Read: 1 March, 2013
I’ve been working on my Bible reading project over at Carpe Scriptura and I came across a recommendation to read this book. Though the stated objective of my project is just to chronicle my personal impressions of the text, I do like to cheat and get some outside perspectives occasionally, particularly when I raise questions that require more historically-founded answers.
Don’t Know Much About the Bible is a great introduction to the Old and New Testaments. Davis has a summary of each book, including a discussion of the themes, issues, and current scholarly thoughts for most. He also covers some of the bible basics, such as the Document Hypothesis. In that sense, I found it to be a perfect little primer for cultural Christians and others who just want a crash course on the contents of the Bible but lack the patience to slog through the actual text (which I fully understand). I could also see it working well as a quick reference book for someone who does enough Bible-talk to need one, but not enough to memorize all the information.
I found the information to be well presented and the writing style to be accessible. That being said, I did notice a few issues. Most notably, Davis seems rather intent on calling women in the bible prostitutes, such as Rahab (which is a little iffy). Worse, he presents their professions as if they were undisputed facts, stated explicitly in the text. I suppose he should get some credit for dispelling the myth about Mary of Magdala being a prostitute – though that correction is nearly more famous than the original myth by now.
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