Formation of the Bible

By | Categories: Blog, WL Reader

Formation of the Bible
Lee Martin McDonald
Hendrickson Publishers

While flipping through the channels (especially during Christmas or Easter), it is a fairly common occurrence to stumble upon a documentary about one or another writings from the first century that was excluded from the Bible. In a worst-case scenario, our congregations look to their leaders as if the Church has hidden its secrets a la The Da Vinci Code. In the words of Lee McDonald regarding this phenomenon, “It’s encouraging to see a growing interest in how the church got its Bible, but also disheartening to discover how few Christians know anything about the Bible’s origins.” Formation of the Bible is not a book about the movement of the Spirit to inspire the Holy Scriptures; it is a historical account of how the Scriptures were chosen. And it’s fascinating. Reading through is like taking a course on biblical Mythbusting. Deftly, Dr. McDonald leads us through the story of our sacred collection of books—a story that explores such questions as, “Why did ancient humans collect sacred texts?” “What comprised the Scriptures for Jesus?” “What was Constantine’s influence on the canon?” And many more. The fact is many followers of the God of Israel and of Christ wrote their stories down, many still are. And McDonald is a fitting guide to help us understand why some of them are bound in leather and sitting on our bed tables, and why others are nothing more than dust.

Jeremy Armstrong

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