CultureWatch

Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

Recommended Reading on Scripture

Jan 15, 2011

Biblical Christianity holds that God exists and that God has spoken. While he speaks in different ways, he pre-eminently speaks to us in and through his word. Thus the Bible is the authoritative source of Christian belief and practice. Without an authoritative Scripture, there is no genuine Christian faith.

Of course Christians can and do have differing views of Scripture. We can roughly divide Christians into four broad camps: evangelical Protestant, liberal Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox. Three of these groups more or less have a high view of Scripture.

Liberal Protestants are the one group that do not. Indeed, a low view of Scripture, its authority, and its reliability, is one of the hallmarks of this portion of Christendom. I write here as a member of the first group. Thus my understanding of Scripture will differ to some extent from that of some of my non-Protestant friends.

Image of Collected Writings on Scripture
Collected Writings on Scripture by Array Amazon logo

So the books I present here reflect my evangelical perspective. Evangelical Protestants would champion the principle of sola scriptura (scripture alone) and norm normans non normata (the norming norm that is not normed). Of course these need to be teased out much further. For example, nearly all evangelicals acknowledge that there is a role for tradition in its understanding of Scripture, etc.

Almost all the books here – in one way or another – reflect or present a high view of Scripture and its importance. While there are many thousands of books on Scripture, and many hundreds which would represent the conservative or evangelical stance, these are a fair sampling of some of the best on offer.

They are mostly newer volumes, although a few somewhat older classics have been included as well. Here then are one hundred-plus volumes to choose from concerning a number of aspects of Scripture.

Revelation
Bloesch, Donald, A Theology of Word & Spirit: Authority and Method in Theology. IVP, 1992.
Demarest, Bruce, General Revelation. Zondervan, 1982.
Helm, Paul, The Divine Revelation: The Basic Issues. Crossway, 1982.
Henry, Carl, ed., Revelation and the Bible. Baker, 1958.
Jensen, Peter, The Revelation of God. IVP, 2002.
McDonald, H.D., Theories of Revelation: An Historical Study 1700-1960. Baker, 1979.
Morris, Leon, I Believe in Revelation. Eerdmans, 1976
Nash, Ronald, The Word of God and the Mind of Man. Zondervan,. 1982.
Pinnock, Clark, Biblical Revelation. Moody, 1971.

Authority
Carson, D.A. and John Woodbridge, eds., Hermeneutics, Authority and Canon. IVP, 1988.
Klein, Meredith, The Structure of Biblical Authority. Eerdmans, 1972.
Ramm, Bernard, The Pattern of Religious Authority. Eerdmans, 1957.

Scripture
Bacote, Vincent, Laura Miguelez and Dennis Okholm, eds., Evangelicals & Scripture: Tradition, Authority and Hermeneutics. IVP, 2004.
Barnett, Paul, Is the New Testament History? IVP, 1986.
Beale, G.K., The Erosion of Inerrancy in Evangelicalism. Crossway, 2008.
Bloesch, Donald, Holy Scripture: Revelation, Inspiration & Interpretation. IVP, 1994.
Blomberg, Craig, The Historical Reliability of the Gospels. IVP, 1987.
Boer, Harry, The Bible and Higher Criticism. Eerdmans, 1975, 1981.
Boice, James Montgomery. Does Inerrancy Matter? International Council on Biblical Inerrancy, 1979.
Bruce, F.F., The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable? Eerdmans, 1943, 1988.
Burridge, Richard, Four Gospels, One Jesus? Collins Dove 1994.
Callahan, James, The Clarity of Scripture. IVP, 2001.
Carson, D.A., Collected Writings on Scripture. Crossway, 2010.
Carson, D.A. and John Woodbridge, eds., Hermeneutics, Authority and Canon. IVP, 1986.
Carson, D.A. and John Woodbridge, eds., Scripture and Truth. Zondervan, 1983.
Eddy, Paul Rhodes and Gregory Boyd, The Jesus Legend: A Case for the Historical Reliability of the Synoptic Jesus Tradition. Baker, 2007.
Enns, Peter, Inspiration and Incarnation. Baker, 2005.
Evans, Craig, Fabricating Jesus: How Modern Scholars Distort the Gospels. IVP, 2006.
Frame, John, The Doctrine of the Word of God. Presbyterian and Reformed, 2010.
Geisler, Norman and William Nix, A General Introduction to the Bible. Revised edition. Moody Press, 1968, 1986.
Geisler, Norman, Biblical Inerrancy. Zondervan, 1981.
Harrison, R.K., et. al., Biblical Criticism: Historical, Literary and Textual. Zondervan, 1978.
Helm, Paul and Carl Trueman, eds., The Trustworthiness of God: Perspectives on the Nature of Scripture. Eerdmans, 2002.
Kaiser, Walter, The Old Testament Documents: Are They Reliable and Relevant? IVP, 2001.
Kistler, Don, ed., Sola Scriptura. Reformation Trust, 2009.
Lindsell, Harold, The Battle for the Bible. Zondervan, 1976.
Marshall, I. H., Biblical Inspiration. Hodder and Stoughton, 1982.
Mathison, Keith, The Shape of Sola Scriptura. Canon Press, 2001.
Montgomery, John Warwick, ed., God’s Inerrant Word. Bethany Fellowship, 1974.
Nichols, Stephen and Eric Brandt, Ancient Word, Changing Worlds. Crossway, 2009.
Nicole, Roger and J. Ramsey Michaels, eds., Inerrancy and Common Sense. Baker, 1980.
Packer, J.I., Fundamentalism and the Word of God. Eerdmans, 1958.
Padgett, Alan and Patrick Keifert, eds., But Is It All True?: The Bible and the Question of Truth. Eerdmans, 2005.
Perrin, Nicholas, Lost in Translation? Thomas Nelson, 2007.
Roberts, Mark, Can We Trust the Gospels? Crossway Books, 2007.
Sproul, R.C., Explaining Inerrancy: A Commentary. International Council on Biblical Inerrancy, 1980.
Sproul, R.C., Scripture Alone. Presbyterian and Reformed, 2005.
Thompson, Mark, A Clear and Present Word: The Clarity of Scripture. IVP, 2006.
Tidball, Derek, The Bible. Monarch, 2003.
Ward, Timothy, Words of Life: Scripture As the Living and Active Word of God. IVP, 2009.
Warfield, B.B., The Inspiration and Authority of the Bible. Presbyterian and Reformed, 1970.
Wenham, John, Christ and the Bible. IVP, 1984.
White, James, Scripture Alone: The Bible’s Accuracy, Authority, and Authenticity. Bethany House, 2004.
Witherington, Ben, The Living Word of God. Baylor University Press, 2007.
Wright, N.T., Scripture and the Authority of God. SPCK, 2005.
Young, Edward, Thy Word is Truth. Eerdmans,, 1957.

