Books & Resources
There are many resources available to learn more about the Bible’s origin, history, and influence. We’ve listed a few for you, divided into five categories.
- The Bible’s Origin, Manuscripts and History
- The English Bible
- The King James Bible
- The Bible’s Influence and Impact on Culture and Lives
- Especially for Children and Young People
Discovering the Bible (DVD) includes four ½ hour programs introducing the Bible, plus a study guide and additional reading. The Bible’s origins, importance, themes, the Old and New Testament histories, and the Bible’s survival, spread, and influence are all developed in this series.
How We Got the Bible is an excellent, brief overview of how the Bible was created and transmitted down through the centuries. The history of the written language, writing materials, Biblical archeology, textual criticism, and translation are covered with impeccable scholarship in an easy-reading style.
F.F. Bruce’s The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable? is a classic work from an outstanding New Testament scholar. Bruce provides a clear account of the historical validity and authenticity of the New Testament texts.
F.F. Bruce was one of the twentieth-century’s most outstanding Biblical scholars. His award-winning The Canon of Scripture examines the historical evidence for the acceptance of the books in the Bible (or canon) and presents the evidence in a comprehensive and readable manner.
How did the Bible come into being? How were the books selected? What manuscripts are available? How are translations made? Paul D. Wegner’s The Journey from Texts to Translation: The Origin and Development of the Bible answers these questions with solid scholarship and lucid writing, accompanied by numerous charts and photographs.
The Oxford Illustrated History of the Bible includes a series of essays on the process of canonization, articles on the Bible through the ages, translations and approaches to the Bible, all with numerous illustrations, many in color.
Jaroslav Pelikan was one of the leading historians of Christianity in recent decades. In Whose Bible is It? A History of the Scriptures Through the Ages Pelikan explored the Bible’s development, from oral tradition, to the writing of the Biblical texts, through modern critical methods. Pelikan is able to make these often complex subjects accessible to the non-scholar.
The Bible: A History – The Making and Impact of the Bible is a beautifully illustrated introduction to the Bible’s history. Divided into five sections – the Old Testament takes shape, the New Testament Takes Shape, The Bible in a rapidly growing church, the Book of the Reformation, and the Bible in the modern world – material succinctly covers key topics within each time period.
The Bible inspired the Reformation, but the format and understanding of the Bible was also shaped by the intellectual, political, and cultural forces of the Reformation. In The Reformation of the Bible and the Bible of the Reformation. Jarislav Pelikan explored the role of the Bible in the Reformation and the Bible’s effect on preaching, Biblical studies, and European culture. Includes an exhibit catalog of Bible from the Reformation.
Whether looking for the history in the Bible or the history of the Bible, there’s nothing to compare with the BritishMuseum. The Bible in the British Museum explores items in the BritishMuseum from biblically related archaeological discoveries to manuscript treasures such as the Codex Sinaiticus. Photographs and descriptions are clear and accurate.
The beautifully illustrated A Visual History of the English Bible covers the fascinating journey of the Bible from the pulpit to the people. Biblical scholar Donald Brake invites readers to explore the process of the Bible’s transformation from medieval manuscripts to the contemporary translations of our day. 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. Many of the colorful illustrations are of rare Bibles in Dr. Brake’s personal collection and are part of the Dunham Bible Museum’s exhibits.
David Daniell’s William Tyndale, A Biography is the most complete biography of the man who “gave us our English Bible.” Dr. Daniell also provides excellent analysis of Tyndale’s contribution to the developing English language.
Tyndale’s New Testament (Paperback), published in 1534, was the first translation of the Christian Scriptures into English from the Greek. Dr. David Daniell provides an excellent introduction on the significance of Tyndale’s work. Spelling has been modernized in this edition.
David Daniell’s The Bible in English: Its History and Influence is the premier history of the English Bible and the culmination of a lifetime of study on the subject. Dr. Daniell writes with inimitable scholarship, Christian conviction, and delightful wit. The Bible in English covers the earliest efforts of translating the Bible into English up to most recent translations, a story encompassing not only events, but personalities, ideas, language and influence of this most important Book.
David Price of SMU’s Bridwell Library and Biblical scholar Dr. Charles Ryrie teamed up in writing Let It Go Among Our People, a virtual museum visit on the history of the English Bible. Copiously illustrated with photos of important early Bible editions, the narrative also provides the historical narrative of the early story of the Bible’s spread among the English people.
Christopher De Hamel was former manager of the Western Manuscripts division at Sotheby’s inLondon. His The Book: A History of the Bible deals with the form of the Bible as it has appeared over the centuries/ The book is beautifully illustrated and a feast for the eyes as well as the mind, showing the Bible’s powerful influence on our civilization and culture.
God’s Outlaw (DVD) is the dramatic, true story of William Tyndale’s work in translating the Bible into English. It is a story of international politics, church intrigue, cold-blooded betrayal, and false justice ending in a criminal’s death. But it is also about victorious faith and spiritual triumph over some of the greatest political and religious forces known in the 16th century. Today William Tyndale is renowned as “the father of the English Bible,” and is recognized as one of the major leaders of the English Reformation. The tale of how he lived and died as “God’s outlaw” is a compelling and especially moving encouragement for modern people of faith
John Wycliffe – The Morning Star
John Wycliffe is a dramatic biography of the life of the 14th century scholar and cleric who translated the Bible into English for the first time. Wycliffe found himself in the middle of religious, political and social conflicts. An Oxford scholar, one of Europe’s most renowned philosophers, he was a defender of English nationalism against the power of the pope and a champion of the poor against the injustices of the rich. John Wycliffe taught that God’s forgiveness couldn’t be bought with indulgences. He preached that the only true authority is the Word of God, and the Word could only be understood by all if the people could read it in their native tongue. “John Wycliffe” captures the trials and heroic struggles of this significant man of faith – the “Morning Star” of the Reformation.
