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 best-seller. 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. Abridged. Read by John Ratzenberger. 6 hours, 5 CDs.
"Like most of the Idiot's series, this guide to the Bible is user-friendly. Key terms are defined, and the authors make repeated attempts to illustrate every complex point, down to explanations of literary techniques used. However, they often do so by incorporating cheesy puns and references to ephemeral pop culture, such as cartoons. As a result, this is a dogmatic explanation of the Bible, but one that mostly lacks dignity. John Ratzenberger's narration fits this text perfectly, switching from a joking tone to a judgmental quality when making pronouncements about doctrine. The result is a schizophrenic listening experience."
G.T.B. © AudioFile Portland, Maine
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