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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars From the Outside In
The book is Jacobs' journal of his attempt to follow the Bible as literally as possible. He documented more than 700 rules in the Hebrew and Christian bible. As a pastor you can imagine why I needed to read this. Jacobs starts his Biblical journey (as I started mine as reader) as a bit of a skeptic. He describes himself as a secular Jew but says "...I'm Jewish in the same...
Published on April 7 2008 by Peter Cantelon

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars wate of money!
I don't know where the humor is supposed to be in this book. At day 50 it was so boring I put it in the recycle bin! Waste of time and money; don't buy it.
Published 16 months ago by Ron 4310


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Insightful and Humorous, a Great Read!, June 23 2008
By 
S. L. Biron "Sam" (Chelsea, Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Having grown up in and left a very fundamentalist church 10 years ago, I was naturally curious about A.J.'s project. I caught site of the book on the fly at the bookstore with no knowledge of A.J. or his writing before. Not only has his book proven to be very entertaining, it is at once thought provoking as it is humorous. Worthy of mention, his wife seems very patient during what was undoubtedly at times a trying year for her. This is one book where I'm definitely going to miss this very candid and humble writer who I looked forward to reading every night before bed. A.J. if you're still checking reviews, I have another 5 readers lined up for you and am looking forward to your next book...
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well done!, Jan. 4 2008
By 
Jeremy Postal - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Well done A.J.! I enjoyed every bit of your book which continually made me laugh and nod knowingly. My wife, on the other hand, gave me the dirtiest look when I told her about your 'impure' story from the delivery room...

I'm about to recommend this book to all of my pastoral interns.
Grace and Peace,
-Jer
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Trying almost everything in the Bible at least once, Dec 6 2008
By 
Brian Griffith (Toronto, Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Year of Living Biblically: One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible (Paperback)
This is a social experiment I wouldn't impose as punishment on criminals, but Jacobs makes it both illuminating and entertaining. How far can he take Bible literalism for a whole year? He tries to avoid discriminating in which traditions he will observe. Some hundreds of injunctions, like the one about taking eggs from under mother birds without hurting the mother, can be done once and crossed off, like a list of things to be done within 365 days. Other commands won't go away, like observing "Thou shalt not lie", when his wife keeps asking "What are you thinking?".

As I feared, Jacob's juggling act gets complicated. He notes, "In Judaism, the biblical laws that come without explanation -- and there are many -- are called 'chukim'". There's also a Hebrew term 'Chasid Shote', meaning a righteous idiot like the guy who avoided helping a drowning woman lest he break the ban on touching her.

Along the way, Jacobs searches out fellow literalists. He invites the Jehovah Witnesses to his house to learn they don't believe in the Trinity or Hell, since they claim those doctrines arn't properly in the book. He learns of Jews who want to bring back polygamy, and a gay pastor whose pamphlet titled "What Jesus Said about Homosexuality" opens to a completely blank page. He finds there's a group called "Jubilee USA", which seeks to apply Old Testament laws about forgiving debt in the Jubilee year to the problem of odious debt in Africa. In his personal quest for literalism, Jacobs finds that the line "Love ... keeps no record of wrongs" forces him to delete a computer record of incorrect statements made by his wife.

Anyway, it's a surprising trip, and Jacobs is certainly changed. He emerges from his year more grateful for life and more funny than ever. This is a well-conceived, delimited experiment in religious practice, that's well reported, and highly productive of workaday insights.

--author of Correcting Jesus
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An absolute Awesome Read!!, Oct. 8 2008
By 
Heather Eby (Ontario, Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Year of Living Biblically: One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible (Paperback)
I love this book! Everytime I picked this book up I laughed and laughed! There were times where I was reading with my husband beside me and I just had to share what A.J. had written. Then we both had a giggle together!

I kept my Bible close by while reading this book. I thought it was neat how A.J. was pointing out all these little things that are in my own Bible and actually doing them! That took a lot of courage because now-a-days people will scoff at you for the smallest things. So even growing that beard the way he did deserves a big round of applause! I know what he's talking about with the stack of books. I myself have a slight fetish for Religous literature. It never ends! Everyone has an opinion and I'm glad A.J. did not hold back (Most of the time...poor chicken! hehe)when it came time to explore the text into real life.

