How God Gave Us the Bible


98 pages
Contains Illustrations, Index
ISBN 0-919649-44-0





Reviewed by Ray Covell

Ray Covell was a librarian in Kelowna, British Columbia.


In this short book, Harold Reid, former college lecturer and retired minister, gives an excellent account of how the Bible has come down to us from its earliest beginnings to the present time. Reid follows chronologically the formation of the Old and New Testaments (or covenants, as he prefers to call them), together with their origins and canons. He also discusses the apocryphal books and the Septuagint translation.

The second part of Reid’s book outlines the transmission of the Bible from the Vulgate version to Wyclif’s Middle English translation. Part III follows the early English translators, from Tindale, who, in 1536, was strangled and burned at the stake for translating the Bible without the approval of the Bishop of London, to the King James, or Authorized, Version of 1611, which became the first English Bible to be used both in church and at home.

In Part IV Reid examines in some detail four modern English translations, five Roman Catholic editions, three Jewish translations, three paraphrases, and four special editions of the Bible. In the fifth and final part of the book, Reid evaluates modern English translations and concludes (on the bases of best Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic texts, accuracy, portrayal of the deity of Christ, and choice of English words) that the top three are the New International Version (1978), the New American Standard Bible (1963), and the King James Version.

A useful appendix lists chronologically 100 English translations of the Scriptures. Students of the Bible will find this little book full of scholarly material for reference work, and an excellent source of concise information.


Reid, W. Harold, “How God Gave Us the Bible,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 20, 2024,