Magazine article First Things; A Monthly Journal of Religion and Public Life

Whose Bible Is It? a History of Scripture through the Ages

Magazine article First Things; A Monthly Journal of Religion and Public Life

Whose Bible Is It? a History of Scripture through the Ages

Article excerpt

WHOSE BIBLE IS IT? A HISTORY OF SCRIPTURE THROUGH THE AGES. By JAROSLAV PELIKAN. Viking. 288pp. $24.95.

Readers of Jaroslav Pelikan's books are familiar with the vast erudition, subtlety of thought, and careful discernment he brings to the texts he studies. In addition to these qualities, his books are also typically marked by a clear prose style that makes them eminently accessible to the general reader; they are free of all jargon and scholarly obfuscation. Pelikan's new book, on the history of Scripture, continues on this same path. But the title, Whose Bible Is It?, suggests a bit more thematic unity than the book itself offers. The book opens with a vignette about three women-one Protestant, one Catholic, one Jewish-who want to buy Bibles for their daughters during the seasons of Passover and Easter (often the same week of the year). If they put their request to a clerk, the only appropriate response would be "Which Bible do you want?"-since different Bibles exist for Protestants, Catholics, and Jews. …

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