Pros:Comprehensive overview of the Bible through multiple lenses -- geography, culture, history, politics. The Bible as produced by human beings.
Cons:Several bad jokes in an attempt to move the text along; overlooks opportunities to make better use of visual information
Kenneth Davis has written a series of best selling books about large topics such as Don't Know Much About the Civil War, Don't Know Much About History, Don't Know Much About Geography, and now a book about the Bible.
Recommend this product?
Where you fall on the religious spectrum will determine your reaction to this book. If you are a religious liberal, you will love this book. That's important enough to be repeated -- those who see the Bible as the inspired Word of God will be *fascinated*. Non-Christians will also appreciate an approach that discusses the Bible in a context other than trying to convert you.
On the other side, the closer you fall towards a literal interpretation of the Bible as the Word of God, the more difficult this book is going to be for you. This is a fundamental exploration of the Bible as written by human hands, and how geography, culture, politics, and history impacted the production of this religious text.
Davis follows the same format as the previous books, so you may be familiar with his approach. He will ask a general question, such as "Was Jesus born on Christmas" and then provide a summary of the range of answers modern theologians believe. Not only that, but he provides it in a context of how it came about. In ancient times, winter solstice was celebrated by a festival honoring the sun god, which included gift-giving and candlelighting. Early Roman Christians set up Christmas basically as a way to steal other Romans from turning away from Saturnalia and towards Christianity. Jesus was actually born during the spring time.
The book covers the whole "Book" from cover to cover in similar fashion, and provides a broad overview of the Bible. I highly enjoyed it, and recommend it to liberals, and those who wish to learn more about the Bible in a non-proselytizing context.