Friday, July 30, 2010

 The Uncensored Bible

 In this unexpectedly delightful (if juvenile) little book, two Bible professors and a journalist unpack some of the more outrageous interpretations of the Hebrew Bible, focusing on juicy tales of sex, dysfunctional families and body parts. What if Eve was not made from Adam's rib bone but, as one biblical scholar has suggested, his penis bone? (Don't laugh this theory away until you've read the chapter.) Despite taking on serious questions ofbiblical interpretation and Hebrew translations, the authors maintain a tongue-in-cheek demeanor as they address questions like Did Abraham pimp Sarah? Did Ruth and Boaz have a roll in the hay on the threshing floor? and Was Joseph a cross-dresser? (Answers: yes, maybe, and probably not.) One chapter proposes that the assassin Ehud (Judges 3) escaped King Eglon's rooftop after murdering him by slipping down through Eglon's latrine. Some of the authors' conclusions are a stretch, but it's always in good fun. This is perfect bathroom reading, and PW means that in the best possible way.

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