The Bible

A Global History

Coming Soon


By Bruce Gordon

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$45.00 CAD

A global history of the world’s best-known and most influential book

For Christians, the Bible is a book authored by God for humanity. Its eternal words are transmitted across the world by fallible human hands. Following Jesus’s departing instruction to go out into the world, the Bible has been a book in motion from its very beginnings, and every community it has encountered has read, heard, and seen the Bible through its own language and culture.

In The Bible, Bruce Gordon tells the astounding story of the Bible’s journey around the globe and across more than two thousand years, showing how it has shaped and been shaped by changing beliefs and believers’ radically different needs. The Bible has been a tool for violence and oppression, and it has expressed hopes for liberation. God speaks with one voice, but the people who receive it are scattered and divided—found in desert monasteries and Chinese house churches, in Byzantine cathedrals and Guatemalan villages.

Breathtakingly global in scope, The Bible tells the story of this sacred book through the stories of its many and diverse human encounters, revealing not a static text but a living, dynamic cultural force.

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  • “Even the best-informed readers will have much to learn from Bruce Gordon’s erudite and accessible history of the Bible, which ranges knowledgeably across eras and Christian traditions, and indeed across continents. It deserves to find the widest possible audience.”
    Philip Jenkins, author of The Next Christendom
  • “With stunning prose and relentless insight that could only come from this rightly celebrated historian, Bruce Gordon has given us the book that we need at this moment, a real history of the Bible. In Gordon’s capable hands, the Bible becomes a sojourner through history who constantly makes history, and through whom history can be fruitfully understood in all its depths. This book is, quite simply, an intellectual feast.”
    Willie James Jennings, author of The Christian Imagination
  • “If the word of God is alive, it has now met its best modern biographer. Filled with surprises, and sometimes aching with beauty, this is a book to take you wide-eyed round the world and then lead you back to that old leatherbound volume on your shelf.”
    Alec Ryrie, author of Protestants
  • “This extraordinary book is both a stupendous intellectual achievement and a marvelously accessible guide that will delight everyone interested in how the Christian texts became the Bible, and why it has played such an enduring role in reading and worship in the millennia since.”
    Andrew Pettegree, coauthor of The Library

On Sale
Sep 17, 2024
Page Count
528 pages
Basic Books

Bruce Gordon

About the Author

Bruce Gordon is Titus Street Professor of Ecclesiastical History at Yale Divinity School and has an appointment in Yale’s department of history. He is the author of the biographies Calvin and Zwingli: God’s Armed Prophet, and of a number of other books on the history of Christianity. Raised in Canada, he lives in Vermont.

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