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Bible Babel: Making Sense of the Most Talked About Book of All Time    by Kristin Swenson order for
Bible Babel
by Kristin Swenson
Order:  USA  Can
Harper, 2010 (2010)
Hardcover, e-Book

Read an Excerpt

* *   Reviewed by Leslie McKee

Thomas Paine once stated: 'The Bible is a book that has been read more and examined less than any book that ever existed.' The Bible is unique in that it brings comfort to some, yet disturbs others. It is widely referenced in literature, television, movies and music. The Bible is used for support in hot debates on the topics of homosexuality, abortion, poverty, evolution and anti-Semitism. However, many people have little to no understanding of the Bible.

Swenson's book is topically arranged, including: versions, history, quotes and misquotes, terminology, famous and infamous men and women, symbolism and various names of God. As no original manuscript exists, 'no translation can claim to be authoritative for all time, since our own language is always changing.' However, Psalms and Proverbs are two books of the Bible that seem to be relevant to anyone at any time. Some fun facts Swenson includes are: the earliest practice of the church (the Lord's Supper or Holy Communion), the most popular version of the Bible (New International Version) and the most important discovery for Biblical studies (finding the Dead Sea Scrolls). Informative appendices pertaining to the order of the books of the Bible, a historical timeline and tentative chronology, family trees, abbreviations and resources close out the book.

Swenson, a professor of religious studies in Virginia, presents the information in a neutral manner, showing no religious bias. While Bible Babel is not a quick read, it is very informative for those seeking a greater understanding of the best selling book in the world: the Bible.

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