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Good Book: Things I Learned When I Read Every Single Word of the Bible

3.8  ·  Rating details ·  1,364 Ratings  ·  250 Reviews
Like many Jews and Christians, David Plotz long assumed he knew what was in the Bible. He read parts of it as a child in Hebrew school, then attended a Christian high school where he studied the Old and New Testaments. Many of the highlights stuck with him - Adam and Eve, Cain versus Abel, Jacob versus Esau, Jonah versus whale, 40 days and nights, 10 plagues and commandmen ...more
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Published May 4th 2009 by Audible, Inc. (first published March 1st 2009)
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David
Jul 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion
This is a fascinating, irreverent book that that summarizes the Bible, chapter by chapter. Oh, some chapters are bypassed, because in the words of David Plotz, "it is boring."

The last chapter stands out as the most interesting, as the author asks the question, "Should you read the Bible?" The first reason is that so much of Western culture comes from the Bible. Plotz writes that it is difficult to get through a chapter--even a chapter in some obscure book--"without encountering a phrase, a name
...more
Daniel
Jun 02, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
An ignorant Jewish writer decided to read the Tanakh (Jewish Bible) for the first time and write about the experience book by book. Billed as "hilarious" and "inspiring" it isn't much of either in large part because of the lack of any real Jewish knowledge by the author. He reads Psalm 118 and says, "I don't think this psalm has much sway over Jews..." unaware that it is part of the Hallel service that is part of every holiday service and then skips over Psalm 145 (Ashrei) which is read three ti ...more
Eris
Mar 09, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
David Plotz, a secular Jew, discovers a horrifying story while browsing the Old Testament in a fit of boredom during an infrequent visit to a Temple service. So horrifying that he is compelled to pick up the Book and read the whole thing to see what other horrors he has missed. This book is a chapter by chapter (mostly) synopsis of the Old Testament, with commentary and some biting observations. I found his play by play color commentary to be insightful at times, and did very much enjoy this wor ...more
Lee Harmon
Jun 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
100% recommended! This romp through the Hebrew Bible is much more than just fascinating and funny. It’s also engrossing, mildly irreverent, thought-provoking, disturbing--you'll love the Good Book whether you’re a believer or not. This is the Bible unveiled in all its grime and greatness. The characters in Genesis are especially unforgettable, from the story of Abimalech lusting after a 90-year-old woman (Sarah, Abraham's wife) to a diabolical mother-and-son plot to rob the simple-minded Esau of ...more
Corey Edwards
Not quite the book I was hoping for but an interesting read none the less. Further, the book illustrates a contradiction that has perplexed me for years: faith despite wisdom.

The author is a self-described faithful Jew whose rather shaky faith was greatly strengthened by reading every word of the bible. This despite the fact that doing so caused him to write a book that - very gently but also thoroughly - pokes holes both great and small in the fabric of the text throughout, leaving a tattered m
...more
Jay Glickman
Have I mentioned my profound contempt and loathing of religious fundamentalists? Probably. I was reminded today of the staggering loopiness of these right-wingnuts when Bobo Smyth-Bullard sent me a clipping concerning a fundamentalist's response to the late unpleasantness at Sea World, in which Shamu the "Killer Whale" lived up to his description and iced one of his trainers.

Said response was swift and merciless; according to scripture, Shamu must be killed forthwith - via stoning. (How do you
...more
Chris
Sep 15, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Because I grew up in a religious environment, I find secular views on the bible interesting. David Plotz made the choice to read his Jewish Bible for the first time. This was a new experience for him as he had forgotten most of the things he learned in Hebrew School.

David writes this book in a chapter by chapter approach; the reader can see his understanding grow and his reactions change throughout the book. Many of his musings are notable, but two stand out: his acceptable name list and his re
...more
Grumpus
I enjoyed the slightly irreverent look at his chapter-by-chapter reading of the Old Testament. Each Biblical chapter of significance (his opinion) is addressed through a brief summary of what is happening in “everyday” language and his humorous lens. It will shed new light on all those biblical stories you’ve heard about since you were a child. The appendix was especially interesting as it was a synopsis of useful (and not so useful) Bible lists. You never really knew what was in the Bible until ...more
Joseph Rizzo
What I enjoyed about this book:

Seeing this through the eyes of a non-christian. He actually takes the time to read the OT.

The things that caught his attention were interesting.

What I didn't enjoy:

Taking some of the OT narrative wildly out of context and reducing the actions of Almighty God to a petty, vindictive, and unjustly punitive God. It is unfortunate, but I know he is not the only one who sees it this way. It is his misunderstanding of human nature and the requisite judicial actions of G
...more
Natali
May 11, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the funniest books I've ever read. I loved it! Good Book is a summary of the Old Testament, told by David Plotz, an editor for Slate Magazine. It is his sincere effort to better understand the bible but his compendium is sarcastic, sardonic, and hilarious.

I enjoyed the first half a lot more than I enjoyed the second half but that is not really Plotz's fault. The first half of the Old Testament has a lot more action than the last half. Still, the writing is fun enough to keep you engaged.
...more
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Plotz, an American journalist, has been a writer with Slate since its inception and was designated as the online magazine's editor in June 2008.

He is the author of "The Genius Factory: The Curious History of the Nobel Prize Sperm Bank" (2005) and "Good Book: The Bizarre, Hilarious, Disturbing, Marvelous, and Inspiring Things I Learned when I Read Every Single Word of the Bible" (2009).
More about David Plotz...
“(I just used my Bible to smash a bug on my desk. That’s bad, isn’t it?) The” 0 likes
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