Nostra Scriptura by Patrick Gray

Nostra Scriptura

Whose Bible Is It? A History of the Scriptures Through the Ages
by Jaroslav Pelikan
Viking, 2005
(274 pages, $24.95, hardcover)

reviewed by Patrick Gray

Because Jews and Christians have always affirmed that the Bible is, in some sense, “the word of God,” Jaroslav Pelikan admits that it may seem “not only presumptuous but blasphemous” to pose the question that provides the title of his latest work. Pelikan, retired professor of history at Yale whose works on Jesus, Mary, Luther, Bach, Faust, the creeds of Christendom, and the US Constitution have won many admirers (how many writers can boast of dust-jacket blurbs from Rowan Williams, Harold Bloom, John T. Noonan, and Joseph Ratzinger?), here provides a lively and accessible survey of the Bible’s history from its beginnings in Israelite oral traditions to its present status as “the book of books.”

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Patrick Gray teaches in the Department of Religious Studies at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee, where he lives with his wife and their two children.

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