Szplug's Reviews > God: A Biography

God by Jack Miles
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's review
Jan 06, 2010

really liked it

Miles won the Pulitzer for this absorbing study of the life of the Biblical God, beginning with the opening chapter of Genesis and taking us through the entirety of the Old Testament in the Jewish ordering of the books from the Torah. Jehovah makes for a stirring and multifaceted subject - an omniscient and omnipotent deity that was assembled from the personalities and powers of a variety of ancient pagan pantheons, running the gamut from demiurge to demon; a terrifying and vengeful master, breaking his creations and his promises; maturing to a remorseful and avenging spirit, ragged from love and unyielding in justice; and then apparently abandoning his children to exile and slavery, only to be discovered once more - remote but present, restless but steadfast - when his far-flung flock regathered in the Chosen Land.

Miles provides a remarkable exegesis, bringing erudition and analysis to this fascinating portrait of a singular entity who proved to be remarkably differentiated and inconsistent throughout his sorrow-filled paternity - imparting an eminently human element to his earthly involvement, the Almighty as a tyronic parent who experiences all the vicissitudes and difficulties of an evolving responsibility, adapting his divine mediations as his children mature within time - and yet emerged at the end with the sagacity, capacity, and audacity to resolve the crisis in his being through a human form: Jesus Christ, the subject of Miles equally excellent follow-up Christ: A Crisis in the Life of God.
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