18 of 31 people found the following review helpful
Exacting scholarship but heavy going,
This review is from: The Unauthorized Version: Truth and Fiction in the Bible (Hardcover)
Oxford historian Robin Lane Fox presents in The Unauthorized Version, an academic's perspective on the bible and specifically, it's historical legitimacy. Perhaps this is my own fault but I was expecting a detailed look at Jesus's life and a presentation of how much evidence there is to support what the bible alleged. What Lane Fox actually serves up is a highly detailed account of the Old Testament, mostly concerning the rise and fall of ancient kings and empires.
Distancing itself from books such as The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail and The Hiram Key, Robin Lane Fox gives us a true historians analysis of the bible, using serious academic research techniques, based upon verifiable facts and pointing out where he is speculating. This is to be applauded, though Lane Fox's hard to penetrate writing style will alienate many of his potential readers.
I thoroughly enjoyed Lane Fox's biography of Alexander the Great; that, too, was dense and erudite but it also had a strong narrative pull that helped keep all the facts in focus. The Unauthorized Version does not have any such core - the book seems to wander around all over the place, much like many of the tribes it describes. As such, it simply failed to keep my attention and I can not honestly recommend it, except perhaps to those who are already quite familiar with the bible itself.