Book Review: “The Story of the Bible” by Larry Stone

After the the first book I agreed to review from a publisher turned out to be a dud (in my opinion, humble), I told myself that maybe I just wasn’t cut out for the “review copy” thing. I should go back to just reviewing the books I check out of the library. It’s much less pressure that way.

Then I saw The Story of the Bible from Thomas Nelson’s BookSneeze program–and saw that the foreword was by Ravi Zacharias.

Surely if Ravi wrote the foreword, it’s got to be okay, I told myself. So I went ahead and requested it without reading another word.

What a fortuitous impulse!

The Story of the Bible arrived outside my front door, I opened it up, and was immediately hooked.

For the next couple of weeks, I never went anywhere without my copy.

“You need to see what Thomas Nelson just sent me,” I’d say as I pulled it out of my tote to pass to friends, family, and strangers. (Lucky me, I carry a nice large tote that can hold the jumbo-sized coffee-table-style book.)

“It’s the story of the writing and canonization and preservation and translation of the Bible.” I told them as they rifled through the pages.

Then, lest they miss the most exciting part, I’d direct them to the vellum envelope pages found within every chapter. “Go ahead and take it out” I’d urge.

Dutifully, they’d pull out the odd sized papers found in the various envelopes.

One started reading the writing:

Great Isaiah Scroll
The only complete Dead Sea Scroll is the Great Isaiah Scroll, discovered in 1947 by Muhammed Ahmed el-Hamed and pictured on page 25….

I could hear the quizzical expression in my friend’s voice as she read aloud. “Why on earth is Rebekah so excited about this?”

“Turn it over,” I urged.

And that’s when she discovered what I was so excited about.

Each scrap of paper within the vellum envelopes is a life-size full-color replica of a Biblical text.

A page from the Dead Sea Scrolls, pages from the Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Vaticanus, Wycliff’s Bible and Gutenberg’s. The list goes on and on.

It’s like a museum in one glossy paged volume.

I can’t be more excited.

The text itself is in well-written, engaging prose. I had no difficulty getting through the pages–or dipping in for a paragraph here and there in casual perusal (both of which I did.)

The author writes with an evangelical bent and an obvious reverence for the Word of God. This is no dull historical story of how men have preserved a book. This is a living story of how God has spoken a book, preserved His words, and communicated His heart to the nations of the world throughout the centuries.

This book is a definite keeper!

Rating: 5 stars
Category:Christian history
Synopsis:A museum in a book, telling the story (and showing the documents) of the writing, canonization, preservation, and translation of the Bible.
Recommendation: 5 stars

For the sake of full disclosure, I received this book for free via the Book Sneeze blogger program at Thomas Nelson. All views expressed in this post are my own. I received nothing for this review beyond the book I just reviewed (which is a reward of great worth, if I do say so myself!)