John Barton was the Oriel and Laing Professor of the Interpretation of Holy Scripture at the University of Oxford from 1991 to 2014 and since 1973 has been a serving priest in the Church of England. He is the author of numerous books on the Bible, co-editor of The Oxford Bible Commentary and editor of The Cambridge Companion to Biblical Interpretation. He was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 2007 and is a Corresponding Fellow of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters.
The learning Barton brings to bear for this large undertaking is prodigious as well as judiciously deployed, and everything is conveyed in lucid, precise prose. If A History of the Bible is academic popularization, it may well be the finest example I have ever encountered -- Robert Alter * Jewish Review of Books * Hugely important, very readable and judicious -- Anthony Phillips * Church Times * Compelling and endlessly intriguing, it courageously looks at the problems of variants, apocrypha, questions of translation and very much more. It should be in the armoury of anyone, whether a believer or not -- Stuart Kelly * Scotsman * A work of exceptional merit ... a joy to read -- Linda Hogan * Irish Times * Vital, hugely informative -- David Sexton * Evening Standard * Rare is the common assumption about the Bible that Barton fails to render problematic -- Tom Holland * Financial Times * John Barton's magisterial history brings the Good Book splendidly back to life ... It is an exhilarating achievement -- Julian Coman * Observer * As eminently readable as the best of travelogues, it floods with light a subject too often regarded by many as a closed book. ... An extraordinary tour de force -- Peter Stanford * Sunday Times * A superb overview ... Barton wears his erudition lightly, but even for those deeply familiar with the Bible there is much here to be learnt -- Bart D Ehrman * Telegraph * Cerebral entertainment of the highest class. This is an absolutely fascinating book, a staggeringly learned exploration of the origins of all those Bible stories -- Dominic Sandbrook * The Sunday Times (Books of the Year) *