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The Book of God: The Bible as a Novel

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4.07 of 5 stars 4.07  ·  rating details  ·  846 ratings  ·  87 reviews
The Bible as a Single, Powerful Story. Here is the entire story of the Bible, narrated by master storyteller Walter Wangerin Jr. Reading like a great historical novel, The Book of God dramatizes the sweep of biblical events, making the men and women of this ancient book come alive in vivid detail and dialogue. From Abraham wandering in the desert to Jesus teaching the mult ...more
Hardcover, 864 pages
Published February 1st 1996 by Zondervan (first published January 1st 1996)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,030)
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Alyssia Cooke
And we are not quite at the end of the epic Bible saga, but we are very nearly there...why do I think that there was probably a collective sigh of relief when you read that! And this version is in its own way very different from any of the other bibles I have been reviewing. And the reason for that is very clear just from the title - 'The Book of God, the Bible as a Novel'. Out of all of the Bibles I was given this was the one that I was most interested in looking at fully, which is why I left i ...more
Eric Haddox
Jul 23, 2007 Eric Haddox rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone wanting to understand the "story" of the Bible
Shelves: biblicalfiction
One of the greatest attempts to accurately put the story of the Bible in a medium that is both understandable and enjoyable for the contemporary western reader.

There were several stories of which he wrote that I had not remembered in my own reading of the Bible. He gives the characters life and personality that are easy to relate to and tells the stories in lively and memorable ways.

I came to the book critically to see what kind of errors would linger inside yet I found only one and it was only
...more
Evamaria
I had this on my to-read shelf for a couple of years at least, and I finally got around to reading it, chapter by chapter before going to sleep.

And I must say, I was pleasantly surprised! Obviously the book only covers some of the "highlights" of the Bible, but this allows the author (and us) to explore some of the people (the "big" ones, but also some nice perspectives of "little folk" and often women) in depth. The New Testament takes up a disproportionately big part of the overall book, but
...more
Chris
Ok, so I'll admit it. I've tried to read the Bible a few times from cover to cover, but I have never been successful. So a big thumbs up for this novel that at least, sort of, makes me feel as if I have. Also a thumbs up for making me want to read the Bible cover to cover to see how much "flare" the author added to the characters to get the "novel" feel. As I read, there were still parts of the Old Testament that really bother me and challenge my faith. Surprisingly, the part of this novel that ...more
Bel
Alright, so I was really freaked out when I read the title of this book. Thoroughly freaked out. "The Bible as a ...novel?!?! Isn't that wrong?" O.k. Maybe some over-reaction on my part. Especially when I began to actually read it... It completely redeemed itself. They really are just Bible stories for grown-ups, putting a far more personal side to Biblical characters that I had read the same things about, thought the same things about, and heard the same things about since my Sunday School days ...more
☼♄Jülie
Jul 18, 2013 ☼♄Jülie rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
Recommended to ☼♄Jülie by: Bookshop find
A good way to read stories from the Bible without all the hype and especially for younger people, it tells the stories in a way that gets you interested and also puts a more personal feel into them, so that you can relate to the characters as individual and important players...especially some of the (otherwise) lesser known characters.

A good introduction to the Bible, which can be read as a collection of short stories.
I have always been of the opinion that the Bible should be written as a histor
...more
Ronald
A really good pre-read to reading the Bible directly. It gives you the concept of the story that is contained in the Bible. Have had several say after reading this book they were then able to put the story in the Bible together. Some might be concerned about putting the Bible in novel form, if that is the case then make your own judgment. Although, you might look it over as a help of getting adults familiar with the Bible. This kind of takes the temptation away of reading the Bible only in verse ...more
Shannon
What a wonderful way to spend the Lenten season-reading this novelisation of the Bible. This made it so easy to understand and remember all of the great stories we all know. I still had to make lists to keep the primary characters straight, but it was an easier read than my previous attempts at my stand-by Bible. I remarked to my friends more than once while reading it-Man, this is one juicy book!
Kaia
I almost have a hard time rating something Biblical so low- it makes me feel bad. At any rate, Wangerin is not a favorite author of mine, I find his writing dry and too lengthy. It took me a long time to get going in this book, and the New Testament portion was better than the Old Testament. I tried to look at it more as a scripture reading than a pleasure read and I think that helped.
Margo
I'm so glad I picked this up at the church book swap. You could find fault with it, I suppose, and I'm sure some people do, but I liked taking on God's Big Story as a Big Story. It stirred the imagination, similar to the Anne Rice books on the life of Jesus. Reading the (selected) OT stories made you want to go look them in the "real" book. :-) The NT section was moving as well.
Melissa
Still reading, but I have to say this is the best book about the Bible I have EVER read. I've always wanted to read the Bible in it's entirety...but it can be challenging to sit down and read in passage form each day. This novel is an addictive version of the Bible...it's so easy to read and so far, the content closely follows that of my Bible in context and in order. I'm loving it!
Emily
This book was fine, but like any account put into a fictional novel, it's not really very accurate. Therefore, I can't say I would recommend it. It would have been one thing if conversations had been added, or some activity speculated where the Bible is silent. However, truth was flat out changed. I say, stick with the original.
Cheryl
As someone raised as a heathen, the stories of the bible are unfamiliar, so I found this book to bring the stories to life and not a dry read as the bible itself was. It also did a good job of placing the events in where they happened in history, reminding me that they were historical. The author read the book and even though all of the characters had the same tones of voice, I found him entertaining. This will most definitely not be my sole source of education for Christianity, but I felt it ha ...more
Shala Howell
Reads more like a history of the Jewish people as told in the Bible than a comprehensive retelling of the Bible itself. No creation story or Noah's ark, but plenty of judges, prophets, and kings.
Lizcherry88
Loved this - like the bible coming to life for adults! I hope to read it again sometime soon.
Ginger
Took me forever to get through this 850-pager, mostly because I only read it on Sundays. I really liked it, though. It was interesting to have the Bible re-written in novel form. I was okay with creative license until the New Testament, when I had a hard time with creative license applied to the Savior. Although the description of the crucifixion was more moving than the KJV version.