Canon and Translations
Beckwith, Roger, The Old Testament Canon of the New Testament Church. Eerdmans, 1986.
Brake, Donald, A Visual History of the English Bible. Baker, 2008.
Bruce, F.F., The Books and the Parchments. Pickering & Inglis, 1963.
Bruce, F.F., The Canon of Scripture. IVP, 1988.
Comfort, P.W., The Complete Guide to Bible Versions. Tyndale House, 1991.
Comfort, P.W., Early Manuscripts and the Modern Translation of the New Testament. Tyndale, 1990.
Comfort, P.W., ed., The Origin of the Bible. Tyndale, 1992.
Dewey, David, Which Bible? IVP, 2004.
Earle, Ralph, How We Got Our Bible. Baker, 1971.
Greenlee, J. Harold, Scribes, Scrolls, and Scriptures. Eerdmans, 1985.
Harris, R.L., Inspiration and Canonicity of the Bible. Zondervan, 1957.
Hill, C.E., Who Chose the Gospels?: Probing the Great Gospel Conspiracy. Oxford University Press, 2010.
Jobes, Karen and Moises Silva, Invitation to the Septuagint. Baker, 2000.
Kubo, Sakae and Walter Specht, So Many Versions? Zondervan, 1983.
McDonald, Lee Martin, The Biblical Canon: Its Origin, Transmission, and Authority. Hendrickson, 2007.
Metzger, Bruce, The Bible in Translation: Ancient and English Versions. Baker, 2001.
Metzger, Bruce, The Canon of the New Testament. OUP, 1987.
Metzger, Bruce, The Text of the New Testament. OUP, 1968.
Patzia, Arthur, The Making of the New Testament. IVP, 1995.
Grudem, Wayne, et. al., Translating Truth. Crossway, 2005.
Rhodes, Ron, The Complete Guide to Bible Translations. Harvest House, 2009.
Ryken, Leland, Bible Translation Differences. Crossway, 2004.
Ryken, Leland, The Word of God in English. Crossway, 2003.
Ryken, Leland, Understanding English Bible Translation: The Case for an Essentially Literal Approach. Crossway, 2009.
Scorgie, Glen, Mark Strauss and Steven Voth, eds., The Challenge Of Bible Translation. Zondervan, 2003.
Wegner, Paul, The Journey from Texts to Translations. Baker, 1999.

The King James Only Debate
Ankerberg, John and John Weldon, The Facts on the King James Only Debate. Harvest House, 1996.
Beacham, Roy, One Bible Only?: Examining Exclusive Claims for the King James Bible. Kregel, 2001.
Carson, D.A., The King James Version Debate: A Plea for Realism. Baker, 1979.
White, James, The King James Only Controversy. Bethany House, 1995.

