I want to know more about the history behind Scripture. Are there any books, or other writings that go into detail about the Bible, the books and their authors, how Scripture developed, and when and why each book was written? Also, discussion of how the canon was developed, and how and why it was decided that some books were to be included and others not. Mainly anything that details the history of the Bible. Thank you for any suggestions.
God bless you all. Amen.
My knowledge comes from a variety of sources. Usually a study Bible talks about these topics.
A non-Catholic resource that may be at your public library would be The Interpreter’s Bible. Check out the St Joseph Study Bible or the Didache Bible.
A good place to start might be “Every Catholic’s Guide to the Sacred Scriptures” from Thomas Nelson Publishers.
The Right Reverend Henry G Graham’s (1911?) book, “Where We Got The Bible: Our Debt To The Catholic Church.”
What I know comes from different books.
It’s complicated to explain in a simple post, but I’ll try later when I get some free time (going to work now).
Great book. At the link I could only download it. But at the link below you can read it online -
With Easy to Read Print
The Case for the Deuterocanon by Gary Michuta talks specifically about the seven books we have that protestants (generally) don’t. That would be a good place to start for those few.
I got so focused at work that I forgot to post what I promissed… sorry.
I had a long post in mind but I’ll do the short version.
The Old Testament writings gravitates around five of them, which are known as The Law (also called Torah or Pentateuch). These five writings are believed (including by me) to had been written by Moses, the prophet, around 1,400 B.C. The others are historical, writings of wisdom and poetical writings. All these OT pieces have in common what the Church calls “economy of salvation” and the promisse of a Messiah.
Thus, it is this consistency and coherence among OT writings that make them so special. Furthermore, the gravitating writings were written between the writing of The Law and the Incarnation of the Word (except one of them which I strongly believe was written around 2,000 B.C.)
Then, there are the Gospels. They are the most important of all the Sacred Scriptures. The whole OT points out to the Gospels.
And after the Gospels, men of God wrote letters, another historical writing and a prophetical one. They also point out to the Gospels. The ones that are consistent with the OT and the Gospels, faithful to truth, and original, made it to the Bible as part of the NT.
Unlike the OT, which took millennia to be written and fulfilled, the NT took no more than 90 years to be written. Many of these books were studied during the first centuries and some even became canonical for a period in some oriental churches, although they didn’t make it as canonical by the Council of Trent in the 15th Century. The ones that were defined as canon have been considered inspired by God for thousands of years before Trent.
This is how I would summarize the history of Sacred Scriptures.
I am preparing a course about economy of salvation so people can at least grasp the story that underlines the Bible. I’m using St. Augustine and a few Catholic American writers as inspiration, since they already did intensive studies about it. The difference is that I take into account a correction in their timeline that I think they missed which makes a lot of difference. This correction is so important that I think it even unlocks the book of Apocalipse, by St. John the Apostle.
I am currently reading The Case for Jesus, by Brant Pitre. It inly focuses on the four gospels. Very good book, and a short read. Pretty much covers what you want to know.
Read the Jewish Historian Josephus, for Old Testament history.
I jave this book. It’s good indeed
Eric Jenislawski - Forming Sacred Scripture: Understanding How the Bible Came to Be from the Institute of Catholic Culture.
Thank you to all for reading suggestions.
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