If you like this book and would like to learn more about the Bible, I personally found The Idiots Guide to The Bible a great read!

I would like to finish by saying, A.J. Jacobs, You are My Hero! I hope you continue on with your quest and I would love to see you take more Religous books and live them out!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars wate of money!, April 6 2013
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This review is from: The Year of Living Biblically: One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible (Paperback)
I don't know where the humor is supposed to be in this book. At day 50 it was so boring I put it in the recycle bin! Waste of time and money; don't buy it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good for everyone, Jan. 8 2012
By 
Anne Harris (Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Year of Living Biblically: One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible (Paperback)
I'm an atheist, so I probably wouldn't have been offended if AJ had been harder on and more ridiculing of all the rules he had to follow. But I'm glad he didn't. After finishing this book, I hope I can be more understanding of Jewish and Christian tradition -- I certainly learned a LOT about those traditions! I can also see how mean, petty and actually hacky it is to just constantly pick on the faithful. I'll still watch Bill Maher but I'll think more and laugh less. Nonetheless, there is also lots to laugh at in this book. I could totally relate to AJ's struggles with coveting and anger (he gives the finger to an ATM, I once gave it to a bee. A definite sign of temper issues!). Good lessons here for all of us.
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5.0 out of 5 stars HIghly Recommended, Aug. 17 2010
By 
S. Jager - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Year of Living Biblically: One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible (Paperback)
This book, without a doubt, delivers exactly what you're looking for when purchasing a memoir from a humourist. There is absolutely nothing lacking...except more pages.
I've read all books available from Mr. Jacobs. This was my first, then I read The Know-It-All (which, by the way, is a home-run as well).
When reading this, you feel as though you are becoming personally acquainted with him, from the minutia of everyday life to the more grand and wider scoping ideas and musings we normally save for our nearest and dearest. I'm not one who is radically interested in celebrities of any sort beit singer, actor, writer, artist - but if I saw AJ Jacobs out and about (which would be unlikely since I live in Northwestern Ontario), I would immediately ask him where his wife Julie is and could she join me for dinner...I feel like I've got my fill of him through his book(s) but with his wife who is more than a secondary character...she's the backbeat of it all...I feel like I want to know her because she'd be as entertaining as hell (just like her hubby).
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5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing interactive book!, Aug. 11 2009
By 
Caleb Hull (Ontario, Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Year of Living Biblically: One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible (Paperback)
I read this book from cover to cover in the emergency room. I am a seminary student and heard a lot of bashing when the book was extremely popular. I read it, and it brought back the feeling of experiencing and appreciating God in all aspects of life for the first time. I wrote A.J. to tell him how I felt and he replied Christmas morning. So much for respecting a holy day! Amazing book. Fun Read. Buy it immediately!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A New Perspective, April 17 2009
As a pastor, I'm always trying to find my own path through the thicket of rules and commandments of the Bible and I was very grateful to my friend who suggested this book. I finished it yesterday and was both surprised and understanding when A.J. came to his final conclusions. I have long preached that there is a difference between rules ("religion") and faith ("relationship"), but I have also maintained that rules, be they found the Law or wherever, can lead one *to* a relationship so long as they are not being used in place of the relationship itself. The quest is not so much to follow the rules as to find God through and behind them, and I think that this became clearer as the year went on.

Read this book, and take something from it - not the fringes, not the beard (which my wife and daughter have also forbidden, incidentally), but the One one is seeking to approach through the practices and through the Word of God.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very Entertaining, March 5 2009
By 
H. Mack (Ontario, Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Year of Living Biblically: One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible (Paperback)
I found this book to be very entertaining and informative at the same time. The author did an great job combining humour and religious tolerance. I found out about a lot of quirky things that I did not know existed in the Bible. I enjoyed the author's journey.
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