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The Rational Bible: Exodus Kindle Edition
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Here are two reasons:
1. Dennis has devoted over fifty years of his life to the study and teaching of the Torah. He speaks Hebrew as well as he speaks English (which is very well, I might add!), and has immersed himself in the Hebrew of the Bible – both its grammar and its vocabulary. As one who doesn’t have that linguistic background, I appreciate his willingness to share this skill with others like myself.
2. We are living in an age of unprecedented dialogue between Jews and Christians like none other in history. For me to participate in this God-honoring dialogue, I need to understand where my Jewish brothers and sisters are coming from. In addition, I have a great desire to share the good news of the gospel as found in the New Testament with my Jewish neighbors, as do millions of others Christians. Yet, how can I share my perspective with them if I don’t understand and respect their perspective?
Here are excerpts from my review of this book on my blog (which you can find at waynenalljr.blogspot.com):
This book is like no commentary I have ever read...and I have read from many of them. It is not stuffy at all. Dennis chose to write it in the first person and to include personal anecdotes where appropriate. What other commentary would quote Maimonides, Abraham Lincoln,...and Woody Allen?
...Here are a few quotes from this book which caught my attention:
...The central message of the Torah is “that God is good and demands we be good...is the only belief that will enable us to make a good world.”
...“People (today) greatly value knowledge and intelligence, but not wisdom. And the lack of wisdom—-certainly in America and the rest of the West – is directly related to the decline in biblical literacy. In the American past, virtually every home, no matter how poor, owned a Bible. It was the primary vehicle by which parents passed wisdom on to their children.”
...“The Torah is so different – morally, theologically, and in terms of wisdom – from anything else preceding it and, for that matter, from anything written since, that a reasonable person would have to conclude either moral supermen or God was responsible for it.” (I would put the entire Bible in this category, including the New Testament.)
...“Another major reason I am convinced the Torah is not man-made is it so often depicts the people of the Book, the Jews, in a negative light.
...“Remembering – the good others have done, the evil others have done, and one’s moral obligations – is an indispensable aspect of a good and meaningful life.”
...“Biology is not destiny; you can be the child of an evil person and be a good person.”
...“Gratitude takes effort; resentment is effortless.” (So true!)
I believe there is great value to this work for anyone who is seeking wisdom...whatever your religious background!
I had every intention of purchasing this book. In fact, I preordered it. I read the first chapter when he sent it to his fans, and I loved it. I purchased the kindle version for myself, and a hardcover copy for the Reverend of my church. When I saw how nice the book looked, I decided to purchase a hardcover copy for myself to proudly display in my home bookcase of “chosen books”. I have since purchased an additional copy for my best friend. I’ll likely purchase a copy for any of my family and friends who express interest in reading it. It is that profound.
I attended a private Catholic school from grades 1 through 8, and I then went to a private Catholic school through high school. Simply put, I learned more from this book about Exodus than I did from all those years in school. Mr. Prager is a brilliant man, who has debated at Oxford University on several occasions. He has been studying the Bible for decades, and his wealth of knowledge is evident in the book. He goes line by line through Exodus, and offers his explaination in layman’s terms. I believe what makes this book invaluable is, Mr. Prager is not trying to convert anyone to any specific religion. One does not feel that buried within his commentary is a certain degree of political correctness out of fear of offense. His only desire is to explain the book of Exodus to you. To, as the title says, explain just how rational the Bible is, when you know it in it’s full context. I have learned so much. To say that this book has strengthened my faith is a gross understatement. Simply put, I wish he would offer his insight on the entire Bible, both Old and New Testament!
In closing, who can benefit from this book? Certainly any practicing Jew or Christian. Absolutely any Jew or Christian who is struggling with their faith. Any agnostic who is truly only uncertain becasuse he/she has not read anything compelling enough for him/her to say, “I can believe that”. An atheist who is open to debate, and would like to hear a fair, learned man’s point of view. Finally, anyone would like to read something that can only be described as an excellent perspective on a section of a book over 2000 years and why it’s still a great, if not THE BEST, source of wisdom for human behavior.
Bravo Mr. Prager. And from the bottom of my heart, thank you.