Marci's Reviews > The Year of Living Biblically: One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible

The Year of Living Biblically by A.J. Jacobs
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Mar 30, 2010

really liked it
Read in July, 2010

I like the conversational story telling tone of the author as he begins his year long quest to live the bible literally. I was pretty excited by the first month and some of his insides, but the second month seems to be dragging a little.

I thought it was amazing for an agnostic to really try and live the laws of the Bible for one year. Especially praying 3 times/day. Made me feel that I should up my level of committment. Occasionally, I thought he had some good insights and some of the laws he found in the Bible, I just had to look up to see if it were true. I like this comment when he was talking about Moses parting the Red Sea and the waters did not part, so a Hebrew named Nachson just walked into the water, when the water was almost to his nostrils, then the sea parted (story from the midrash) and AJ says "The point is, sometimes miracles occur only when you jump in."

I also liked this lesson about obedience to the laws. There was a law in the OT that stated you could not wear clothing that mixed fibers. AJ consults a Mr. Berkowitz who is an expert in this field and helps people put their wardrobe in alignment with this law. AJ asks him, Why? Why would God care if we wore mixed fibers? The answer is: We don't know. There are theories. Some say it was to train the ancient Hebrews to keep things separate so they'd be less inclined to intermarry. Some say it's an allusion to Cain and Abel's sacrifice...Some say that the heathen once wore the combination and the Hebrews were trying to distinguish themselves from the pagans in any way they could. Bottom line, though: We have no idea. This is a law that God gave us. We have to trust Him. He's all powerful. We're like children. Sometimes parents have laws children don't understand."

I especially liked his description of how he began keeping the Sabbath day Holy. It took him a few weeks of trying to refrain from working but when he finally did he wrote, "Something clicked in my brain. It was a school's-out-for-summer feeling. A wave of relief and freedom. No matter how much I want to, I cannot work. I have no choice. It was a beautiful moment.
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Luan (new)

Luan Marci, I really enjoyed your review and felt like I got the best of the ideas of the book through your comments. Yea. Now I don't have to get the book bcs you also said it started to drag on Chapter Two:0)


Hope I also read this recently. Keeping the Sabbath holy was one thing I took from it. I usually make a list each day of tasks I need to complete. "List Free Sundays" is now my rule. Often I still have a mental list, but I feel less pressure and I feel like it is helping my obsessive/compulsive tendencies to stick to a list free day.


Marci Hope, I believe it was your review that made me pick this book up. I have no problem keeping a list free Sunday...I have just recently began keeping a to do list for the other days. Helps keep my head on a little straighter and feeling like I really do accomplish something during the day.


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