“Armstrong is one of my favorite nonfiction writers and this book was another example of clear, rational writing about what is sometimes an unclear subject. The history of how the Christian Bible developed is not what some people might think, and this book covers it all.”see full review » see other reviews »
“Karen is a genius.”John B wrote this review Tuesday, May 14, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I read Armstrongâs book on Islam a while back and was surprised by some of the things i read. Wanting to test her objectivity I read this book on a subject I am a little more familiar about. in general Armstrong keeps to the historical facts (which are not necessarily what is written in the Bible) but in some cases she passes theories as facts and in others she deliberately simplifies things to justify here thesis. this was also my impression with reading here book on Islam. Both are interesting reads with lots of good information. Both should be read with a critical eye in order to distinguish historical facts away from the (few) political statements ”Yaron Binder wrote this review Monday, April 1, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Armstrong is one of my favorite nonfiction writers and this book was another example of clear, rational writing about what is sometimes an unclear subject. The history of how the Christian Bible developed is not what some people might think, and this book covers it all.”leftsouth wrote this review Sunday, September 23, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I really like the style of delivery in Karen Armstrong's work. However the subject matter was a little more basic then I had originally expected. Very good overview for anyone looking for an introduction to the topic but would maybe try and look up a few of the suggested reading titles for more in depth knowledge”Noodle Ninja wrote this review Saturday, June 25, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“A very readable introduction to the history of the bible, although a little bit too liberal in parts for my tastes”David wrote this review Thursday, April 7, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Karen Armstrong wows me with her ability to communicate about Faith in a respectful and charitable way. She may not be a member of the Christian faith, but she does a great job representing it's primary source and different interpretation methods in this serious and contemplative book. As a Christian, it was a bit challenging at times because of it's non-religious stance, but the places where I disagreed were not written in an antagonistic way. Here is a choice paragraph from the epilogue that resonated with me:
"Buber and Rosenzweig both stressed the importance of listening to the Bible. Throughout this biography, we have considered the ways in which Jews and Christians have tried to cultivate a receptive, intuitive approach to scripture. This is difficult for us today. We are a talkative and opinionated society and not always good at listening. The discourse of politics, media and academe is essentially adversarial. While this is undoubtedly important in a democracy, it can mean that people are not really receptive to an opposing viewpoint. It is often apparent during a parliamentary debate or panel discussion on television that while their opponents are speaking, participants are simply thinking up the next clever thing that they are going to say. Biblical discourse is often conducted in the same confrontational spirit, very different from the 'listening ear' proposed by the Hasidic leader Dov Ber. We also expect immediate answers to complex questions. The soundbite is all. In biblical times, some people feared that a written scripture encouraged a slick, superficial 'knowing'. This is surely an even greater danger in the electronic age, when people are used to finding truth at the click of a mouse."
I recommend this one to both the religious and non-religious.”
“The technical: This is a review of the Kindle version. The linkage to footnotes/endnotes is non-existent. This is regrettable since they would help a reader to understand the storyline. This technical glitch would result in a 2 star rating if that was my only complaint. However -
I really wanted to like this book. I knew that I would not agree with the author's premises - i.e., the story of Jezebel in the Bible is pretty much a fabrication made up by the post-Babylonian exile Judeans equivalent to today's American Liberal Press - the scribes of Judah made it up to serve their own selfish needs. The story is fictional, sort of an alternate world historical novel. Not faith threatening even to a literate biblical fundamentalist.
Unfortunately the book is dull. The author has not been able to make the transition from academic journalese to simple entertainment. Jezebel does NOT come across as a real person - that is someone who is sometimes good/ sometimes bad/ sometimes mediocre. real people are full of passion, emotion, pain, joy, sorrows, etc -. but not the Jezebel of this book. She sounds like a detached historian. The most stunning example of this starts at location 1067 (remember this is a Kindle review) where Jezebel speaks of her son Ahaziah's murder. She is speaking in the third person to the reader and not an ounce of sorrow, anger, or mourning is expressed!!
It reads roughly like this: ]]My "Kingfisher" Ahaziah was killed because he blah, blah, blah, and hum. Hum, hum, I (Jezebel) covered it up by Doo Doo Doo - ho hum and now my little Kestrel Joram will . . . [[
You know, in some ways the author's dispassionate mother Jezebel is a scarier person than the biblical one.
The premise of the book had promise, but sigh . . 3 stars for effort, 2.5 overall rounded up to 3. Sorry, wanted to rate it higher but I can't.
“Karen armstrong was objective. The book has a clear purpose. It tells the story of the people behind arguably the most infuential book of our times. It talks of, I would say, the passing of the torch from one lips to one paper to another's lips and another's paper.”mekaniko5 wrote this review Wednesday, October 20, 2010. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Bit of a slog so I might not finish this one.”Valerie W wrote this review Thursday, May 13, 2010. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No