I was given a promotional copy of From God To Us Revised and Expanded: How We Got Our Bible with the proviso that I would write a review of the book. No stipulations were made as to how I would review the book or what I would write about it. This review is my own reaction to interacting with the material in the book.
From God to Us is broken down into four major sections with multiple chapters in each to deal with various aspects of the topic in that section. The four major sections are:
- Inspiration – How do we know the Bible has authority?
- Canonization – How did the Bible come to be accepted?
- Transmission – How did the manuscripts get to us and can they be trusted?
- Translation – A history of the translation of the Bible.
There is a wealth of information in each section. Anyone who is interested in understanding how the Bible as we know it came to be should take a look at this book. It answers many questions and provides evidence that the Bible can be trusted as a guide for belief and practice.
For me, this book’s primary value is as a reference book, one that I will refer to when I have occasion to respond to questions regarding the transmission of the Bible. For this purpose the book is invaluable with helpful charts and tables with information that speaks in support of the reliability of our Bible text.
Because of the wealth of information, I found it a bit overwhelming to sit and read the book. My difficulty is not because it is not well written (it is) nor because it is hard to understand (it isn’t). For me, reading this book is like drinking from a fire hose, there is too much to take in to do a cover to cover reading. I have to work through the material slowly to take it all in. This was especially true for me in the section on canonicity. But I must acknowledge that for those of a more scholarly nature or with more background in the subject material, this may not be an issue.
One of the things that will be helpful to the reader of this book is the indices in the back of the book. In addition to a subject index, there is also a person index and a Scripture index. The Scripture index I find to be particularly helpful in preparing for teaching on a particular passage of Scriputre, it makes it easy to find the place where that passage is mentioned in the book.
The bottom line
I would recommend that anyone who is interested in apologetics or in understanding the underpinnings of our faith should take a look at this book. It might also be helpful to those who are involved with youth who are questioning their faith or encountering teachers or professors who challenge the accuracy and authority of the Bible. Anyone who must prepare a presentation or teaching on the reliability of our Bible would also find this book invaluable.
I recommend that every student of the Bible should have a copy of this book in her or her library. You won’t regret having it there when questions come up about the reliability of the Bible.