9780380728398

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

Davis, Kenneth C.

ISBN 10: 0380728397 / 0-380-72839-7
ISBN 13: 9780380728398
Publisher: Perrenial
Publication Date: 2001
Binding: Softcover
Editorial Reviews for this title:
Synopsis:

With wit, wisdom, and an extraordinary talent for turning dry, difficult reading into colorful and realistic accounts, the creator of the bestselling Don't Know Much About®, series now brings the world of the Old and New testaments to life as no one else can in the bestseller Don't Know Much About® The Bible. Relying on new research and improved translations, Davis uncovers some amazing questions and contradictions about what the Bible really says. Jericho's walls may have tumbled down because the city lies on a fault line. Moses never parted the Red Sea. There was a Jesus, but he wasn't born on Christmas and he probably wasn't an only child.

Davis brings readers up-to-date on findings gleaned from the Dead Sea Scrolls and Gnostic Gospels that prompt serious scholars to ask such serious questions as: Who wrote the Bible? Did Jesus say everything we were taught he did? Did he say more? By examining the Bible historically, Davis entertains and amazes, provides a much better understanding of the subject, and offers much more fun learning about it.


Review:
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 world's most-owned but least-understood anthology once again. And not simply because the author reminds us of the drama and intrigue, the tales of rape, impaling, and ethnic cleansing routinely found in its pages. Davis paints the larger historical context in which the Bible was written, providing a sense of the culture and environment in which the familiar stories came to life. Calling on new research and scholarship into the Bible's composition, he provides fascinating background to dimly remembered stories that gives them renewed impact. Using a series of easy-to-follow questions and answers, he offers explanations about when and by whom the Bible was written; how the stories of other traditions influenced the Judeo-Christian teachings; where the Garden of Eden might have been located; why an earthquake may have played a part in the "walls tumbling down" at Jericho; why Jesus may not have said everything we think he did, and much more. He also points out that mistranslations from the original Hebrew have made their way into modern versions of the Bible, explaining where and how they occurred. Conceding that his program will anger some, as it challenges many cherished but mistaken assumptions about the Bible, Davis also hopes that listeners recognize that Christian belief and uncovering the truth are not at odds in this program, but rather that learning and wisdom, even when they reach unsettling conclusions, can ultimately complement faith. (Running time: six hours, four cassettes) --Uma Kukathas

Review

Review:
Nine out of ten Americans own a Bible, but how much do they know about the one book that has influenced human history more than any other? Don't Know Much About® the Bible by New York Times bestselling author Kenneth C. Davis is designed to illuminate everything we need to know about the Good Book but never learned. With wit, authority, and intelligence, Davis brings the world of the Old and New Testaments to vivid life, setting the panorama of the Scriptures against the historical events that shaped them; clearing up misconceptions and mistranslations; summarizing Bible stories, parables, and miracles; and adding fresh new insights to the world's most owned, least understood book.

Davis is uniquely qualified for the assignment. The creator of the bestselling Don't Know Much About® series, he now illuminates the bestselling book of all time, using his inimitable question-and-answer approach and providing a key to the people, places, and "household names" we need to unlock "The Greatest Story Ever Told." Writes Davis, "I believe people are starved for knowledge. They just want it in a more appealing style than the way it was presented back in school."

Relying on up-to-date research and improved translations, Davis sets out to uncover what the Bible says--and doesn't say. Don't Know Much About® the Bible is the result of his efforts and includes the following observations: There are two different Creation stories told in Genesis, but no apple in the Garden of Eden story. There was no "coat of many colors" in the story of Joseph and his jealous brothers, but rather a long-sleeved robe. Moses didn't write the Torah and he didn't part the Red Sea in his escape from Pharaoh. The Sixth Commandment does not condemn all killing. King David probably didn't kill Goliath and didn't write the Psalms. Jesus wasn't born on Christmas.

Davis brings readers up-to-date on findings gleaned from the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Gnostic Gospels that prompt serious scholars to ask such questions as: Who wrote the Bible? Did Jesus say everything we were taught he did? Did he say more? By examining the Bible historically, Davis also shows which biblical teachings may have suited an ancient, semi-nomadic world but no longer apply to life at the dawn of the twenty-first century.

From the Inside Flap

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