Customer Review

12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A perspective on the Bible as history, 26 Aug 2009
This review is from: The Unauthorized Version: Truth and Fiction in the Bible (Paperback)
The Unauthorized Version: Truth and fiction in the Bible by Robin Lane Fox, Penguin, 2006, 480 ff.

Here we have a book that is learned but never pedantic, written by a history scholar at Oxford University, and which deals with a controversial subject in an even-handed way. The book supports the common view of the Bible as historical fiction - a collection of tales gathered together from tribal story-telling over hundreds of years amongst the people of the Middle East two thousand and more years ago.

The author points out that these texts were first written down and necessarily interpreted by scribes, then translated, with further interpretation. To ascribe literal truth to any such text is therefore untenable. Lane Fox says in his Preface that there are Jewish and Christian scholars whose view of the Bible is far more radical than his own. For example, `It would be naïve in the extreme to take the narrative of Kings as a true or comprehensive history' he says of the Old Testament, and in the New Testament he claims that the fourth Gospel of John is held by scholars to be `almost entirely . . . unhistorical'.

This accords with the majority view of biblical text; but this does not undermine its value as literature and as historical myth, appropriate for the time and place where it was written after many decades or centuries of oral transmission.

This book is authoritative and highly readable. There are more than fifty pages of Notes and References of sources for those who feel the presentation might be prejudiced by the author's self-confessed atheism. Rather, this conveys a much-needed impartiality to the assessment. There is also an excellent and detailed Index.

Dr Howard A. Jones is the author of The Thoughtful Guide to God (2006) and The Tao of Holism (2008), both published by O Books of Winchester, UK.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

Be the first person to comment on this review.

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines ">here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
 


Review Details

Item

4.3 out of 5 stars (18 customer reviews)
5 star:
 (11)
4 star:
 (4)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:
 (2)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
£17.70 £11.99
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Reviewer


Location: Wales, UK

Top Reviewer Ranking: 215