Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The Harlot by the Side of the Road: Forbidden Tales of the Bible Paperback – March 3, 1998
|New from||Used from|
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
From Library Journal
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
In HARLOT, Kirsch has picked out seven tales from the Hebrew Scriptures which set center-stage humankind in all its sinful glory. The accounts include rape, murder, genocide, and wholesale slaughter, all drawn from Holy Writ, and include such famous names as Lot, Moses, and even King David. Readers used to getting their Bible stories from Sunday services or Grolier adaptations will no doubt be shocked by what the Word of God includes.
Yet Kirsch is not writing with the now popular Bible-bashing attitude of, say, a Lloyd Graham (DECEPTIONS AND MYTHS OF THE BIBLE). While he does accept modern-day theories as to the authorship of the biblical canon, his purpose is not to poke fun; rather, he extracts from each of the tales he recounts something of value, whether it be historical or practical. This makes the book good reading for both believers and unbelievers seeking to get a handle on some of the cultural mysteries of biblical times.
Kirsch's format is instrumental in doing this. For each of the seven tales, he recounts the narrative in novelistic style, and provides detailed examinations of the various factors involved.Read more ›
With "The Harlot By The Side Of The Road" Kirsch has plucked some of the most provocative biblical tales to demonstrate this point.I was already familiar with the seduction of Lot by his daughters. But other Bible stories, such as that of Tamar and Judah, were new and interesting to me. Thus I found Kirsch's book to be a very useful guide to discovering these hidden scriptures.
I must admit, however, that I usually preferred the succinct text of the Bible to Kirsch's imagination fuelled re-tellings. I highly recommend that readers carefully read the scripture itself before jumping into Kirsch's version. For example, Kirsch often attributes thoughts and feelings to the characters not clearly indicated by the biblical text. This is perhaps Kirsch's attempt at the Jewish tradition of Midrashic writing. But certain readers may end up being confused about what the Bible actually says.
Another significant portion of the book includes examination and interpretation of the stories presented. Kirsch presents his own point of view while also discussing the research of other religious scholars. This section of the book is interesting enough. But actually my favorite parts were towards the end. The final chapter - "God's Novel Has Suspense" - is where Kirsch espouses his ideas about why the Old Testament still holds purpose and power for us today.Read more ›
"The Harlot by the Side of the Road" is no mere unmasking of the sensational parts of the bible. Author Jonathan Kirsch retells each tale in a modern novelistic style, interspersed with the biblical accounts themselves, allowing us to read the original and its retelling side by side. Kirsch then uses these tales as springboards to explore ancient social mores as well as the development of the Bible itself. Kirsch helps the reader to recognize and set aside the strong moral and xenophobic tone of post-Exilic editors, allowing a peek into the looser social practices that held sway prior to Israel's return from captivity.
The book's subtitle, "Forbidden Tales of the Bible" is a bit of an overstatement. While it's hard to find a home for these tales in a typical liturgical setting, the tales are hardly forbidden. What ought to be forbidden (at least taken with a grain of salt) are the head-spinning interpretations of some serious biblical scholars. Kirsch skims the conclusions of a number of scholarly schools--including Freudian, rabbinical, radical feminist and traditional--before finally settling on something more reasonable. Tamar's seduction of father-in-law (and patriarch) Judah, for instance, is difficult only if you insist that biblical morality never changed.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I was somewhat disappointed by this book. I would have liked to have seen more background and context for these stories, but the book seemed to consist chiefly of re-telling of... Read morePublished 11 months ago by EEProf
Very interesting treatment of the few named women in the Bible. Appreciate his humor, insight, and out of box thinkingPublished 13 months ago by K. Dvorak
The author says repeats a story about his 5 year old son who asks to be told everything. This book is written at that level. I'm sorry I wasted my money to buy this book. Read morePublished 15 months ago by JLG
not as interesting as his other book "The Woman Who Laughed at God."Published 15 months ago by Maggie A
Enjoyed another book by this author and I love to read about how silly the Bible is.Published 19 months ago by Rector Praetorius
Excellent for the information I needed, but this person clearly is not for the Bible as the word of God in other areas as others comments state.Published 19 months ago by J. Warden
This book will make you look at the stories in the Bible in a new light.This book will open your eyes to the human side of the Bible!!!Published 22 months ago by E. Paul Hawley