The Inclusive Language Debate
Carson, D.A., The Inclusive-Language Debate: A Plea for Realism. Baker, 1998.
Cooper, John, Our Father in Heaven: Christian Faith and Inclusive Language for God. Baker, 1998.
Poythress, Vern and Wayne Grudem, The Gender-Neutral Bible Controversy: Muting the Masculinity of God’s Words. Broadman and Holman, 2000.
Poythress, Vern and Wayne Grudem, The TNIV and the Gender-Neutral Bible Controversy. B&H Publishing, 2005.
Strauss, Mark, Distorting Scripture?: The Challenge of Bible Translation & Gender Accuracy. IVP, 1998.

Bible Difficulties
Archer, Gleason, Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties. Zondervan, 1982.
De Haan, M.R., 508 Answers to Bible Questions. Zondervan, 1952.
Geisler, Norman and Thomas Howe, When Critics Ask. Baker, 1992.
Haley, John, Alleged Discrepancies of the Bible. Baker, 1874, 1977.
Kaiser, Walter, et. al., Hard Sayings of the Bible. IVP, 1996.
Rhodes, Ron, Commonly Misunderstood Bible Verses: Clear Explanations for the Difficult Passages. Harvest House, 2008.

Archaeology and the Reliability of the Bible
Glueck, Nelson, Rivers in the Desert. Jewish Publication Society, 1969.
Hoffmeier, James and Alan Millard, eds., The Future of Biblical Archaeology. Eerdmans, 2004.
Kitchen, K.A., Ancient Orient and the Old Testament. IVP, 1966.
Kitchen, K.A., The Bible in its World. Paternoster Press, 1977.
Kitchen, K.A., On the Reliability of the Old Testament. Eerdmans, 2003.
McRay, John, Archaeology and the New Testament. Baker, 1991.
Oswalt, John, The Bible Among the Myths. Zondervan, 2009.
Price, Randall, The Stones Cry Out. Harvest House, 1997.
Wilson, Clifford, Rocks, Relics and Biblical Reliability. Zondervan, 1977.
Yamauchi, Edwin, The Stones and the Scriptures. Lippincott, 1972.

Note: For those wishing to offer comments here, please realise that I have not addressed any of the contentious issues, such as inerrancy, or gender-inclusive language translations, etc. Those debates would best be thrashed out when I pen some articles on those subjects. But general thoughts and/or other recommendations are welcomed here.

[1550 words]

9 Responses to Recommended Reading on Scripture

  • I’d suggest another book for the Scripture section:
    Noel K. Weeks, The Sufficiency of Scripture (Banner of Truth).
    (As many readers will know, Noel is a well-known Australian preacher, teacher, author and lecturer in ancient history, based in Sydney, NSW.)
    Peter Gadsby

  • Thanks for the tip Peter. That is one volume I don’t have in my library.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • In light of the influence of postmodernism and reader-response criticism, I would also add Kevin J Vanhoozer’s Is There a Meaning in this Text?

    There is relatively heavy but extremely worthwhile read!

    Andrew Kulikovsky

  • Thanks Andrew

    Yes I quite like that book as well. However, I have classed it as a volume on hermeneutics, or biblical interpretation, rather than Scripture in general. But I do have a bibliography of 50 titles on hermeneutics, including Vanhoozer’s great volume, so maybe I will post that next. So thanks for the tip!

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Thanks very much for that Bill. Great to get some good recommendations.
    Catherine Dodd

  • Bill,

    I am well acquainted with sola scriptura (scripture alone)

    But norm normans non normata (the norming norm that is not normed)?

    Please explain.

    Graeme Cumming

  • I found this …

    “Norma Normans Non Normata…
    August 8, 2006 by camckinney

    Norma Normans Non Normata, the latin phrase meaning: The Norm of norms which cannot be normed. Al Mohler recently used this latin phrase to remind us of the reformers’ belief that God’s word norms us, and not vice versa. I believe that in our Post Modern world & way of thinking, we’ve forgotten that it is the Bible that norms what we think, and not our culture.” – http://camckinney.wordpress.com/

    Is this your understanding?

    Graeme Cumming

  • Thanks Graeme

    Yes Mohler’s view is what I had in mind.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Excellent phrase! As I said I had never heard it before but it was entirely consistent and succinctly describes my & most (all?) Christian views that “God’s Word tells us what to do, we don’t tell God what to do.”

    Excellent! Only trouble is quoting that phrase will make me out to be a smart-alec, I think I’ll work on a succinct English “paraphrase”, maybe that in quotation marks in my first paragraph

    Graeme Cumming

Leave a Reply