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Bible scholar Marvin R. Vincent evocatively explores how Bible study, reading and interpretation changed across the ages, from early church antiquity to the end of the 19th century.
A richly informed and well-written overview of Biblical criticism's history, arranged chronologically from the early church era. Although the author dedicates but short chapters to each specific development, his breezy, straightforward narrative and lucid interpretation of the historical facts render this guide a valuable source of knowledge in the field.
Most of Vincent's commentary takes place after the invention of the printing press; it was this device that saw the Bible copied and distributed to a wider audience on ever-greater scale. The growth in literacy in Europe from the 16th to the 19th century greatly accelerated and refined the practice of Biblical study and criticism.