Today, it occurred to me that, of all the books I have reviewed, or seen reviews of, I have never done a review of the Bible. A complete synopsis of this book is impossible in this short of space, but most people know the contents, so I will skip that part and go straight to the review.
The Bible can't be put into a specific genre. Part history, part self-help, part-inspiration, part fantasy-with an element of poetry and reference thrown in--this book stands by itself in that respect. Like life itself, no artificial box can hold this book.
The first half of the Bible contains a great deal of history. As with all history books, it is subject to flaws. Having been written years after the events taken place, memories can become dim and the author or author does his best to fill in the empty spaces. In all, however, we get a pretty good picture of what life was like in that long-ago time period. Some of the details have been verified to date, but more still remain a mystery yet to be solved.
The second half of the book contains wonderful poetry, fable and self-help lessons. I found numerous cases where quotes can be used as positive affirmations to help keep one on a true, enlightened spiritual journey. The language is often difficult to read and I find some of it a bit "flowery" in the manner of Shakespeare. I was, however, entranced in many instances and had quite a few "ah-ha" moments.
The authors obviously did not take the time to collaborate on the various sections, and there is discrepancy in the plot line in more than one place. The message of love, peace and do unto others is evident throughout, however, and remains the major theme pulling the various threads together.
Characters range from pure light to pure dark. Many appear only briefly, while others reappear throughout the entire book. The main character, God, does not appear at all physically, but He makes his will known in many ways that can't be ignored. You get the impression from reading this book that the main character is vengeful, accepts only His viewpoint and has a nasty temper. His son, however, speaks of peace and love and reminds us that, regardless of first impressions, his Father, is also forgiving and compassionate.
This book contains elements of so many genres that there is something for everyone. It is not a book to sit down and read in one sitting, but is quite suitable for a daily reading of a section or two. The Bible will make you think. It will provide you with as many questions to ponder as it does answers. The style is more matter-of-fact than emotional, it is even somewhat preachy at times, but all in all, it is a book I would recommend without hesitation.
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