John Barton is a theologian who served as the Oriel and Laing Professor of the Interpretation of Holy Scripture at the University of Oxford in England for twenty-three years, and has been an ordained and serving priest in the Church of England since 1973. He has studied and taught the Bible throughout his academic career, and has written many books on it, including Ethics in Ancient Israel and The Bible: The Basics. He is the editor in chief of the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Religion. He lives in Abingdon, United Kingdom.
Winner of the Pol Roger Duff Cooper Award for 2019
Chosen as a Best Book of 2019 by The Guardian Praise for A History of the Bible "In addition to laying out the historical contexts in which the Old and the New Testaments were created, this stimulating study considers how they have been read, taught, and lived by believers...[Barton] proposes a nuanced approach that seeks to give the Bible its due without asking too much of it." --The New Yorker "A History of the Bible is a lucidly written distillation of a vast array of scholarship." --Wall Street Journal A supple and intelligent recap of the Holy Scriptures, their origins and contexts, [and] their meaning in a broad historical sense --Lit Hub "Immensely impressive...A HISTORY OF THE BIBLE is a confident, distinctly courteous performance, wary of overstatement and sure of its intellectual footing. No work of literature has a more fascinating life story than the Bible, and Barton has told it with a precision and insight that will make this the definitive account of the century. -- Christian Science Monitor John Barton has written a wise and eminently sane book about a book which has inspired both insanity and wisdom. It is a landmark in the field, and it will do great good. -- Diarmaid MacCulloch John Barton's new book gives a superb overview... condensing masses of research into an easily accessible volume for the non-specialist ... even for those deeply familiar with the Bible there is much here to be learnt. -- Bart D Ehrman, author of The Triumph of Christianity: How a Forbidden Religion Swept the World With emotional and psychological insight, Barton unlocks this sleeping giant of our culture for the untrained but curious general reader... He has produced a masterpiece. -- Peter Stanford, Sunday Times This strikingly accessible yet wonderfully erudite volume will be welcomed by many ... a tour de force. -- BBC History Magazine "Barton is extremely good at untangling what is actually known from what can be reasonably inferred from what has been lost to time...his book will have much to tell both curious secular readers and the faithful about the patchwork process by which a compilation that is so often treated monolithically came to exist." -- Harper's Magazine
"Barton's rigorous, accessible history will appeal to academics and general readers alike. -- Publishers Weekly, starred review