The Rise and Fall of the Bible: The Unexpected History of an Accidental Book


Product Details

Publish Date
5.4 X 7.9 X 0.6 inches | 0.53 pounds

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About the Author

TIMOTHY BEAL is Florence Harkness Professor of Religion at Case Western Reserve University. He has published twelve books, including Biblical Literacy and Roadside Religion, a New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice, and essays in the New York Times and the Washington Post, among others.


"This amazing book will make you see the Scriptures in a new light. Beal shows us that the origins of the Bible are messy and shaped by chance, but also that the Bible still can move us and needs to be taken seriously . Thou shalt read Beal."
--A.J. Jacobs, author of The Year of Living Biblically

"Beal's exciting book offers both fascinating history and a new and insightful way to approach the 'sacred text'."
--John Shelby Spong, author of Eternal Life: A New Vision

"The Bible, an infallible book of answers to all life's questions? Timothy Beal demolishes that claim using the texts themselves, and offers the vision of a productive future in which the biblical process of argumentation will thrive in the digital environment."
--Bruce Chilton, author of Rabbi Jesus

" Partly autobiography, partly social scientific research, partly shrewd discernment, and partly theological interpretation, Tim Beal has written a zinger of a book about the cultural history of the Bible. This welcome and important book will cause a pause before we make glib claims for "the Word of the Lord."
--Walter Brueggemann

"A lot of us know just enough about the Bible to make us dangerous. Tim Beal wants to take us deeper in our understanding - not just about what the Bible says, but about what it is, and how it came to us in its many current forms. Under Beal's instruction, we will lose some of our naivete, but we'll gain maturity of insight that will more than compensate. A needed book from a talented writer."
--Brian D. McLaren, author of A New Kind of Christianity

"Remarkably accessible...Beal is more than just a debunker; in fact, once evangelical, he still considers himself a Christian. He exhorts readers to see the Bible not as a book of finite answers but as a crucible of questions that provoke, inspire, and even anger those who pick it up. The same might be said about his own book."
--STARRED review, Booklist "Well-written and engaging...A laudable look at the Good Book."

"Smart and conversational, Beal provides the kind of context about the Bible's ancient origins in the Holy Land, and its recent marketing by American entrepreneurs, that anyone who reads it should know." - New Jersey Star Ledger "The Rise and Fall of the Bible" is a succinct, clear and fascinating look at two phenomena: what Beal calls "biblical consumerism" -- in which buying Bibles and Bible-related publications and products substitutes for more meaningful encounters with the foundational text of Western Civilization -- and the history of how the book came to be assembled. -