Testament: The Bible Odyssey

Testament: The Bible Odyssey

by PhilipLaw (Author)

Synopsis

Testament is a unique distillation of the whole biblical corpus. It enables readers to grasp the entire sweep of the Old Testament story as though reading a novel; to reflect on the sublime poetry of the book of the Psalms; to ponder the timeless spiritual advice of the Wisdom writings; and to marvel at the amazing visions of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and the other prophets. Testament also includes all the teachings of Jesus, arranged under helpful headings, along with the most powerful and memorable episodes from the four Gospels and Acts of the Apostles. The major letters of St Paul and the other apostolic writers follow, culminating with the vivid apocalyptic visions of the book of Revelation. Testament will appeal to readers of all ages and religious backgrounds - especially to those who may be curious to know what makes the Bible the world's all-time bestseller, a classic of world literature, and probably still the most influential book in print-but simply don't have time to read the entire text from beginning to end.

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More Information

Format: Paperback
Pages: 659
Edition: New edition
Publisher: T.& T.Clark Ltd
Published: 10 Mar 2005

ISBN 10: 0826477348
ISBN 13: 9780826477347
Book Overview: Many people mean to read the Bible, but never get round to it. Here, at last, is a book that makes the Bible accessible to everyone: the Bible, chapter and verse, but without chapters and verses; the Bible without the parts that slow down the story; the Bible as epic narrative, which you can read and enjoy. as easily as a novel.

Media Reviews
'Testament offers and attractive and realisable alternative for the general reader...this format offers the reader easy access to an overview of the book and some of its major themes.'
Many folks want to read the Bible but few read more than a few chapters: Testament provides the epic sentiments and verse of the Bible without the parts that make it cumbersome to understand. It reads like fiction with high drama and fair, but without the Bible's ponderous language-and it preserves both the story line and basic teachings, making it easier for followers to understand. A fine adjunct to Bible studies -Midwest Book Review Book Watch, July 2006
'The Bible is the greatest book ever written, for it narrates the greatest story ever told. For many people today, however, the Bible is a closed, even a dead book--closed and dead because the prospect of actually reading the Bible seems simply too daunting. Testament removes that obstacle. This helpful abridgement presents the central storyline of the Bible in a straight-forward, story-like manner. And it augments the story with some of the inspiring poetry and prose written by people closely associated with that story. Read Testament and catch a glimpse of the power of the Bible. Then read the Bible itself. -Stanley J. Grenz, Pioneer McDonald Professor of Theology, Carey Theological College, Vancouver, BC, Professor of Theological Studies, Mars Hill Graduate School, Seattle WA -- Stanley J. Grenz * Blurb from reviewer *
Testament is a valuable condensation of the Revised English Bible. The narratives and prophecies stand together clearly and everything of the highest literary interest has been preserved. There are readers, not all of them secular, who will benefit greatly by reading Philip Law's responsible and careful abridgement. -Harold Bloom, whose books include Where Shall Wisdom Be Found? and The Book of J -- Harold Bloom * Blurb from reviewer *
For those interested in reading the Bible as literature, which it is of course, Testament should prove a most welcome addition to other translations of, and commentary upon, this great book. We all need to know these very human stories that can provide comfort and guidance as we navigate our own troubled times. -Clyde Edgerton, author of Lunch at the Piccadilly and Walking Across Egypt -- Clyde Edgerton * Blurb from reviewer *
Reading the Bible from cover to cover is such a daunting prospect that few undertake it. Now, with judicious abridgement, the source of Jewish tradition and Christian faith is made accessible to the general reader. Testament is a brilliant concept that will reveal the excitement and profundity of scripture to a new generation. -Piers Paul Read, whose most recent novels are A Patriot in Berlin and Alice in Exile -- Piers Paul Read * Blurb from reviewer *
Testament deserves to become an indispensable resource for all who want to encourage biblical literacy, both within and without the church. The reader-friendly format, presenting a sort of canon within the canon, will help many rediscover the greastest book ever written. -Dale C. Allison, Jr., Errett M. Grable Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary -- Dale C. Allison, Jr * Blurb from reviewer *
`The Bible is, without doubt, one of the greatest literary masterpieces of all time... Testament allows the reader to appreciate the Bible's magnificent literary sweep - from the pioneering days of the patriarchs to the life of Jesus Christ and apocalyptic hopes for the future.' - Helen Bond, Biblical Scholar -- Helen Bond * Blurb from reviewer *
Philip Law exercises the kind of applied scholarship that even the angels themselves must applaud. For power, clarity, and sheer beauty, it would, I suspect, be impossible to exceed either Law's aesthetic reach or his gift for presenting the Christian Bible as Odyssey as well as primal source of sacred doctrine. The concept of a narrative Bible is hardly a new one, many scholars and armchair scholars having made their own attempts over the years. What sets this volume apart and elevates it to the state of masterful accomplishment is, in part, Law's keening reverence for the consistency which informs the original and his skilled employment of familiar conventions to smooth the mind's way as it reads. For example, Christians and Jews alike will find much to praise in Law's graceful melding of portions of Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers to create the Testament section, Israel in the Wilderness. A celebration of Torah's grandeur, the section is also a compelling exposure of the continuity of all the law's various presentations in the Pentateuch. Likewise, the elimination of the intrusive chapter and verse markings and the use, instead, of ordinary paragraphing and subject heads will please the eye as well as the soul; and Law's near-appropriation (There is some adaptation and modification.) of the Tanakh's organization of the Old Testament will seem far more logical and accessible than does the traditional Christian ordering of those materials. Beyond these virtues, however, lies a more fundamental and subtle one: Law has a genius for highlighting, by excision and/or by editorial manipulation, the themes that undergird Holy Writ. Thus, the oft-ignored story of the Bronze Serpent is deftly lifted out and given a subject-head, a treatment that in its simplicity immediately highlights the pivotal role of that symbolic tale. In the New Testament, St. Paul's defense of his beloved gospel vision has never been more coherent-or, therefore, more potent--than it is in Law's hands and stripped of some of contextual interruptions that impede its flow in the original. And the Apocalypse, absent some of its digressive passages, becomes almost radiant with hope. In sum, Testament is a book that both the world and the Church have long needed. I commend it to all of us. - Phyllis Tickle, Compiler, The Divine Hours -- Phyllis Tickle * Blurb from reviewer *
`This new initiative is highly commendable... It achieves what it sets out to do: presenting the essence of the message of the Word of God.' - Cormac Murphy, Cardinal -- Cormac Murphy * Blurb from reviewer *
Many folks want to read the Bible, but few actually read more than a few chapters: TESTAMENT: THE BIBLE ODYSSEY provides the epic sentiments and verse of the Bible without the parts that make it cumbersome to understand. It reads like fiction with high drama and fair, but without the Bible's ponderous language- and it preserves both story line and basic teachings, making it easier for followers to understand. A fine adjunct to Bible stories. - Midwest Book Review, November 2005 * Midwest Book Review, The *
'This book will appeal to those who simply don't have the time to read the Bible text from beginning to end...The work will not only be of great use to the beginner but will give fresh insights to everyone who wants to understand the world of the bestseller - the Bible.' ~ Jane Mellett, The Furrow, May 2006 -- Jane Mellett * The Furrow *
Author Bio
Philip Law is UK Publishing Director at WJK Press. His previous publications include The SPCK Book of Christian Prayer (SPCK/Crossroad 1995), The Wisdom of Jesus (Lion/Eerdmans 1996), A Time to Pray (Lion/Abingdon 1997) and Teachings of the Master (Lion/WJK 1999).