In "How We Got the Bible", Neil Lightfoot approaches all these topics and more as he presents the evidence and historical records that have led to today's canonized Bible. Beginning with the earliest known manuscripts and moving through history, Lightfoot presents clear facts about what we do know, the evidence we have, and the written documentation from the people who worked throughout the centuries to keep the Bible accurate and available. It is refreshing that he is able to write about the facts, address the pros and cons for certain arguments, and also stay unbiased in his presentation of the evidence. If history and the evidence cannot prove a point, then he says so and does not interject his own bias into arguments. Lightfoot also gives detailed accounts of many of the over 5,000 manuscripts and ancient texts that we have in record today. The stories of how these texts came to be found are fascinating and often inspiring.
While Lightfoot's work can sometimes read like a miniature textbook, it is nonetheless a fascinating look at the history of the world's most talked about book. It is packed full of facts and evidence, allowing the reader to draw their own conclusions, but not allowing generalities and rumors to go unaddressed. It forces you to examine the truth of the Bible's history, and to put aside arguments based on urban legend or hearsay. What facts do we have, and what conclusions can be drawn from them? If you are a human being, then I'm sure you have an opinion about the Bible. Do yourself a favor and read this book, because then when you see me at the coffee house we can talk facts and maybe even an opinion or two.