A compelling, highly readable, scrupulously factual, and unbiased history of the Bible as a book, with over 200 rich, fascinating and varied illustrations of Bibles from all times and places. The bible is the most widely circulated book ever written. The Book: A History of the Bible tells for the first time the momentous story of the bible as a book, tracing its publication in endless forms and numerous languages from its origins to the present day. The clear and highly readable narrative includes an account of the Old and New Testaments in their original languages of Hebrew and Greek, the Latin Vulgate translation of Saint Jerome, the magnificent manuscript Bibles of the Middle Ages, Guttenberg and the first printed bible, and the translations of Wycliffe, Luther and the Protestant reformers. Continuing with missionary Bibles, the emergence of the modern Bible publishing industry and the mass of twentieth century translations and versions, it concludes with the modern discovery of papyrus fragments and Dead Sea Scrolls which have cast important new light on the origins of the Bible. Christopher de Hamel writes as a historian. Without being evangelical or polemical, he bases his text scrupulously on actual surviving Bibles and the historical circumstances in which they were made. Scholarly and authoritative, The Book provides a new, clear-sighted, thought-provoking and utterly gripping account of the origins and history of the world's most influential book.