Following a general historical sequence, this lavishly illustrated volume presents a record of the formation, use, and influence of the Bible from the time of the desert nomads to modern times. The earlier sections, which deal with the formation of the Old Testament and the New Testament, draw upon the actual contents of the Bible to show how its development took place. Once the canon was formed, the story shifts to the ways in which the Church used, transmitted, and interpreted the Scriptures, and to the external forces working in Western culture that affected these. One hundred thirty black and white illustrations, many of these photographs, are used to illustrate the text; and eight pages of color reproductions offer samples of illuminated manuscripts and a variety of paintings, many not widely known. The result is a handsome, compact, and informative guide to the history of the Bible as a book.