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Don't Know Much About the Bible: Everything You Need to Know About the Good Book but Never Learned

1 rating: 2.0
A book by Kenneth C. Davis

The Bible, author Kenneth Davis explains, fits that definition of a "classic" offered by Mark Twain: a book that people praise and don't read. But this entertaining historical study will likely compel listeners to reach for their dusty copies of the … see full wiki

Tags: Books, Cafe Libri
Author: Kenneth C. Davis
Genre: History
Publisher: Harper Paperbacks
1 review about Don't Know Much About the Bible: Everything...

A Workmanlike Popularized Account of Stuff We Should Know!

  • Oct 14, 2001
Because of its decidedly unscholarly flipness and the fact that it is nothing more than a compendium of little known (or little remembered) facts about the Bible (both Old and New Testaments), I've been somewhat stinting in my rating of this book. Still it is a valuable and enlightening presentation of what's really in those ancient works which we are all taught to revere here in the Western world.

In fact, the material contained in the biblical writings is often shocking and out of step with our modern mores and sensibilities. Reading some of that stuff today, you can't help being scandalized and, if some of it weren't in THE BIBLE, you'd want to disregard it or toss it away. But the ancient religious literature of the Western world also has its share of valuable and spiritually uplifting insights, though these don't rise to the top in Davis' book. Still, unless you take a fundamentalist view and believe every word in the bible to be sacrosanct and infallibly written and preserved over the past three thousand years (and intelligible, thereafter, in our modern languages), Davis' book is worth retaining and mining for the iconcoclastic viewpoints he offers.

But beware: author Davis is necessarily focusing on the controversial and troubling aspects of "the good book" in an effort to shake us out of our Sunday School-induced fantasies and broaden our perspectives. I think he succeeds in doing this. But I wish he'd had some insights of his own to offer rather than merely latching onto the more controversial and troubling aspects of these texts. Or just parroting the mainstream of biblical criticism, as he does (despite the fact that there are a multiplicity of conflicting views and theories in that area of study and no single solid explanation of how the bible came to be written or who first wrote and preserved it, or what kinds of societies really generated it).

But I guess that wasn't what this kind of book is about. Anyway, it is a great antidote to claims for an overly literal biblical interpretation or to those who maintain that the bible is somehow more valid than other historical documents mankind has written and preserved over the generations.


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