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The Bible: A Biography de Karen Armstrong
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The Bible: A Biography (2007 original; edició 2008)

de Karen Armstrong (Autor)

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1,2743511,581 (3.61)55
Religious historian Armstrong discusses the conception, gestation, life, and afterlife of history's most powerful book. Armstrong analyzes the social and political situation in which oral history turned into written scripture, how this all-pervasive scripture was collected into one work, and how it became accepted as Christianity's sacred text. She explores how "as the pragmatic scientific ethos of modernity took hold, scripture was read for the information that it imparted" and how, in the nineteenth century, historical criticism of the Bible caused greater fear than Darwinism.--From publisher description.… (més)
Membre:DonSellsted
Títol:The Bible: A Biography
Autors:Karen Armstrong (Autor)
Informació:Douglas & McIntyre (2008)
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The Bible: A Biography de Karen Armstrong (2007)

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This is a really excellent book that illuminates the history of the Bible, not in terms of what's in it, but in how it was read and interpreted by the generations of people that came before us. After reading this, I have a much better understanding of what the Bible is and how it was compiled, as well as a fresh perspective on how to read it and gain greater insight.

The only thing that really disappointed me is that I had to learn this from this book, rather than from the religious institutions that I attended growing up. Narrow-mindedness never solves anything. Understanding God and the world around us requires, at the least, knowledge of what others believe as well. ( )
2 vota SGTCat | Feb 25, 2021 |
I've always enjoyed Karen Armstrong's work on theology, be it Christianity, Judaism, Islam, or Buddhism. Her works on religion are always superb. And this is definitely no exception.

Despite taking me a while, which is no problem of hers, but typically mine, and making sure I understand it all, its a fascinating read and very thorough of the Bible. Though a bit light on how some books got added, or when, or why, this work does go into incredible details on how the Bible was constructed, and how its been used up until modernity (2006 is the last dated).

She breaks down the various ways the Bible, the Talmud, the Torah, etc, has been used, by the different groups and subsects of both Judaism and Christianity (think: all the denominations, all the different mysticisms like Kabbalah or Greek Orthodoxy).

I would have liked to see how and why some of the prophet's works were chosen, and who exactly made the choices, and I feel like this WAS covered but barely, and in the greater scheme of things gets overlooked/forgotten. Armstrong's work primarily covers the Pentateuch / Torah and covers the Gospels. Noting how they were written, why, and when.

She always does a great job of providing in-depth details that doesn't say "religion is fake" meanwhile not assuming its infallible and actually discusses how this or that should be interpreted as mythos rather than straight truth. (It does amaze me that in this day and age, you typically have only one viewing of the Bible by the religious - that its all literal, that there is no mythos, that the world was created in seven days, that Noah really did take two of every animal, that there was talking burning bushes, that God did walk through the Garden of Eden, etc.). ( )
  BenKline | Jul 1, 2020 |
Looking at the length of the book and the size of the type I though this might be a bit half-arsed, but it’s actually very good. I looked back at the end of chapter one and was amazed to see how much ground Armstrong had covered. Hardly a word wasted and still very readable. She can only hit the main beats of the story, of course, but as an introduction to the history of the Bible you could do a lot worse.

Some of the information I’d come across before in scholarly Protestant and Jewish sources. I therefore conclude that these are her biases. She has to take a few shortcuts, saying so-and-so is such-a-thing, whereas her more technical sources will give it as one of several possibilities. However, she makes sensible choices, and importantly for an introduction, interesting ones. In a couple of places where I knew what she was talking about she has a way of looking at something that I had never considered.

The notes function as a bibliography. She references lots of primary sources and a few books that look heavy and difficult, but I notice that she makes an effort to reference recent books intended for the general reader. Where I found I knew what she was talking about I had usually read it in Peake’s Commentary. If you’re looking for something more technical, try there.

If you’re looking for a good introduction or just have a passing interest in the history of the Bible then Armstrong’s book could well be for you. ( )
  Lukerik | Feb 2, 2020 |
Excellent evaluation of the history of the book the Bible. It will be dismissed by the fundamentalists who insist on a literal reading. I very much agree with her conclusions. She is an excellent writer. ( )
  Pat_Gibson | May 28, 2017 |
Should be required reading for all literate citizens of a liberal western democracy. ( )
  jefware | Mar 9, 2017 |
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Europe had become a pagan wilderness. From the fifth to the ninth centuries, the Christian tradition was confined the monasteries, the only places that could be provide the stability and quiet necessary for the study of the Bible. The monastic ideal had been brought to the West by John Cassian (360-435). He had also introduced Western Christians to Origen's threefold interpretation of scripture according to the literal, moral and allegorical senses, but added a fourth: the anagogical or mystical sense, which revealed a text's eschatological significance.
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Religious historian Armstrong discusses the conception, gestation, life, and afterlife of history's most powerful book. Armstrong analyzes the social and political situation in which oral history turned into written scripture, how this all-pervasive scripture was collected into one work, and how it became accepted as Christianity's sacred text. She explores how "as the pragmatic scientific ethos of modernity took hold, scripture was read for the information that it imparted" and how, in the nineteenth century, historical criticism of the Bible caused greater fear than Darwinism.--From publisher description.

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