Tuesday, February 14, 2006

'How the Bible was Built' - a review

I recently picked up the book How the Bible was Built by Charles Merrill Smith and James Bennett. It is a thin volume that I thought would have a lot of good information on the history of the canon. I was sorely disappointed. As I read it I read things that seemed unlikely. The authors don’t give any indication that there could be any difference of opinion on their version of how the bible cam to be – they merely present it as fact. They present, for example, that Manassah wrote Deuteronomy just before a priest at the time of Josiah found it. This is one of the options that are considered by authorities but it isn’t a done deal, as Smith and Bennett make it out to be. This is typical of this book. Things are presented as "the way it is" rather than "the way it might be" - I'd even settle for "the way it probably is" when, I believe, there is still much discussion about these issues. I was so disappointed with this book that I didn’t even finish it. Definitely NOT recommended.

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