And since the stories were told in modern language, I learned a few things that I'd never known, such as the story
...more
Brynn Hastings
The Book of God puts The Bible into story form. It uses words that are more understandable and puts The Bible into a more understandable form. I would suggest that anyone interested in Christianity read this book. It clarifies so much.
Rebecca
It took a long time, but I've done it! A tick on my (very odd) bucket list to read the Bible, which I did alongside Wangerin's Book of God: The Bible as a Novel.
So what did I think. Like all religious books, it's down to interpretation. Wangerin has done this to create a story. At this point I have to say I am totally non-religious and therefore my interpretation would be of an old story book too. As a story the Bible comes across to me as, well it made me cringe in places. All the fighting and
...more
Janie
I listened to the audio while tasking. This is a *long* book on audio and seemed to take me forever to finish! It held my attention most of the time. Wangerin is a gifted storyteller and narrates this himself. While he adds much emotion where appropriate, his adult voice often slides up into a young male pubescent one which is sometimes hard on the ears.

The Old Testament portion was chronological and fascinating because of the incorporation of some time-and-space history. If I were still teachi
...more
jessica malice
Parts of it were really tough to get through.. I became so frustrated with the same stories being told over&over (just set in different times & with different characters) and always with the moral GOD WILL SMITE YOU IF YOU ARE NAUGHTY AND DON'T SACRIFICE CALVES OR WHATEVER. Yep, k, got it. I guess it had to be true to the bible or Christians would hate it or something, but so much of it was just unnecessary.

Besides that it was good. Lots of it was quite enjoyable to read. I liked Jesus b
...more
Cathy
This book brings an explosion to the bible. Remember, it's a NOVEL. Wangerin brings excitement and humor to the key players, places, and topics. When I go on a road trip, this is a must.
Sandy
I loved this book. I understand the bible much better. I highly recommend.
Estela Anders
This is HARD!!! The author is an excellent writter! He makes an awful story easy to read and entertaining. But the subject matter is just, well, what it is. Rape and Incest and vengance, and punishment, hatred, fraticides and genocides and invations and basically, the worse humanity has to offer, But the telling was magnificent and for the first time those cardboard drawings from sunday school became real people. And of course I understand this is not The Bible, I know there is artistic licence ...more
Linda M
i throughly enjoyed this novel, and that is just what it is. If you are interested in Biblical accuracy, you need to have a Bible handy. Example: Uzza did not slip on ox dung, hit his head and die instantly. Check it out: I Chronicles 13: 9-10. Wangerin portrays Jesus as an attractive man. If you read Isaiah 53:1-2 you will find that "... he had no beauty that we should desire him." What I am saying is, this is a novel, not a Bible. It has many Biblically acurate stories that are embellished wit ...more
Kathy
This book probably has had a more lasting effect upon my spiritual journey than any other book besides the Bible. I happened upon this after a couple of years of struggling to read the Bible. Wangerin takes some liberties in turning the Scripture into historical fiction, although the only real fiction I noticed was the fleshing out of personalities beyond what is shared with us in Biblical accounts. It reads like a fascinating novel, but kept driving me to compare fact and fiction. This is anoth ...more
Kat
I haven't been so viscerally angry while reading something in a long time. The Old Testament is just not for me. Jesus is a pretty cool dude though.
Bre
Hmmm. It was just ok. I liked the overview of the (pretty much) whole Bible. I liked learning more about some of the prophets, etc. I realize that it was historical fiction, in that Wangerin embellished and added to the story to make it more interesting or to develop attachment to characters. However, it just didn't do it for me. I didn't care about most of the 'characters', although a few tugged at me (Jephthah, Jeremiah, and Zechariah). Overall, it was a solid 3 stars.
Nich Traverse


This book is great! Long, but good. One of the only ways I came to understand the old testament. I read the Christmas story out of this book every year. It is very human, from the sounds and smells and all the bloody details of what a birth really is. If God really came to us as a human, nothing I had read before ever really convinced me this was true. This is different.
Rachel Lewis
This was just an astonishing read. Bits of the Bible - and some of the more obscure parts of the Old Testament at that, are brought vividly to life. I found the bits about Jesus extremely difficult to read, because I have never 'imagined' Jesus - what he would physically have been like, so for Wangerin to do that was unsettling. Bawled my eyes out during the crucifixion passages.
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Walter Wangerin Jr. is widely recognized as one of the most gifted writers writing today on the issues of faith and spirituality. Starting with the renowned Book of the Dun Cow, Wangerin's writing career has encompassed most every genre: fiction, essay, short story, children's story, meditation, and biblical exposition. His writing voice is immediately recognizable, and his fans number in the mill ...more
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