9780801021695 / 0801021693

The Journey from Texts to Translations: The Origin and Development of the Bible


Publisher:Baker Academic



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About the book:

This comprehensive volume fills the pressing need for a thorough, accessible, and up-to-date general introduction to the Bible. Paul Wegner's work will familiarize students with the many significant issues involved in the writing, collection, canonization, transmission, and translation of the Scriptures. Keeping in mind the needs of the introductory-level student and lay reader, Wegner admirably avoids or defines the sometimes difficult language and terminology that limit the usefulness of more technical studies.

The work is divided into sections that are logically and clearly arranged, tracing the development of both the Old and New Testaments. Throughout the book the author addresses fundamental questions relevant to all serious readers of the Bible. Part 1 considers the doctrines of revelation and inspiration, the general contents of the two Testaments, and the relationship between the old and new covenants. In Part 2, Wegner deals with the historical processes behind the gathering of the texts and considers the factors that influenced both the Jewish and Christian communities as they settled the question of canonicity. Part 3 considers the practical issues involved in the transmission of the biblical text and provides a basic introduction to textual criticism and the comparing of manuscripts with divergent readings. Part 4 surveys early translations of the Hebrew and Greek texts, such as early Syriac, Coptic, and Latin versions of the Bible. Part 5 presents a detailed study of English versions, including the many translations and paraphrases that have been produced in recent years. This final section will be particularly helpful to students trying to make sense of the sometimes heated debates over modern translations that have divided evangelical Christians and will help them make informed decisions about which Bible version is best for them.

Throughout the book students will find useful charts that summarize the material, compare divergent positions on disputed questions, or reinforce significant points. Numerous historical and archaeological photos and illustrations enrich the text. Each chapter concludes with a bibliography to guide the reader to more detailed studies of specific topics. Wegner's volume will be particularly useful for college and introductory-level seminary classes that introduce students to the history and transmission of the Scriptures, but it is also a work that interested lay readers will find accessible and educational.

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