Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Year of Living Biblically by AJ Jacobs

My 100th review on here! yay!

I've been wanting to read this book every time I saw it in the store but then I always forgot about it. I finally got it at the library. I wonder why I was so ambivalent in reading this? I'm far from religious. If a label needs to be slapped on me, it would be agnostic.

Turns out Jacobs is also agnostic. He got the idea to live the bible literally for a year from his ex-uncle Guru Gil (more on him in the book). He starts out gathering all the information he can from the Old Testament to do for the first 8 months or so of his quest. The rest of the time will be devoted to the New Testament.

It's an interesting journey he takes that is neither pro-religion or anti-religion. While this book does show that in a lot of instances you just can't live the bible literally, it also shows that you can. Living the Commandments (from the Old Testament) is pretty literal, loving thy neighbor is pretty literal, etc. However, wearing only white, eating bugs and sacrificing animals...not so much.

It's a given that not many people really truly follow the bible literally, no matter what they say. Jacobs manages to find people who are doing the best they can to do exactly what the bible says, including visiting the Amish and snake handlers.

This is a very well put together book that is nicely neutral on the religious topic. It just leads you through one man's attempt to follow the bible as literally as possible.
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