From the bestselling author of The Know-It-All comes a fascinating and timely exploration of religion and the Bible.
Raised in a secular family but increasingly interested in the relevance of faith in our modern world, A.J. Jacobs decides to dive in headfirst and attempt to obey the Bible as literally as possible for one full year. He vows to follow the Ten Commandments. To be fruitful and multiply. To love his neighbor. But also to obey the hundreds of less publicized rules: to avoid wearing clothes made of mixed fibers; to play a ten-string harp; to stone adulterers.
The resulting spiritual journey is at once funny and profound, reverent and irreverent, personal and universal and will make you see history's most influential book with new eyes.
Jacobs's quest transforms his life even more radically than the year spent reading the entire Encyclopedia Britannica for The Know-It-All. His beard grows so unruly that he is regularly mistaken for a member of ZZ Top. He immerses himself in prayer, tends sheep in the Israeli desert, battles idolatry, and tells the absolute truth in all situations - much to his wife's chagrin.
Throughout the book, Jacobs also embeds himself in a cross-section of communities that take the Bible literally. He tours a Kentucky-based creationist museum and sings hymns with Pennsylvania Amish. He dances with Hasidic Jews in Brooklyn and does Scripture study with Jehovah's Witnesses. He discovers ancient biblical wisdom of startling relevance. And he wrestles with seemingly archaic rules that baffle the twenty-first-century brain.
Jacobs's extraordinary undertaking yields unexpected epiphanies and challenges. A book that will charm readers both secular and religious, The Year of Living Biblically is part Cliff Notes to the Bible, part memoir, and part look into worlds unimaginable. Thou shalt not be able to put it down.
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
Amazon Best of the Month, September 2007: Make no mistake: A.J. Jacobs is not a religious man. He describes himself as Jewish "in the same way the Olive Garden is an Italian restaurant." Yet his latest work, The Year of Living Biblically: One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible, is an insightful and hilarious journey for readers of all faiths. Though no fatted calves were harmed in the making of this book, Jacobs chronicles 12 months living a remarkably strict Biblical life full of charity, chastity, and facial hair as impressive as anything found in The Lord of the Rings. Through it all, he manages to brilliantly keep things light, while avoiding the sinful eye of judgment. --Dave Callanan
Subtitled: "One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible," Jacobs, or A.J., as his two-year-old son calls him, does just that. It is likely that no one but A.J. Jacobs could have accomplished such a feat. After all, his last book, The Know-It-All, chronicles his reading of the entire Encyclopedia Brittanica, from A to Z. No one but a smart, witty, self-deprecating, nitpicky kinda guy would undertake two such daunting tasks, and complete them with grace, no pun intended.
Jacobs, a New York Jewish agnostic, decides to follow the laws and rules of the Bible, beginning with the Old Testament, for one year. (He actually adds some bonus days and makes it a 381-day year.) He starts by growing a beard and we are with him through every itchy moment. Jacobs is borderline OCD, at least as he describes himself; obsessing over possible dangers to his son, germs, literal interpretation of Bible verses, etc. He enlists the aid of counselors along the way; Jewish rabbis, Christians of every stripe, friends and neighbors.
In an open-minded way he also visits with atheists, Evangelicals Concerned (a gay group), Jerry Falwell, snake handlers, Red Letter Christians--those who adhere to the red letters in the Bible, those words spoken by Jesus Himself, and even takes a trip to Israel and meets Samaritans. Through it all, he keeps a healthy skepticism, but continues to pray and is open to the flowering of real faith. Jacobs is a knowledge junky, to be sure. He enjoys the lore he picks up along the way as much as any other aspect of his experiment. One of the ongoing schticks is his meeting with the shatnez tester, Mr. Berkowitz. He is the one who determines whether or not your clothes are made of mixed fibers, in keeping with the Biblical injunction not to wear wool and linen together. The two become friends and prayer partners, in only one of the unexpected results of this year.
In the end, he says, "I'm now a reverent agnostic. Which isn't an oxymoron, I swear. I now believe that whether or not there's a God, there is such a thing as sacredness. Life is sacred." Not a bad outcome. --Valerie RyanAbout the Author:
A.J. Jacobs is the author of The New York Times bestsellers The Year of Living Biblically, My Life as an Experiment and The Know-It-All. He has been called "inspired and inspiring" ( Vanity Fair), "entertaining" ( New York Times) and "hilarious" ( Time). He is the editor at large of Esquire magazine, a contributor to NPR, and has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Entertainment Weekly. He lives in New York City with his wife Julie and their children. Visit him at AJJacobs.com and follow him on Twitter @ajjacobs.
"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.
Book Description Simon & Schuster. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0743291476. Bookseller Inventory # GHT5487COVW052016H0242
Book Description Simon & Schuster. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0743291476 Excellent Buy!!!. Bookseller Inventory # HBM-31621-MC
Book Description Simon & Schuster, 2007. Book Condition: New. Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service!. Bookseller Inventory # ABE_book_new_0743291476
Book Description Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Our Ranking is Your Confidence! This is a brand new book! Fast Shipping - Safe and Secure Mailer - Our goal is to deliver a better item than what you are hoping for! If not we will make it right! This item is unread with a few shelving bumps. Bookseller Inventory # 1XGA4U001006
Book Description Simon & Schuster. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0743291476 Brand New. Ships with delivery confirmation same day of order. Guaranteed. Bookseller Inventory # SKU031296
Book Description Simon & Schuster. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0743291476. Bookseller Inventory # 4ANDREWFM343
Book Description Book Condition: New. Gift Quality Book in Excellent Condition. Bookseller Inventory # 36S9FP000HS4
Book Description Hardcover. Book Condition: BRAND NEW. BRAND NEW. Fast Shipping. Prompt Customer Service. Satisfaction guaranteed. Bookseller Inventory # 0743291476BNA
Book Description Book Condition: Brand New. * This item is printed on demand * Book Condition: Brand New. Bookseller Inventory # 97807432914771.0
Book Description Simon & Schuster, 2007. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 1. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0743291476