The Bible is the most read book in history. It has been translated into more than two thousand languages and sold at least six billion copies in the last two hundred years alone. Made up of sixty-six "books" divided into two Testaments, this complex and communal work has been transformed by its various translations into a single work at the heart of the world's largest and most powerful religion, Christianity. In this landmark account, Karen Armstrong discusses the complex origins, gestation, life and afterlife of this collection of "books". In her trademark lively and authoritative style, she asks how the various scriptures were collected into one work, how it became accepted as Christianity's sacred text, and how it continues to exercise profound political and philosophical influenceas well as religious control over the world around us.