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The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Bible by…
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The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Bible

by Jr. Bell, James Stuart

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a very good basic introduction for both reading and reference
  rampaginglibrarian | Feb 18, 2010 |
This refers to the audio version of this book read by John Ratzenberger.

If you want to know the basic outline of the Bible, this book will serve that purpose. I am in no way a biblical scholar so I have no way of knowing if there were major parts left out, but the stories everyone is familiar with are here.

I have a few critiques:
There is almost no historical context. Even when introducing people like Darius there isn't even an explanation as to when this occurred or what else was going on in the region at the time. This would have provided some extra insight into the story.

The authors claim to be objective, but certainly come from an Evangelical point of view. They do not even acknowledge the Apocrypha exists, let alone include it in their summary. Also, they tend to quote the verses often quoted by Evangelicals and ignore verses that support Catholic theology. There is no, "You are Peter and upon this rock I will build my church." I don't recall hearing any of the verses that are used in the Hail Mary. Neither is the verse from James about "not by faith alone" present.

Speaking of James, they flatly state that he is the brother of Jesus. That will come as a shock to anyone who believes that Mary remained a virgin and knows that the Aramaic word for "brother" has broader meanings that include "cousin" and "relative." This presumption by the authors flies in the face of 2000 years of tradition to which more than a billion Catholics (and a lot of Protestants) subscribe.

An acknowledgement about some of the differences of biblical structure and interpretation that exist between the major segments of Christianity would have been a more honest way to write this book. Especially if you assume that a book like this will mostly be read by biblical novices who may not know that some great differences exist. ( )
  sergerca | Feb 27, 2009 |
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Amazon.com (ISBN 0028627288, Paperback)

At first glance, The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Bible seems irreverent at best, but as the saying goes, "Judge not ... a book by its cover." This little addition to the Complete Idiot's series tackles one of the most intimidating and misrepresented subjects of the past 2,000 years and succeeds in producing a competent and thorough guide to the world's all-time bestseller.

Jim Bell and Stan Campbell's success is largely due to their humorous and conversational writing style, as well as candid snapshots of what's actually in the Bible. Their treatment of the Old Testament in particular is both an intriguing and hilarious ride through the drama of biblical history. With chapter headings like "Abraham: the not-so-accidental tourist" and "Tell-a-Vision Personalities (Isaiah Through Malachi)," the authors provide a memorable picture of the goings-on in the first 39 books of the Bible. The Abraham chapter includes, among other noteworthy (and entertaining) facts, how Israel became the Hebrew "Promised Land," the origin of the phrase "fire and brimstone," and some of the less illustrious deeds of the so-called "man of faith".

In addition to the movie-traileresque treatment of biblical content, the Idiot's Guide is supplemented with an extensive index, advice on buying a Bible, and a day-by-day plan for reading the Bible in a year. Whether you need a quick overview or are considering some in-depth study but don't know how to begin, The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Bible is a momentum-building first step. --Benjamin Gebhardt

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:53 -0400)

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Includes summaries of the Bible's most famous stories, detailed maps of its major figures' journeys, and descriptions of everyday life as depicted in the Bible.

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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