The Bible (Library Edition): A Biography

The Bible (Library Edition): A Biography

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Bible 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 23 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book after hearing her on KUOW- my public radio station. For anyone raised in a christian faith and yearning to understand how the bible truly evolved this is for you. She- Karen Armstrong takes an amazingly complicated topic and makes it understandable and fascinating. Since reading this book I've read 4 more of hers. She is an amazing! Her perspective on religion is fantastic!
BookNut-CO More than 1 year ago
I discovered Karen Armstrong soon after 9/11/01 when I purchased "A History of God", in an effort to understand Islam and gain insights into religions fanaticism in general. With that booked, I became a Karen Armstrong fan and have enjoyed the many books of hers that I have read since ... including this biography of the bible. She does her research; she does her homework; and as a former nun with a now scholarly approach to the study of religion, she presents a very well-balanced, learned and objective history of the bible. I have enjoyed this book immensely and do not hesitate to recommend it to anyone who is interested in the history of religion and faith.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not quite what I expected, but that's not always a bad thing. I anticipated this book to be more strictly about how the various writings that compose the Bible were drafted, edited, and eventually collected into their modern-day form. While this certainly was covered, Armstrong discusses in even more detail the relationship the various Judaic and Christian movements have had with scripture throughout history. This was extremely interesting, particularly when looking at such trends as the movement of certain contemporary Christians toward a more literal interpretation of the Bible. For example, Armstrong details how it was not until the mid-nineteenth century that Christians began to interpret the creation story literally. Before then, it was almost universally accepted by scholars as an allegory. (Interestingly, the majority of creation science adherents today are related in some way to a Calvanist viewpoint; yet John Calvin never would have viewed the story in Genesis as an accurate portrayal of how the Earth was made.) A bit slow in places, but overall a good book that provides some important historical context and background to how the Bible was written and how it has been interpreted over time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The first 2/3 of the book was a well thought and concise description of the evolution of the Bible (primarily Old Testament) from a mismash of tribal myth to the more coherent scripture with which we are familiar. The author seemed to get lost in her own premise during the last 1/3 and digressed to something that was more of a social commentary. Overall, though, worth the read. Also, the use of a collection of Hebrew, Greek and Latin terms, often with more that one word having essentially the same meaning and used interchangeably, became confusing at times.
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PeterF More than 1 year ago
I wanted a book that would present an objective, evidence-based history of the Bible. What I found in this book was a highly opinionated, cherry-picking, sometimes self-contradicting argument. For example, pg.56: "We do not know whether Jesus claimed to be this messiah -- the gospels are ambiguous on this point" with Mark 8:27-33 given as a reference! It is a real shame, because the author does present a great amount of interesting history; however it is tainted thoughout by an underlying anti-Christian sentiment. Of course, I didn't have to get to pg. 56 to recognize the anti-Judeo-Christian subjectivity of the author. Introduction, page 2: "Terrorist use the Qur'an to justify atrocities, and some argue that the violence of their scripture makes Muslims chronically aggressive. Christians campaign against the teaching of evolutionary theory because it contradicts the biblical creation story. Jews argue that because God promised Canaan to the descendants of Abraham, oppressive policies against the Palestinians are legitimate. There has been a scriptural revival that has intruded into public life." Nice 'analysis'. It is clearly NOT that book I still wish to discover, which would detail the earliest known copies of the various books of the Bible, and their ensuing evolution, in an objective manner. Footnote: The author, Karen Armstrong, was roundly criticized by the historian Rodney Stark in his book, "God's Battalions: The Case for the Crusades", for her un-scholarly and incorrect interpretations of the Crusades.