God Is Disappointed in You by Mark Russell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
When I was a kid I was a huge Bible nerd. I read The Picture Bible at least 5 times front to back (one of my first comics, now that I think about it). I’ve read MOST of the Bible a few times. (I usually skimmed Numbers and Deuteronomy). Back then I used to fantasize about someone writing the Bible in the regular vernacular. I’d mostly grown up with King James and NIV. NIV wasn’t bad, but it was still hard to get a perfect grip on things. After a while, I came across more translations and a few of those Bibles had good intros about how hard it is to make a good translation. Essentially you can either go for literal exactness or the spirit of the words. And those choices make a big deal when you’re talking about fundamentalists choosing whether or not to hate someone based on what the Bible says. So I gave up on my fantasy.
Then I came across this book. This book is exactly what I’d hoped for when I was young. It is not precise enough by any stretch of the imagination to hang doctrine upon. But if you want to understand what’s in the Bible, I can’t think of a better book. I haven’t been to church in a LOOOONG time, but from what I remember of the Bible, this book is very accurate on the gist of each book. Plus it’s written in a tone that’s pretty fun to read.
The Bible is not only the basis for how a large portion of the country behaves, but it’s also the basis for a lot of cultural references. So I’d definitely recommend the book.