By Donald L. O’Dell, M. Div.
"Now is the time for our light to shine in a manner that is clear, correct, and balanced."
If you think that God spiritually faxed the Bible to mankind and that’s what you’re reading when you pick up any of the many “versions” available around the world, you won’t like this book written by Donald L. O’Dell. HOW THE BIBLE BECAME THE BIBLE is a thoughtful, well-documented work written to invite the reader to discover the real story of how the books of the Bible were selected, who the realauthors were, and what their messages communicated. The reader will understand what the Bible is and – more importantly – what it isn’t.
O’Dell received his Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton, NJ after graduating high honors (history and psychology) from North Texas State University (now UNT) in Denton, TX. After serving as a Presbyterian minister for some time he joined the business world for the remainder of his career. He is now semi-retired and lives in Florida.
The underlying message of the book is a call for honest spirituality rather than guilt-based religiosity based on Israel’s tribal concepts of purification and sacrifice. In short, that’s what the book is really all about – telling the story of how the religious and the spiritual have been at odds throughout the history of Bible-times, as well as in the selection of materials to include and exclude in the Bible. As O’Dell puts it, “The more people become aware of this story the more it will help offer an alternative to the growing religious polarization we currently see in our society.”
Like most powerful tools, the Bible can be used or misused. The Bible is a guide, not an instruction manual. It records men and women that struggled to put their very spiritual experiences into words and images that made sense to them in their times and places. “We need to understand that. It will help enable us to put our spiritual experiences in words that make sense to us in our time and place,” O’Dell states.
According to author O’Dell, “On matters of belief, we are seeing more books, radio or TV talk shows, letters to newspapers or magazine articles that seem to be saying, regardless of the topic, ‘I’m right!’ or ‘It’s my way or the highway!’ Every issue is a very big deal. Every issue is cast in terms of black or white, right or wrong, good or bad. The Bible is either wholly accurate in every way or it isn’t. There seems to be no middle. That’s an indication people are misreading the Bible.”
HOW THE BIBLE BECAME THE BIBLE is a thoroughly researched book with impressive reviews. Whether you are interested in discovering the truth behind the Bible or its meaning for you personally, this is one book you shouldn’t miss.
For more information on the book or the author, Donald O’Dell, contact his website: DonOdell.com.
“I teach Bible courses at Unity Institute. I have placed your book on the recommended reading list for all students of these courses."
Rev. EJ Niles, Unity Village, MO.
"How The Bible Became The Bible potentially forms a bridge of understanding between Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. It can break down barriers that need not exist and shed light on the source texts that bring peace, understanding, enlightenment, and freedom."
Dr. James J. DeFrancisco, PhD, Miltha Ministries (a ministry of Aramaic Studies), Mishawaka, IN.
"Mr. O'Dell has done insightful research to explain simply the pure intent of this greatly misunderstood book and how it came to be….I highly endorse and recommend [his] exciting new work."
Dr. Tom Costa, Minister Emeritus and founder, Palm Desert, CA Church of Religious Science and author, Life: You Wanna Make Something of It?
"Donald O'Dell has woven an interesting tapestry of research, scholarship, and personal experience into this examination of the authenticity of biblical entries. While the references O'Dell uses are reliable and thorough, the beauty of this book is its readability.... This examination is really an open-minded exploration of whether morality is inextricably tied to biblical tenets that came directly from the the font of God.”
New Age Retailer magazine, Gift 2007 Issue