Alistair McGrath, professor of historical theology at Oxford University, recounts the story of the English Bible in In the Beginning. The Story of the King James Bible and How it Changed a Nation, a Language, and a Culture. McGrath provides the historical and biographical context for the English Bible’s translation, analyzing its impact on English language and literature, as well as on worship and politics.
God’s Secretaries, The Making of the King James Bible provides an account of the religious and political struggles surrounding the making of the King James Bible as well as fascinating detail about the personalities involved in the actual work of translation.
Benson Bodrick’s Wide as the Waters. The Story of the English Bible and the Revolution It Inspiredis a fascinating telling of the story of the English Bible from John Wyclif through the King James Bible. Wide as the Waters is especially worthy in its biographical delineation of key players in this epic story. Bodrick also hints at the importance of the Bible among the people to the development of ideas of liberty and freedom.
The Holy Bible King James Version: 1611 Edition – a reprinting of the 1611 English Bible, in a smaller version, with original spelling of the words and original additional material. ISBN:1565631609
The King James Bible printed today has gone through several revisions and corrections since 1611. David Norton records and analyzes these changes in A Textual History of the King James Bible.
Cruden’s Concordance was a monumental, individual accomplishment by one man, Alexander Cruden. Cruden’s concordance was reprinted many times, and portions were often included in Bible printings. Julia Keay has written an able biography of this complex (sometimes accused of being insane) individual in Alexander the Corrector – The Tormented Genius Whose Cruden’s Concordance Unwrote the Bible.
Over 300 English Bible or New Testament translations have been made in the last 600 years. William E. Paul’s English Language Bible Translators gives biography and background for many of the translators in these endeavors.
The Bible and Its Influence, produced by the Biblical Literacy Project, was designed as a textbook for use in the public schools. Beautifully illustrated, it gives summaries of each book of the Bible and recounts ways in which elements of the book have influenced literature, art, music, politics, or the culture in general.
Western civilization is becoming increasingly pluralistic, secularized, and biblically illiterate. Many people today have little sense of how their lives have benefited from Christianity’s influence, often viewing the church with hostility or resentment. How Christianity Changed the World is a topically arranged Christian history for Christians and non- Christians. Grounded in solid research and written in a popular style, this book is a source of evidence for why Christianity deserves credit for many of the humane, social, scientific, and cultural advances in the Western world in the last two thousand years. Photographs, timelines, and charts enhance each chapter, which also include questions for reflection and discussion.
Brush Up Your Bible! Is a fun book which shows the Biblical origin of many of our popular phrases and idioms (as well as which ones some think are Biblical and are not). Historical notes about the Bible’s origin and development are interspersed. Also included are famous “typos” in Bible printings. All in all, a book which shows our language’s indebtedness to the Bible.
Jonathan Edwards and the Bible explores in depth the attitude towards the Bible of America’s most important theologian. How Edwards confronted the Enlightenment’s attacks on the Bible’s authenticity and authority is clearly described.
An American Bible. A History of the Good Book in the United States, 1777-1880 explores the declining influence of the Bible in the United States. By exploring how publishers, clergymen, politicians, educators, and lay persons met the threat that new printed material posed to the dominance of the Bible by changing both its form and its contents, the author reveals the causes and consequences of mutating God’s Word.
On Reading the Bible – Thoughts and Reflections of Over 500 Men and Women, from St. Augustine to Oprah Winfrey is a collection of quotes about the Bible from well-known people throughout the centuries.
100 Bible Verses That Changed the World focuses on particular verses which influenced in some way famous people in history.
Charles Merrill Smith began writing How the Bible came to Be to answer his granddaughter’s questions about the Bible’s origins. The unfinished manuscript was found in his desk at his death and completed by James Bennett. From this little book’s clear language young and old alike will better appreciate the development and continued influence of the Bible as Holy Scripture.
Kregel Pictorial Guide to Bible Facts and Figures is colorful book packed full of fascinating Bible facts and gives answers to some of the most intriguing questions about the Bible.
Kregel Pictorial Guide to the Story of the Bible provides a graphic overview of how the Bible came to be–from God’s original revelation to modern translations. Includes illustrations, charts, and graphs that explain how books were identified as part of the Bible and how God preserved His special revelation.
Louise Vernon. has written a series of historical fiction for children focusing on key people important in the story of our English Bible.
Ink on His Fingers (Johann Gutenberg). ISBN:0836116739
The Beggar’s Bible (John Wycliffe). ISBN:0836117328
The Man Who Laid the Egg: The Story of ErasmusISBN: 1882514157
Bible Smuggler (William Tyndale) ISBN:0836115570
King’s Book ( King James Bible). ISBN:0836119339e
The William Tyndale Story (DVD) is an animated retelling of the story of William Tyndale. This DVD is part of The Torchlighters, “Heroes of Faith” series.
The King James Bible: Christianity’s Definitive Text is from the “Words that Changed History Series.” This is an excellent retelling of the history behind the early English Bible told in a clear style for young people and showing the Bible’s influence on our language. Includes small reproductions of pages from the various texts and the people involved.