I must make a confession. I have not read the Bible all the way through. Yes, I have read snatches here and there, but I have never started out on page one and just read it through. Maybe taking it piece by piece is better. But I think having a good overall knowledge of the Bible is a vital part of ANY western education. Whether you are an evangelical fundamentalist or an atheist, this is knowledge that will come in handy at least when attempting to understand literature, politics, and history for the last two thousand years.
I was sent Original Sinners, the book by John R. Coats, for review. Reading this book made me realize just how deep and rich the Bible is. The Old Testament itself is a foundational book for three of the world’s major religions, Muslim, Jew, and Christian. This book about “Genesis” and why it is important in the modern world is a great way to embark upon a study of the Bible. Its multi-layered analysis and snappy style make it difficult to put down for anyone with any interest in scholarship.
What I got from this book was a flood of ideas about the beginnings of history. I am just embarking on a series of articles on ancient world history beginning with the paleolithic period and neolithic period. To read accounts that were written very close to that period reveals how truly the people of that period were so very much like us. They had personalities, intelligence, faults, and attributes along the lines of people today. The cave dwelling, city living, shepherding, and other activities pulled from the bronze age talleyed closely with what historians have had to say on the subject.
But beyond reading history, I found many passages from Genesis were appropriate to my own life. Coats does a good job bringing out the applicability of a book written several centuries BC. The relationships among the personalities from Abraham to Joseph seem quite modern. It goes to show that things have not changed all that much since those days despite all of our technology.
Read an indepth review of Original Sinners.