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Don't Know Much About the Bible: Everything You Need to Know About the Good Book but Never Learned Paperback – July 27, 2004
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Top Customer Reviews
His coverage of the New Testament is good even though it's shorter than his Old Testament section. This makes sense because the New has less content --- fewer details, parables, people, and places.
Davis uses bad jokes and awkward pop culture references half a dozen times. These don't help. I don't need references to Madonna, Baywatch, Jedi knights, and (of all things) The First Wives Club. The references age fast. Some of them come across like the work of an amateur comedy writer.
Other than that, it's a really good book, as good as Asimov's Guide to the Bible. As an introduction to the Bible, it can't be beat. Sure, it's a secular approach, but if it wasn't, it would be twice and long and would no longer qualify as an introductory text.
I disagree with reviewers that think this book was written to discredit the Bible. I suspect that these people are uncomfortable with the Bible being written about in a historical, non-religious manner.
Don't let the keen Davis sense of humor put you off. His sources, both popular and scholarly, nail down most every issue in keeping with what is known today in my opinion. Most of us in the Judeo-Christian tradition will find this book both useful and enlightening. Fundamentalists will wish to avoid it as it contains many corrections to opinions offered as fact by under-informed persons in past generations.
Do get this book if you are frustrated with your reading of the Bible. If you are beginning to understand you cannot understand the Bible by simply reading the Bible, Davis' insights will be very useful to you. After all, Davis' research may prove to be more valuable than direct revelation. For example, he provides a glossary that did not come with the original. His "Introduction" and "Whose Bible Is It Anyway?" is not to be skipped. Also, many Sunday School teachers in synagogue and church owe their classes the knowledge this book imparts. This is popular journalism of a very serious subject at its very best. Interestingly Davis does it all without footnotes or even chapter notes. It is very likely that he could have provided such. Both he and his editor decided in favor of ease of reading instead.
Only the wonderful commentary on the "Hebrew Scriptures" by the late Rabbi Sandmel exceeds the insights offered in this book particularly for the Old Testament. However, that tremendous rabbinical scholar was writing to a somewhat different audience.
The Introduction covers a number of matters not usually discussed in Sunday School.Read more ›
This book is a great introduction to Biblical scholarship. Although I've read books from the Bible, I haven't read the whole thing cover-to-cover: it is just too massive to attempt unaided. Don't Know Much about the Bible is your guide.
It provides several functions. First, it addresses the question of "Whose Bible Is It?" It examines the differences between the different books and translations of the Jewish and Christian Bibles. Second, it goes through the Bible, book by book, and provides a summary of each. Third, it provides a historical background as to who may have written each book, when, and why.
This is not an overly religious book; some people may be offended. Yet, it is not an entirely secular book either - even while pointing out the seeming "contradictions" of the Bible, Davis never denies the belief in God. His main point is that the Bible is a work of faith, not history.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book finally gave me an easy to understand overview of the Bible in simple terms. A touch of humor helps as well.Published 3 months ago by Scenic Designer
I've bought this book at least 5 times. I keep giving my copy away... It's excellent for anyone who wants to read the bible. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
This is an excellent book! Whatever your religious persuasion or lack thereof, this is an informative book and is more than worth its low purchase price.Published 10 months ago by Vincent M. Maysee
I like all of Davis's books. He gives a lot of knowledge and it's fun to read. My suggestion is you read the companion book, The Bible and carefully study as you read.Published 10 months ago by S. Fernandez
Excellent book on what the bible is really about and where it came from. Those who are serious about their Christian religion(s) may not appreciate the truth revealed about the... Read morePublished 11 months ago by marcus c bock