Disclosure – I am a Christian, so I clearly had difficulty with this book. Although the author has history in the church, it is evident that she is not a believer in orthodox Christianity. In addition, I am not a scholar, but even an idiot like me can see the mistakes and misleading statements in this book.
I got about 50 pages or so into this book and gave up. I started taking notes on areas where the author makes claims that are at best strictly her opinion or at worst, outright misrepresentations. But I gave up on the note-taking even sooner, after about 15-20 pages. This is not a book I would have chosen to read, but I was asked to read it by a co-worker and give her my opinion. My opinion is – don’t waste your time. Some examples in the first few pages:
• References to the biblical history as mythology is a judgment based on her opinion. Orthodox belief is that these accounts are true.
• Difficulty with two accounts each of creation and the flood. This has been addressed by many people over hundreds, maybe thousands of years. These are only problems to people who superficially read the accounts and have done no investigation.
• Claims that the Bible is full of contradictions, but doesn’t point out any. Again, there is a ton of information written addressing so-called contradictions that the author ignores. Again, there appears to be no effort in researching these issues.
• Multiple authors of the first five books of the Bible. All the author says is that this theory has come under “harsh treatment, but nobody has yet to come up with a more satisfactory theory…”, but the author doesn’t mention any other theories. There are in fact other theories that scholars find more than satisfactory. Bad scholarship on her part.
• The claim the “I Am Who I Am” is merely a Hebrew pun, explaining it by saying that Hebrew didn’t have a metaphysical dimension. Who says that God is limited by the Hebrew language? Why couldn’t it refers to his self-existence, as the vast majority of scholars believe? Does she have some special insight? Please…
• Attributing to God the bad behavior of his followers, which is just not logical.
Content aside, I also thought the book was difficult to read.