Friday, April 11, 2008

Wide As The Waters: The Story of the English Bible and the Revolution It Inspired, Benson Bobrick, Simon & Shuster, 2001, ISBN 0-684-84747-7

This is one of those experiences that lasted a long time for me. I purchased this book in 2001 and it has sat on various shelves over these years waiting for me to make up my mind as to when I would actually read the entire thing. Now, I have picked it up perhaps a hundred times yet could never seem to get past a few pages at a time and this is certainly no fault of the author for this is a great story.

I am not going to write a lengthy review of the book since there are already several reviews of this publication available from numerous sources. However, it is important to point out to layman such as myself seeking a good overview narrative of the history of the English Bible that Mr. Bobrick has presented a wonderful resource. Beginning with the birth of Christianity in the British Isles and taking the reader through the histories of John Wycliffe and the Lollards, the author sets the stage for the development of various translations of the Holy Scriptures into our common English tongue. Leading the reader through the social and political climates of this age, we see an interactive fabric being woven into an amazing as well as sorrowful story resulting in the bible we hold in our hands today. The background, resources and dedication of each of the principles are explored and presented with well researched documentation. While there are more in depth resources for academic study, Bobrick's excellent narrative serves as a near perfect introduction to the history of our English scriptures.

Purchase the book from Amazon

NY Times Review