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The Bible from Scratch Catholic Edition Paperback – Nov 1 2006

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Paperback, Nov 1 2006
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Product Description

About the Author

Simon Jenkins is the author of numerous books on Christianity, including Bible Mapbook, R Father N Hvn, and Windows into Heaven.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 11 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
OUTSTANDING! Finally I understand wht the Bible is all about! Sept. 10 2007
By Eva Mikola - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Sadly, 8 years in Catholic school didn't teach me even a fraction of what this book did about the contents of the Bible. This book explained the different sections and books in plain terms. Now I am actually inspired to read the Bible and learn what it's all about. The only additional thing I would have loved to see is why/how the different religions formed (Judaism, Catholic, Muslim, Protestants, etc). Thank You.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Excellent Overview Nov. 4 2005
By Kiwigoldfish - Published on
Format: Paperback
This book is a great overview of the Bible, full of information and humour in equal portions. The best starting out guide to the reader who wants to figure out how the various parts of the Bible fit together and fit within history.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Excellent and Interesting Quick Overview of the Bible Oct. 6 2014
By William R. Mueller - Published on
Format: Paperback
Excellent overview and the graphics highlight important and interesting material. The overview of the Old Testament is particularly good and well presented. I bought this for a friend that wanted a fairly short overview of the Bible for her family, especially the kids. I felt this was the best resource out there. The New Testament section was good and was especially strong on the creation of the Gospels and presenting the historical context of Jesus. I am hoping in the next addition, though, that the author adds another 10 pages or so on Jesus's message. I thought this wasn't fully developed. Also there are a couple of nice well done graphics that I thought were interesting but focused on the wrong thing eg. rather than the sayings of Jesus in the Bible the author had a graphic on the "Lost sayings of Jesus". A great graphic was included that showed how the Jewish Scriptures are organized rather than showing the Christian organization (the Christian grouping of the Old Testament is presented of course just not in a nice graphic). On the whole though I would strongly recommend this book.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Enthusiastically recommended Dec 8 2006
By Midwest Book Review - Published on
Format: Paperback
Written by Simon Jenkins, the founder of online community and "magazine of Christian unrest", The Bible from Scratch: Catholic Edition is a condensed, simplified run-through of what the Bible has to say in plain-terms English. Black-and-white cartoon illustrations add a visual dimension to the stories of the ancestors, saints, prophets, and historical figures related in the Bible. Covering both Old and New Testaments, The Bible from Scratch is accessible to readers of all ages, backgrounds, and faiths, even though as its title indicates, it presents a Catholic point of view. The Bible from Scratch is essentially a Cliff Notes version of the Bible with a small dose of cartoon humor added for good measure, enthusiastically recommended especially for anyone brand new to Biblical studies and in need of an easy-to-grasp overview.
Paul a Committed Warrior of the New Religion Oct. 8 2012
By Herbert L Calhoun - Published on
Format: Paperback
The beauty of this carefully written Catholic analysis of the bible is that it not only proselytizes gently, but also juxtaposes what has come to be accepted as standard Christian orthodoxy with Jewish biblical religious history. It is done in such a subtle and careful way that a reader may not readily see the parallel developments of both Jewish religious and ethnic history in the Old Testament, and gentile Christian religious orthodoxy in the New Testament.

However, nowhere are the two modalities of biblical explanation clearer than in the summary section of the book the author calls "Around the Bible in 30 Days." What is most striking about this very much-compressed but pristine summary of both Testaments is that the reader gets to see the unalloyed forest from above the trees. One gets to see, to the extent any exists at all, the logic of both halves of the bible. The rest of the book is used to get down into the trees, i.e., the wars, the sex, the overthrow of Kings, dynasties, the killing of prophets, the miracles, etc.

On the one hand, there is an utter lack of any discernable order in the Old Testament, chronological or otherwise -- that is, beyond God's personal thousand-year interest in the survival of the Jewish people. One can see from this vantage point clearly that the Old Testament is little more than a very ragged, meandering compilation of a thousand years of the oral history of the Jewish people, cobbled together and then turned into print without much conscious forethought -- and done so over the better part of the same thousand years as the Jews struggled against being enslaved by one group of overseers or another.

The Old Testament then is clearly just a potpourri of songs, legal documents, contracts, letters, riddles, official histories, poems, family trees and secrets, containing almost as an afterthought the over-arching political and religious dogma about the many different kinds of Gods and their continuing personal interest in Jewish survival.

On the other hand, compare this thousand year disordered, meandering compilation of Jewish oral history, with the utterly purposeful rendition of the New Testament, authored mostly by Paul, who was eventually to become the first Catholic Pope.

When an outline of the two narratives is laid side-by-side, as is done here in the author's summary, an unmistakable subtext emerges. The juxtaposition begs the question: Is it not the case that the latter narrative, Paul's version of Christianity (a sect he had previously detested but later came to embrace), as it was expressed through Jesus and the New Testament, not intended merely as the replacement for the Old Testament?

One of the compelling reasons one might think this is the case is that the Old Testament rambles and meanders, with chronological switchbacks, while the New Testament is a profoundly linear and purposeful political document written and rewritten several times under the influence of committees of powerful men over a period of about 80 years. Its single preoccupation was to legitimize Jesus as the new religious standard bearer, the messiah, God stand-in as it were: Paul's Jew, Jesus, would be the new messiah, a stand-in God for the new religion of gentiles called Christianity. And like a good modern day Madison Avenue "pitch man," Paul hewed and shaped his creation not just into a new religion, but also into the cornerstone of the Western way of life. That is no mean trick for one committed warrior of a cause:

A great information packed read at any age. Five Stars.