POC Blog

The random technotheolosophical blogging of Reid S. Monaghan

Book Review - The Journey from Texts to Translations: The Origin and Development of the Bible

Many times a book fails to live up to its own title - Paul Wegner's The Journey from Texts to Translations: The Origin and Development of the Bible is not such a book.  Indeed what you get with Wegner's work is a tour de force history of the Christian Bible.

The book contains some standard fair concerning the canon of the Old and New Testament, extra canonical works, a survey of the major Greek and Hebrew texts underlying the Scriptures.  What is surprising is how thorough each section of the book actually is.  

The work is very much true to its title and takes the reader on a journey from ancient texts all the way up to our modern English Bible translations.  The work covers almost every English Bible from the time of Wycliffe up to the publication date of the book.   The book covers the development of ancient languages, the various texts of the Scriptures and early translations into various languages in the ancient world.  The chapters on the history of the English Bible is worth the cost of the book in itself as it is an excellent survey of translation as well as the people, places, and political controversies surrounding the translation of the Bible into the venacular. 

I found the various sections of the book to stand very well on their own so purchasing the book to serve as a reference volume is recommended as well.  It is scholarly resource, but one I found to be approachable.  My main problem with the book is that it was so interesting my pace in reading it was considerable slower than the time I allocated to plow through its pages. 

For those who want to see the fascinating twists and turns of history, language, translations, and the struggle forward of the church around its holy writings, this journey is worth the time to read.