21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
An absorbing read, 6 Mar. 2011
I found this a fascinating, thought-provoking, and thoroughly entertaining tome. It deals at length with such matters as the origins and authorship of various books of the Bible (not what you would imagine); the degree to which biblical texts can be considered free of editorial interference (not much it seems - people have been tampering and manipulating them from the start to fit with their own views); as well as such questions as who really founded christianity (includes some decidedly dodgy characters), the extent to which modern christian doctrines, teachings and attitudes are supported by what is actually said in the Bible (very little in many cases), the reasons why there are so many Christian denominations, the various areas of conflict between christianity and science, and a great deal else. This is a scholarly work and the author has obviously done a tremendous amount of research, but it is by no means dry and contains considerable doses of humour, as in the description of the astonishingly deviant careers of various popes. I'd thoroughly recommend it to anyone who like to delve a little into the true story of the development of christianity rather than the sanitised verson that Christian groups themselves prefer to present.