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book of God Paperback – Jan 29 1998


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 640 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan Fiction (Jan. 29 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310220211
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310220213
  • Product Dimensions: 22.5 x 16.3 x 4.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #66,030 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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AN OLD MAN entered his tent, dropping the door flap behind him. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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By kt on March 3 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is wonderful. Wangerin does a fantastic job of the Old Testament here (although he does take a few liberties with what Hebrews would have looked like - red hair? probably not). This is very worth your time and money.
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Format: Paperback
This book starts out kind of slow. If you know the Bible at all, like I do, you will get frustrated at first that the author doesn't use more imagination in delving into the lives of the Old Testament characters. However, his imagination grows as he gets further into the Old Testament, and finally, when he gets to Jesus, his imagination really takes flight. I have never seen Jesus presented in such a human way before. Often in church His divineness gets over-emphasized, so it was refreshing to see a possible human side to Him. Overall, this book is a great read.
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Format: Paperback
"The book of God" is not, as other reviewers have stated, the Bible as a novel. What Walter Wangerin did here was to re-tell some (not all) of the central stories depicted in the Bible, to transform it in an easier and more undersandable reading.
The first three quarters of "The book of God" deal with the Old Testament, from Abraham to the Prophets. I liked this part because of the simplicity in which it was written; Wangerin did a good job, telling a nice, sequential story. But there are some problems. He kept using endless streams of seemingly unrelated family names, and at times he tries to create parts with biblical poetic resemblance, and that didn't work for me. That's the main problem with this book: it's too flat, to linear, it lacks an author's desire of creating a unique book.
The final chapters deal with the life of Jesus. Wangerin only writes what we know it's in the Gospels. He almost doesn't extrapolate. I thought he could have dared more, writing things somewhat different from what we read in the Gospels without diverging from the story, but he didn't. Don't get me wrong, "The book of God" is not a bad book. But it's not what I expected it to be. It's not vibrant, and at times almost dull.
Grade 6.8/10
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Format: Hardcover
The Book of God is, as many others have stated, an interesting read and good for the sake of bringing some to read biblical acocunts in a nonthreatening manner. However, I was disappointed in the book due to its claim of being "The Bible as a Novel." This, it is not. Many important biblical stories are left out. Others are embellished upon to an odd degree. (Case in point: Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist.) Still others are briefly mentioned and are told almost right from the bible, with no embellishments or modern language to ease the reading. Why the author felt free to add to some stories and not others is puzzling to me, as well as his leaving out some of the more well known biblical references.
I'd recommend this book as one to read if you would like more understanding of biblical stories and references. Just be aware going in to it that it is not all biblical fact - read the bible along with it!!
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Format: Paperback
I read the book because I enjoy comparing different translations of the Bible, but way too many liberties are taken with the Bible narrative to qualify for the sub-title THE BIBLE AS A NOVEL. It has some good points - it flows well, and reads easily. Certain Bible stories are brought to life and fleshed out, with a good feel for the climate, topography and geography of the Bible lands. But when you read it, have a literal translation of the Bible handy, along with a comprehensive concordance, and a good Bible encyclopedia.
Inexplicably, the book skips some of the great Bible stories altogether. The "sons of God" who fathered the Nephilim, precipitating the flood - not mentioned. The account of Esther - nope. Nor Naaman. Nor Job. Nor Jonah. Shadrach, Meschach and Abedndgo are on leave. Daniel in the lion's den - a no show. The handwriting on Belshazzar's wall - erased. The account of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram was apparently devoured by the editor's fire. Dinah's unfortunate incident with Shechem - not there. Nabal's rude rebuke and Abigail's averting of disaster are not mentioned. Gone is the account of a handful of David's mighty men risking their lives to boldly enter a Philistine stronghold just to get David a drink of water, and him refusing it, so angry was he at their cavalier disregard for the sanctity of human life - their own!
Of course, to put the story in novel format, there would necessarily have to be some interpolation. But the author's creativity leaves a lot of the accounts sounding very different from the Bible version. Esau's relinquishing of his birthright isn't caused by a lack of appreciation for spiritual things, its just that Jacob is a fast-talker, like a used-car salesman, bilking him as he hovers near death-by-starvation.
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Format: Audio Cassette
Make no mistake, Walter Wangerin is an amazing storyteller. I am referring to the audio version of his "Book of God," which he reads with animation and liveliness.
But it should also be perfectly clear that this is historical fiction, or biblical fiction if you prefer. At times it is even a bit of a commentary on the Bible, but it is not the Bible, nor are some of his characterizations consistent with Christian tradition.
Personally, I think Wangerin is at his best with the Old Testament portion of his narrative. Adam and Eve, Abraham and Sarah, David and Jonathan (not to mention Bathsheba), come to life in his telling. Wangerin has obviously done his homework, weaving in accurate images based on archeological findings, and adding vibrant personality and powerful emotions to these familiar stories.
In the New Testament portion, there were times when I felt his portrayal of the Apostles or the women, such as Mary Magdalene, were not entirely in keeping with traditional Christian understanding of these heroes of the faith.
Having said that, Wangerin has done a great service if he can interest individuals into doing their own research in the Scriptures or in early Church history.
With minor reservations, I can still recommend this "Book of God," especially in audio format.
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