There are 700 rules in the Old and New Testaments, A. J. discovered - some wise, some general, some contradictory. Some from Jesus, some from prophets, some from God. A. J. assembled a board of spiritual advisors: rabbis, ministers, and priests, some conservative, some of them "one four-letter word away from excommunication", who would provide guidance and advice throughout his journey. But the journey was, by necessity, arbitrary. DIY religion.
In The Year of Living Biblically, A. J. explores the Bible chronologically, from the Old Testament (crucial, given the 10 Commandments) to the New Testament (crucial, given America's powerful evangelical movement and its literal interpretation of the Bible) and lives the Bible on every level. He obeys the 10 Commandments, he is fruitful and multiplies (A. J.'s wife had twins during his year!); he remembers the Sabbath and keeps it holy. But he also obeys the oft-neglected rules, such as avoiding clothes of mixed fibers and refraining from shaving the edges of his beard (Leviticus 19:27). So, throughout the year, A. J. is commonly mistaken for a member of ZZ Top. Or Moses.
This is a look at religion today through one man's totally arbitrary, deeply funny, journey. In A. J.'s hands, The Year of Living Biblically is also fascinating and irresistible.
©2007 A. J. Jacobs; (P)2007 Simon and Schuster Inc.
"[A] hilarious, quixotic, thought-provoking memoir." (Publishers Weekly)
"A.J. Jacobs has written a - how else to put it? - Good Book. Let me take my review from the original, Psalm 2, verse 4: 'He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh.'" (P. J. O'Rourke)
This is a fun little book on a heavy duty topic. I really enjoyed the various perspectives on why some people adhere to the Old Testament rules. I listened to this book mostly on headphones in public places and at several points I found myself having to explain my sudden outbursts of uncontrollable laughter to surrounding bus riders/grocery shoppers. That being said, the silly parts are pretty much where you expect them to be and the attempts at poignancy feel a little bit like the wrap up of an episode of Wonder Years or Full House.
If you're on the fence, you should probably go ahead and listen to this book. It gets sort of lame at the end, but the first three quarters are worth twelve bucks.
I'm having a difficult time trying to describe how I feel about this book. It seemed to have enlightened me. I looked forward to getting in my car so that I could listen to it. love!
Yeah, its quite uplifting and would be good for a pick me up.
Great listen! I would highly suggest it
Unabashed Progressive Christian seeking to learn, not preach.
One of my favorites
Very thought provoking book. What would it be like if we tried to live our lives according to all the rules of the Old and New Testaments? AA Jacobs, an avowed non religious agnostic, shows how difficult, downright impossible, and how delightfully rewarding some of the rules can be when really looked at. Well written, enjoyable read (listen). Honest. He still remains an agnostic at the end, which is a refreshing honesty.
There are some learnable lessons for anyone who considers themselves religious.
Jacobs made a lot of excuses that poorly reflected on his validity.
The characters were him and his family, with the occasional interview, so yes.
Probably not, though apparently it might be happening.
Entertaining - yes. At times because it is a joke. I'm glad he was changed, but so much more was possible.
Yes, A.J. Jacobs is a very good narrator. I was continually anxious for what would be next.
I don't remember the fellows name, the guy that helped him keep grounded in the Jewish Faith and all of it's twists.
No. I am a Born again Christian, I continually waited for A.J. to be inspired by the life of Jesus and the New Testament and find Jesus himself. What happened? He cut his beard and left his robe behind and became the same person he was before he started. As it turned out for A.J. the year was a "project" for a book and not something life altering that Jesus went to the Cross for.
I am glad that I spent the time with A.J. Jacobs. I do wish that he would understand that living biblically after the crucifixion of Jesus changed greatly. After Jesus died on the cross we must accept Him as the Messiah born of a virgin and ask Him to forgive our sins and the Trinity fills in where all of the "do this at this time" was in ancient" Trinity--Father,Son,Holy Spirit.
Maybe a professional narrator would have added that little more pizzazz to this peculiar story. Even if based entirely on the author personal experience, I feel that having him read the story rather than a narrator has taken something away from the pleasure of listening to it.
As a former Catholic now atheist coming to terms with my new world view I'm trying to understand the viewpoints that are different than mine. As part of a long term plan to read the the bible at some point in the future for myself, this book was wonderfully insightful into the bible and the implementation of its teachings by people of various sects. Much of the discussion of religion from an atheist point of view in print or documentary films amounts "haha, look at those idiots" which I find useless. Although it is not a path I choose I want to understand this book that continues to impact our human history and how those who follow it pick and choose on their own.
Particularly insightful was the view in Haddism (sp?) and how everyone is a cafeteria believer (they pick and choose which part of the bible they follow), and that the height of that selectivity is that in Christians picking passages from the old testament while largely viewing it as "overwritten" by Christ's death.
The one caveat to this book is that this immersion project could only be undertaken this successfully by a man given the limitations placed on women in religious orders.
In summary, this is a listen definitely worth your time.
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