“How the Bible Became Holy” by Michael L. Satlow

The Biblical Review

Michael L. Satlow. How the Bible Became Holy. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2014, 368 pp., $25 (softcover).

*I’d like to express my gratitude to Yale University Press for providing me with a review copy in exchange for my honest opinion.

9780300171914

In How the Bible Became Holy, Michael Satlow narratively presents the history, developments, and trajectories of how the Bible became an authoritative text. Unlike many books which explore the development of the Canon, or Canons for Jews and Christians, Satlow focuses on the degrees to which historical Judaism and Christianity bestowed authority to what nowadays is called the New Testament and Hebrew Bible (Old Testament).

He emphasizes three major elements in his narrative history. First, the texts which became later tradition, texts which were bestowed authority, were done so by economically secure peoples. Second, the texts are filled with and are the result of political and social conflict. Third, he focuses on…

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