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Download The Bible: A Biography Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Bible: A Biography Audiobook, by Karen Armstrong Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (886 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Karen Armstrong Narrator: Josephine Bailey Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Books that Changed the World Series Release Date: November 2007 ISBN: 9781400173945
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As the work at the heart of Christianity, the Bible is the spiritual guide for one out of every three people in the world. It is also the world's most widely distributed book—it has been translated into over 2,000 languages—and the world's best-selling book, year after year. But the Bible is a complex work with a complicated and obscure history. Made up of sixty-six "books" written by various authors and divided into two testaments, its contents have changed over the centuries. The Bible has been transformed by translation and, through interpretation, has developed manifold meanings to various religions, denominations, and sects. In this seminal account, acclaimed historian Karen Armstrong discusses the conception, gestation, and life of history's most powerful book. Armstrong analyzes the social and political situation in which oral history turned into written scripture, how this all-pervasive scripture was collected into one work, and how it became accepted as Christianity's sacred text. She explores how scripture came to be read for information and how, in the nineteenth century, historical criticism of the Bible caused greater fear than Darwinism. The Bible is a brilliant, captivating book, crucial in an age of declining faith and rising fundamentalism. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “[Josephine Bailey’s] in top form, lending the clipped and decidedly upper-crust accent that has served her well.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • [Narrator Josephine] Bailey skillfully keeps the text moving, easily handling historical terms and names. AudioFile
  • “Josephine Bailey’s reading is lively and provocative.”

    Library Journal

  • “Bailey skillfully keeps the text moving, easily handling historical terms and names.”

    AudioFile

  • “This is one terrific little book.”

    Booklist

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Katherine | 2/9/2014

    " I am NOT a believer, just one of the curious. This was highly informative, balanced, objective and excrutiatingly well researched. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Peggy Lo | 2/8/2014

    " I learned a ton of things, mostly about how the Bible (and various versions of it) was put together over time and also how people read it. Apparently the literal reading was a relatively recent thing; I'd assumed it had always been that way. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tara Bianca | 2/8/2014

    " Nice little intro book, densely written and useful for the bibilical history novice. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Renny | 2/4/2014

    " Read this June of 2008 and remember finding it an interesting and worthwhile read... agreeing with writer whose review included the following statement: "very good summary of the history of the Bible, from origins in oral tradition to contemporary phenomena such as a literal reading. It was particularly good on outlining the differences in approach in Jewish and Christian traditions." "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Anthony | 1/11/2014

    " This just re-affirmed what I already knew of Christianity. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Alex | 1/10/2014

    " A little dry at times but a good overview. Got some suggestions for further reading from it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Diane | 1/3/2014

    " Very interesting history of the Bible up to the present. Certainly keeps it in perspective. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Aubrey Davis | 12/28/2013

    " An eye-opening history of the Bible. Considering it's enduring impact on our world, it's important to read various theories on its creation and how it's been understood at different times by different people. Free's one up to consider this book in different ways. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ivan | 12/10/2013

    " Very interesting. I think everyone who studies the bible should read this book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Eric Muhr | 11/18/2013

    " Raises serious changes about how we use scripture. Life-changing. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jessica Gorzo | 11/18/2013

    " history surrounding the Bible, and use of texts in the culture/time period in which the Bible was written. interesting, but some of the claims lack evidence. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lindsey | 11/16/2013

    " I especially liked the discussion at the end about being charitable with language . . . "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 C.J. | 10/20/2013

    " A quick and relatively short (230 pp.) introduction to the history of the the compendium of ancient texts that we call the Bible. Perfect for anyone interested in how people have viewed and interpreted the Bible over the centuries. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alford Wayman | 8/30/2013

    " An excellent introduction to biblical literature and and how sacred texts are changed through time to meet the demands of Jewish and later Christian society! Once more Karen Armstrong takes the middle road. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lynda | 8/13/2013

    " Readable. Good brain food. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Don | 1/2/2012

    " New info. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cedric Rudolph | 9/15/2011

    " Revelatory... "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 A. J. | 8/17/2011

    " Fabulous topic. Author's style makes it like trying to see through peanut butter. I have read several of her books and usually like them. This is work to get through and while doing such... I find it difficult to stop and say what I just read or learned. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 John E | 7/20/2011

    " Great overview of the changes in the text of the Bible and the, many more, changes in the interpretations of what was written. The included dictionary was used often. Highly recommended. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alford | 5/23/2011

    " An excellent introduction to biblical literature and and how sacred texts are changed through time to meet the demands of Jewish and later Christian society! Once more Karen Armstrong takes the middle road. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Gabrielle | 5/4/2011

    " A little more academic than I thought it would be. Read more like a doctoral diss turned into a book. But still interesting as she followed the development and growth of the "bible" through the Jewish and Christian traditions from its origins to modern times. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Carol | 4/16/2011

    " interesting material if you've never heard it before.. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Colleen | 1/26/2011

    " I love books like this. Karen Armstrong is amazing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Darin | 12/28/2010

    " A very nice tour of the evolution of thought on divinity (at least in the Judeo-Christian realm) and its written representation. Not a particularly light read. "

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About the Author
Author Karen ArmstrongKaren Armstrong is the author of numerous other books on religious affairs—including A History of God, The Battle for God, Holy War, Islam, Buddha, and The Great Transformation—and two memoirs, Through the Narrow Gate and The Spiral Staircase. Her work has been translated into forty-five languages. She has addressed members of the U.S. Congress on three occasions; lectured to policy makers at the U.S. State Department; participated in the World Economic Forum in New York, Jordan, and Davos; addressed the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington and New York; is increasingly invited to speak in Muslim countries; and is now an ambassador for the UN Alliance of Civilizations. In February 2008 she was awarded the TED Prize and is currently working with TED on a major international project to launch and propagate a Charter for Compassion, created online by the general public and crafted by leading thinkers in Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism, to be signed in the fall of 2009 by a thousand religious and secular leaders. She lives in London.
About the Narrator

Josephine Bailey’s impeccable narrations include the British classics Jane Eyre and The Secret Garden. She has also used her subtly nuanced style to enliven historical fiction and light romances. She has won ten AudioFile Earphones Awards and been a finalist for the prestigious Audie Award.