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Sex, Drugs, Violence and the Bible Paperback – Mar 23 2001


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Paperback, Mar 23 2001
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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Forbidden Fruit Publishing (March 23 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1550567985
  • ISBN-13: 978-1550567984
  • Product Dimensions: 21.4 x 14.9 x 1.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 358 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,030,432 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on Jan. 6 2004
This book is a wonderfully fresh look at the Bible for the religious and non-religious alike. If you're religious you'll probably be offended at first by much of the author's research, but give it an honest read anyway. The worst that could happen is that you come away with greater insight into how the non-religious view your scriptures. I found the book refreshing and challenging; it caused me to fall in love with the Bible at last because for the first time I was able to read it with some historical and archaeological context rather than simply being expected to accept it as sacred because others have believed it to be so for thousands of years.
Read in the context of an emerging tribal culture struggling with the concerns of their time: life, death, food, fertility, war, dominating and avoiding the domination of often more technologically advanced neighboring cultures. This book gave me an appreciation for these ancient peoples without having to accept as divine the horrific treatment they visited upon each other, their neighbors and particularly upon their women and children. This book is a must read!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 6 reviews
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Valuable cannabis-focused entheogen theory March 29 2003
By Michael Hoffman - Published on Amazon.com
Anyone interested in the entheogen theory of religion should get and read this book. It is largely devoted to ferreting out the many entheogen references and allusions in the Bible. It covers most books of the Bible in order.
High-quality scholarship. Aside from some distracting typos, it is highly readable and reveals how interesting and complex many of the Bible stories are. As is standard, it assumes the literal existence of Bible characters -- an assumption which entheogen scholars are increasingly calling into question.
I'm grateful for this book spurring me on to take on studying all the books in the Bible. Highly recommended for entheogen and religion collections -- essential, in fact, especially in light of how few books there are about entheogens in Christianity.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Sex, Drugs, Violence and the Bible Jan. 6 2004
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
This book is a wonderfully fresh look at the Bible for the religious and non-religious alike. If you're religious you'll probably be offended at first by much of the author's research, but give it an honest read anyway. The worst that could happen is that you come away with greater insight into how the non-religious view your scriptures. I found the book refreshing and challenging; it caused me to fall in love with the Bible at last because for the first time I was able to read it with some historical and archaeological context rather than simply being expected to accept it as sacred because others have believed it to be so for thousands of years.
Read in the context of an emerging tribal culture struggling with the concerns of their time: life, death, food, fertility, war, dominating and avoiding the domination of often more technologically advanced neighboring cultures. This book gave me an appreciation for these ancient peoples without having to accept as divine the horrific treatment they visited upon each other, their neighbors and particularly upon their women and children. This book is a must read!
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Excellent Sept. 18 2005
By Whomever - Published on Amazon.com
Sex, Drugs, Violence and the Bible by Chris Bennett & Neil McQueen (2001)

This book is a necessary edition to any library, a 4.5 star rating.

Chris Bennett and Neil McQueen give a fascinating history of the usage of Cannabis and drugs such as Mandrake in the Bible. A follow-up to Bennett's 1995 publication Green Gold the Tree of Life, this publication goes into further depth on Bennett's original theories. Bennett provides more research to back his Calamus / q'aneh bosom / Cannabis theory originally proposed by Sula Benet in the 1930's. This theory is almost certainly correct!

However, Bennett and McQueen do appear to over state their cannabis theory into other areas in attempt to debunk other proposals such as John Allegro's Sacred Mushroom and the Cross theory, or Clark Heinrich's additional research. Bennett attempts to make us think the Cannabis plant looks more phallic in appearance than say, a mushroom.

"It is hard for me to understand how so much valuable research time by such intelligent men has been misspent trying to document a forest mushroom as the main sacrament of the desert people."
~ Chris Bennett

Bennett omits associations such as the message of Jehovah received by Abraham under the oak, likely A. pantherina, and the cedars of Lebanon that would most likely be in reference to A. muscaria. Though both Allegro and Heinrich also overlooked this. Other associations are better suited as cubensis, this I won't go into this here.

The book also strives and does a rather excellent job in substantiating much of the origins of Christianity from fertility cults and their practice and symbolism. It makes clear that the sexually repressive ideas of the Christian faith is not substantiated by anything in the Bible, nor are the so-called family values which are touted by fundamentalist Christians. The authors do a fantastic job in substantiating many of Allegro's fertility proposals from The Sacred Mushroom and The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Christian Myth, as well as from other authors.

