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Publisher's Summary

Rob Bell, the beloved author of Love Wins and What We Talk About When We Talk About God, goes deep into the Bible to show how it is more revelatory, revolutionary, and relevant than we ever imagined - and offers a cogent argument for why we need to look at it in a fresh, new way.

In Love Wins, Rob Bell confronted the troubling questions that many people of faith are afraid to ask about heaven, hell, fate, and faith. Using the same inspired, inquisitive approach, he now turns to our most sacred book: the Bible. What Is the Bible? provides insights and answers that make clear why the Bible is so revered and what makes it truly inspiring and essential to our lives.

Rob takes us deep into actual passages to reveal the humanity behind the Scriptures. You cannot get to the holy without going through the human, Rob tells us. When considering a passage, we shouldn't ask, "Why did God say...?" To get to the heart of the Bible's meaning, we should be asking, "What's the story that's unfolding here, and why did people find it important to tell it? What was it that moved them to record these words? What was happening in the world at that time? What does this passage/story/poem/verse/book tell us about how people understood who they were and who God was at that time?" In asking these questions, Rob goes beyond the one-dimensional question of "is it true?" to reveal the Bible's authentic transformative power.

Rob addresses the concerns of all those who see the Bible as God's word but are troubled by the ethical dilemmas, errors, and inconsistencies in Scripture. With What Is the Bible?, he recaptures the good book's magic and reaffirms its power and inspiration to shape and inspire our lives today.

©2017 WORB, Inc. (P)2017 HarperCollins Publishers

What members say

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Wonderful

I am not a religious woman. I'm so grateful for the spiritual and historical unfolding, the playfulness and lofty scope of What Is the Bible. I could connect to something that lies deep within, to stories that didn't add up, stories I could never quite harness a half-decent answer to. This created a space where I could enjoy and also reflect on my own flaws and strengths. And Robs passion and experience shines all the way through.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Jon
  • Richardson, TX, United States
  • 06-19-17

Wonderful

Rob's books are all great! I don't agree with everything he says in all of them, but I don't have to. They are truly great and insightful. I learn new things in each one.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Beautifully done, highly recommend

Loved every word of this book and couldn't stop listening!! Rob Bell once again so eloquently describes so many complex ideas and questions that I've always struggled with in the Bible. Thank you for this book, it will most certainly transform my daily scripture readings!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Once you see, you can't unsee...

This book is so eye opening to a different way to understand the Bible. I will never be able to hear or read the Bible the same way again after listening to Rob Bell's book. This book presents the Bible as a book about humanity and is for anyone who is human regardless of religious views.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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The rest of the story?

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

Those aligning themselves with "Progressive Christianity".

What was most disappointing about Rob Bell’s story?

Rob was very selective and not objective in his content. In his attempt to establish the setting, background, and content of each topic, he could have done much better developing the themes throughout the entire Scriptures. I would recommend Audible’s, “Case for Christ, Revised & Updated: A Journalist's Personal Investigation of the Evidence for Jesus”, by Lee Strobel, as a more sincere, investigator's type approach to find the truth.

Which character – as performed by Rob Bell – was your favorite?

Rob is one of a kind in his delivery. He is clear speaking, witty, funny and engaging in his style.

What character would you cut from What Is the Bible??

That wasn’t the issue, rather than the agenda.

Any additional comments?

I realize Rob was covering a large number of topics, but in every case he stopped short of telling the “rest of the story”. I was there when Rob started Mars Hill Bible Church. I will never forget my first visit. I sat between a guy in a 3 piece suit and a fully tatooed motor cycle dude. As Rob opened the Bible I heard a sound echoing throughout the huge congregation that I had never heard in all my years in church. It sounded like rushing water. I looked up from my Bible to see everyone else was turning the pages of their Bible to find the passage Rob was about to read. That was the rushing water sound! That is what Mars Hill was like. Rob unlocked the Jewish world of the Bible and Jesus’ teachings in an amazing way. In the early years he always emphasized, it's all about Jesus, the power, healing and forgiveness of sins available in His death and resurrection. The festivals, the tabernacle, the monotonous details of Leviticus, it all points to Jesus. One example of what I mean by the “rest of the story” was Rob’s account of the “binding of Isaac”, or Akedah. Rob, why did you leave out the full significance of the male lamb caught by its horns (shofar)? Do you remember when you told Mars Hill how this event forshadowed a future sacrifice of God providing His own Son as our atonement? Do you remember when you pointed out how Jesus said, “Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad”? And, how at the moment of Jesus’ death the shofar was blowing from the top of the Temple Mount, fulfilling Abraham’s promise, “On the mountain of the Lord, it will be provided”? I agree with the Rob Bell of the early years of Mars Hill Bible Church. He taught in an amazing way, including the rest of the story, in every case pointing directly to Jesus. The nation desperately needs the truth of that message.

25 of 32 people found this review helpful

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simply brilliant...an amazing story teller,

compelling in everyway. listened straight through
this is the best book on the bible and faith I have read

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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This book is like drinking from a fire hose

This is quite possible the best book Rob Bell has ever written...

Bell says the Bible "is a dangerous, subversive, explicit, foul, honest, strange, contradictory, paradoxical, ruthlessly hopeful book that makes a number of rather stunning claims about pretty much everything. (Do you like that phrase ruthlessly hopeful? I’m quite keen on it.)"

This is a book for anyone who wants to know why progressive people all over the world can read these ancient stories and be refreshed and rejuvenated.

This is a book for anyone who had heard Bell speak/sermonize/teach and wondered "how does he dive so deep into the story."

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Rob Bell is a great expositor with a different perspective

Rob Bell is a great expositor with a different perspective than most mainstream Christianity. In his previous books it's felt like he's really tried to distance himself, but this one was just honest and gracious and beautiful.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Wow!!!

This book may be one of the most important reads of today! Rob Bell is truly gifted at communicating, and this audio edition is great!!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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entertaining, capturing, interesting!

I always love listening to rob speak, because it always feels like I'm having a conversation with him, and that we're both fully engaged. this book keeps that tradition going for me, I loved it!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful