What sort of "person" is God? Is it possible to approach him not as an object of religious reverence, but as the protagonist of the world's greatest book--as a character who possesses all the depths, contradictions, and abiguities of a Hamlet? In this "brilliant, audacious book" (Chicago Tribune), a former Jesuit marshalls a vast array of learning and knowledge of the Hebrew Bible to illuminate God--and man--with a sense of discovery and wonder.
©1996 Jack Miles (P)2010 Random House
Absolutely. This is a completely fresh, clear look at the Bible as a whole. A monumental achievement.
The account of Genesis, and profiles of the characters.
Not a great speaker.
It blew my mind and opened the scriptures for me in a way very few books have before.
When I drive, I read... uhm listen. I like SciFi, Fantasy, some Detective and Espionage novels and Religion. Now and then I will also listen to something else.
What happens when a secularised Jesuit (turned Episcopalian, then leaving the faith) writes a theography about the ever unchanging God of the Jews and the Christians? A literary critic uses literary criticism to introduce the reader/ listener to God as an ever changing character. This is how prof. Jack Miles' book "God: A Biography" happens.
Immediately you might have realised that this book is not a book for the Religious Fundamentalist, neither for the seeker of God's face. Using the insights of historical-criticism when analysing God's character, Miles introduces God in a way you might not have thought of him before. I find the approach fresh and daring.
What I kept on asking myself, while listening to the book, was, "Would I have analysed it in the same way?" My answer to myself is, "Probably not." Not because of my different religious outlook, but because I interpret certain key passages differently. Maybe also because I would not have taken the same liberty as Miles take from time to time.
For example, when God reveals himself as "Eyeh asher eyeh" (I am that I am) Miles prefer to read it "Eyeh asher eweh" (I am what I do). This seems to me a highly speculative reconstruction not asked by the text. Trying to give God a human-like life, Miles falls back on some (sometimes extensive) artistic license to give God flesh. He also does it in accordance with the Jewish Tanach arrangement of books of the Old Testament.
His daring an courage makes an interesting listen, that can be heartily recommended to open minded, progressive or liberal Christians and Jews... as well as atheists and agnostics. It might sound like blasphemy to more evangelical or conservatively inclined Christians.
Michael Prichard does a fair job in reading this book. He clearly does not know Hebrew, though it is not often referred to or quoted in this book.
This book is set to challenge the status quo of traditional beliefs, though the author denies it. Realising that God is more than omnipotent and omnipresent might just bring you to insights about who God is, insights that you didn't expect. I highly recommend the book but suggest that you approach it with an open mind.
I tried to listen to this book on a long road trip, and finally had to stop because the narrator was putting me at risk of a fiery highway death. The book itself is awesome, and so interesting I've gone ahead and listened to the book when I was safely out of the car. But this narrator has a droning quality only the most boring college profession could possibly match. I loved the book itself so much I've done something I rarely do ... I bought the hard copy so I can read it and not miss anything during the narrator induced day dreams.
Why would someone spend so much time unpacking and analyzing something he is clearly so disinterested in? It seemed to me like watching a very serious and intent monkey slowly taking apart a Prius. In the end I pray the God he (not the Bible) portrays does not exist; or if He does, at least I want nothing to do with Him. Fortunately, I am convinced, Jack Miles is simply, seriously wrong.
If you have any interest in the Old Testament, this is worth a listen. He approaches God as a literary figure. In other words, he takes the old testament book by book and looks at God as a character (why would he say this in Genesis but then this later). Whether you consider yourself religious or not it is worth a read. The cross-references the author points out really makes you think. Why is God like he is in Genesis but different in form and action later in the Old Testament. I really enjoyed the approach.
This is a waste of dosh if you wanted to get to know the LORD better. I thought it would be a great idea to compare it to the world view and ours as a Christan or Jew but rather its for those who don't want too love the LORD but annalise Him as a "fictional option" in literature. If you are looking for a faith based book don't waste your time
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