Got the Boble Feb 20, 2006
Loved this book. It was just what I was looking for and needed. Increased my faith in authenticity of modern translations. This book is easy to read and actually interesting in what otherwise could be a very dry subject. I feel I really know how we got the Bible now and have used this book as reference to doubters and purchased a copy for a friend with reservations.