Brandy's Reviews > The Bible: A Biography

The Bible by Karen Armstrong
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's review
Jan 07, 2010

really liked it
Read in January, 2010

Last night I sat down and wrote a very long, detailed review of this book, then accidentally clicked some button on my computer and poof! my review was gone! So, here's another attempt, but this won't be nearly as detailed.

This book took me nearly a year to read, as it's written a lot like a textbook. That doesn't mean I didn't like it however. I am (or was, I guess I should now say) remarkably ignorant about the Bible, its history, who wrote which parts, etc, so this really helped give me a bit of background into all of that. I still should probably sit down and actually read the thing, but I guess this is a start. Overall, nothing about it was shocking and earth-shattering, but basically supported my previously held views that the stories of the Bible are just that; stories and metaphors meant to be read and deeply studied in order to guide our lives and lead us closer to a relationship with God (or whatever sort of divine goodness you believe in). The current practice of literally interpreting biblical stories is scary, violent, and sadly short-sited. You can literally feel the author's frustration on this topic. The Bible has been molded, shaped, changed so many times throughout history to reflect the feeling of the times, the culture, etc. I feel that it may be "the word of God" in the sense that its authors were truly devoted and spiritual people who were very in touch with a higher source, but that's where I stop.

I know that the Bible is full of violence, hatred and fear, but now understand that those aspects simply come from a time period filled with war and poverty. And, those aspects are greatly outweighed (in my view) by the love and compassion that fills the rest of the verses. I overall have a more balanced view of the Bible and its history and am excited to continue my reading on this topic.

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