As for the violence in the Bible, the authors do an excellent job in showing how the peaceful "love your neighbor" Jesus is just mythological fantasy as they show numerous instances of outright slaughter by "God's Chosen People" and then later, the Christians.

The primary problem with the book is that the authors omit most research showing that these characters are mythological and astronomical, taking most of the biblical characters as historical fact, regardless of lack of historical or archaeological evidence. They do this all-the-while telling us throughout this book how many sections of the Bible were edited or just outright forgery. They based the book on the idea that Jesus himself applied the much older sun worship symbolism/mythology to HIMSELF! Then they turn around and admit that Jesus the man may have never existed:

Ft 485: As with the "Ministry of Truth" in Orwell's 1984, the Church Fathers and rulers of the newly theocratic state, ensured that only texts that authenticated the history of cosmology of the church were allowed to survive. Evidently some historical texts may only have survived because they were altered by Christian copyists to fit in with the history of the faith. John Dominic Crossan suggests that such alterations occur in the works of Flavius Josephus whose account of Jesus in his Antiquities is referred to by many Christians as non-Christian evidence of Jesus' historical existence. "Josephus's work were preserved and copied by Christian rather than Jewish editors; such additions would have been easy to insert" (Crossan 1994).
~ Bennett & McQueen

"A severe purging of "heretical" books that conflicted with the new `Orthodox" New Testament version of Christianity was done by Bishop Athanasius of Alexandra in 367 A.D., who sent out a solemn command that all such `heretical' works were to be burned. Similar editing was again done at the Church Council of Hippo in 393 A.D. followed by the Council of Carthage in 397 A.D.. This editing continued to be done with the placating of a Roman public in mind, and making a faith that was originally meant for a Jewish populace, theologically palatable to followers of pagan religions by incorporating aspects of their mythologies into the Christian mythos. "No matter what the fundamentalists may tell us, the New Testament is not a single book, written by a human scribe taking Divine dictation, but an arbitrary compendium of ancient texts that are claimed to be divinely inspired" (Sheaffer 1991)."
~ Bennett & McQueen

"By analyzing the sayings of Jesus that are repeated throughout the Synoptic Gospels and discounting blatant contradictions between texts, these scholars have hypothesized that there was an original collection of sayings from Jesus, that the New Testament authors borrowed from in compiling their stories. [Not recognizing the older astrotheological tale] The Jesus Seminar has concluded that only about 20% of the words attributed to Jesus in the New Testament can be taken seriously as his words, making it rather hard to decipher who the man behind the myth really was."
~ Bennett & McQueen

How then can they assert an argument based on Jesus' existence while stating the evidence has all been altered?

If the authors had incorporated more of the research on the Archaeoastronomy and Astrotheology, which they already show and refer to lightly like a rock skimming over a pond but never going into the water, their book would hold much more weight. However, their literalist interpretations can be hard to swallow, though I understand that this is the type of writing that orthodoxy expects. If the authors had not taken such a literalist view of the Bible, I'd have ranked it a 5 star.

Regardless, this book is deep, scholarly -as based on the research used, original, well thought out, and a must have. I rate this book between 4 and 5, or 4.5, though Amazon does not offer this choice.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
SEX, DRUGS, VIOLENCE & THE BIBLE Oct. 2 2006
By JE Farrow - Published on Amazon.com
SEX, DRUGS, VIOLENCE AND THE BIBLE by Chris Bennett and Neil McQueen is an amazingly readable indictment of the Old and New Testament--and should be required reading in all Bible Studies and Comparative Religion classes. Not only is SDVB a well thought scholarly work; it also loaded with often amusing, often revealing snippets of Biblical scandal and hidden lore.

The Authors make no secret of their core intention of writing the book as a means of promoting the centralthesis summed up on the book's jacket:

"Second only to sex, do drugs--as in psychoactive substances--play a
pivotal role in the development of religious thought and experience, and the Judaeo-Christian traditions are no exception. What will be surprising to most modern readers is the frequent use of intoxicants like wine, strong-drink, and mandrake in the Bible."

Perhaps even harder to accept will be the copious use of cannabis, (Hebrew kaneh-bosm), by both the Hebrew Priests and Kings for shamanistic purposes...a tradition that was continued by both Jesus and his followers."

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