Good Book: The Bizarre, Hilarious, Disturbing, Marvelous, and Inspiring Things I Learned When I Read Every Single Word of the Bible

Good Book
Good Book: The Bizarre, Hilarious, Disturbing, Marvelous, and Inspiring Things I Learned When I Read Every Single Word of the Bible By David Plotz; Read: July 2011

One man’s gut reaction to the Old Testament.

That’s Good Book in a nutshell. And that’s all that’s really coming to me right now. I just finished the book—just as siesta was about to begin—and my head is still swimming with ideas.

But the very first idea I had about this book was when I wondered if I should buy it. Now I haven’t read the entire Bible until now, even after making an entry about it in this blog. The first book that I thought would get me to do it didn’t do the trick. So I wasn’t that keen on acquiring another one. But I banked on the possibility of inspiration. What I got was something else.

Don’t know that much about the authors of my books but, with this one, I am very much sure that he’s a Jew. He says so himself. And that’s why this experience is very much refreshing: I’ve never read anything by a Jew. (Or I don’t remember reading anything by a Jew. So correct me if I’m wrong.)

Reading Good Book is like reading the Bible with Plotz. Not that it is a substitute for reading the Holy Bible itself, mind you; Good Book and The Good Book are two different things. As he discovers the Scriptures, you would too.

Now don’t shy away just because it’s about reading the Bible. If you plan to read the Bible—and haven’t—it doesn’t give away that much. Okay, granted that he wrote about a lot of details in the Bible, there are more things that Plotz never wrote about that are still left for you to learn about yourself. But if you’re the type who’s allergic to anything that pushes the idea of God, this book isn’t one of them. If anything, it doubts about God.

And that was what I struggled with. It wasn’t the new perspective on the radical Mosaic laws, smiting of certain Israelite clans, or horrendous sex crimes. (Personally, the killing at Shushan by the Jews at the end of the book of Esther was a shocker.) It’s this author’s “idea” about God. And that is the one gut reaction I have difficulty talking about, much less writing about.

Have to say though that, of all the books I’ve had, this one—or rather its subject—is what gained a lot of reaction from people I came in contact with. Some have come to recollect what they know about the Bible, even confess that they never read it (for various reasons). It has been instrumental for me to able to talk about my personal beliefs, albeit a bit clumsily since I find it awkward talking to people other than my friends. Even with my own friends, I still find some difficulty sharing both my faith and doubts since I grew up with everyone else believing the same thing, never questioning or doubting anything about God, the Bible, and supplements to our spiritual life.

Then here comes this book by an author whose childhood I could easily relate to. But from thereon, our experiences diverge. Guess I consider conversations like that bordering on very personal and practically every query as a question of faith.

Disturb the ground to uncover new earth, to prepare for seeds, to make way for life. Or learn the death that’s beneath the soil.

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