Holy Bible: King James Versionby Published 15 Jan 2008
|Holy Bible: King James Version.pdf|
Holy Bible: King James Version Ebook Description
Holy Bible: King James Version PDF Book has good rating based on 203083 votes and 5183 reviews, some of the reviews are displayed in the box below, read carefully for reference. Find other related book of "Holy Bible: King James Version" in the bottom area.
Faithful and Easy-to-Read New King James Version.
Devotionals by Child Evangelism Fellowship with Highlighted Scripture Verses.
Full-Color Precious Moments™ Illustrations.
Exclusive Precious Moments™ Line Drawings.
Special Study Helps including "Stories the Pictures Tell."
Illustrated Presentation and Family Register.
Words of Christ in Red.
Pearl-Stamped Violet Mist Leatherflex.
Keepsake Edition for Children of All Ages.
Holy Bible: King James Version Reviews
This is the only book you need for life. This is life's instruction manual. It will give you history, answers for EVERY issue of life, comfort in times of sorrow, encouragment, prophecy (only book with prophecies that all came true) and best of all the TRUTH of why we are here. This book is actually made of 66 books written by 40 authors over 1500 years!! It has stood the test of time. I encourage anyone to give it a try. Please do not knock it till you try it. And you dont have to start in the beginning. Try the book of John it is a great place to start.
What to say about this one?
Firstly, it is much longer than it needs to be to get the point across. I mean, do we really need a few thousand pages to basically communicate the ten commandments and how God is scary, and a few thousand more to communicate that Jesus is good? I think the problem here is that there wasn't enough editing over the years. Editing was only performed by popes and kings to rewrite history the way they wanted it to go. Today a publisher would scoff at any author wanting to publish a book that long. Its just not economically feasible. And who would read the entire thing?
Secondly, its confusing. So many characters and towns. I think the addition of family trees and maps would greatly enhance the readability. 100 years of solitude has a family tree in the beginning, and its a much shorter book with far fewer characters. The Hobbit has a map, and Middle Earth is much smaller than the Middle East.
Thirdly, historical fiction is not my favorite genre. I admit I find Asia Minor more interesting than Victorian England, but this one just drags on. And for historical fiction, it misses the mark in a key category - feasibility.
In closing, I just don't think that it lives up to the hype.
I've already done a review of the New Testament, so this one will focus on the first part of the book. Looking at other reviews, most of them seem to fall into a small number of categories. First, there are the people who are telling me that this is the word of God, and the greatest book ever written. Second, there are the ones reacting to the first group and telling me that it's worthless. Third (probably the largest contingent), we have the wise guys making flippant remarks. And fourth, we have a few purists recommending or disapproving of particular translations.
I don't really find any of these approaches very satisfying. I can't accept the statement that this is the word of God, and all literally true; to pick one of the standard examples, Joshua's making the sun stand still appears wildly far-fetched. I'm sorry if that offends the Christians in the audience. If it makes you feel any better, I'll offend the Scientologists too, and say that I don't believe that, 75 million years ago, Xenu, the dictator of the Galactic Confederacy, brought billions of his people to Earth in DC-8-like spacecraft, stacked them around volcanoes, and killed them using hydrogen bombs.
OK, I'll admit that I also like making flippant remarks. But let's try and be serious for a moment, and apply normal critical standards to this work. That involves comparing it other, similar, books. What's similar to the Old Testament? It's a tricky question. To start off with, what genre does it belong to? It was written so long ago that modern categories don't apply. If you attempt to fit it into one of those categories, you find it's a bunch of things: an epic poem, a religious allegory, a history, and a work of science. Now, we think of those as being different. But when the Old Testament was written, they were all mixed up together. In particular, it's easy to forget that "Science", as a concept, is a very modern invention. As recently as the early eighteenth century, they called it Natural Philosophy.
Considered as an epic poem based on a religious allegory, the Old Testament is often brilliant. This is uncontroversial; even Richard Dawkins is happy to agree, and quotes numerous examples in the relevant chapter of The God Delusion. Obvious comparison points are Homer, Dante and Milton. (The only modern author I can think of is Tolkien). All of those are arguably better taken as a whole - in particular, they are more coherent - but, at least in my opinion, the best passages in the Old Testament are better than the best passages in the other books. If you disagree, just, off the top of your head, quote me a passage from The Iliad, The Divine Comedy, Paradise Lost or The Silmarillion which you consider superior to the Twenty-Third Psalm. ("The Lord is my shepherd", if you're no good with numbers). Maybe you can come up with something; I'm curious to see what it is. To me, though, the serious competitor is the New Testament. It's by no means inferior as poetry, and Jesus is a more complex and interesting character than Jehovah. The Old Testament position on moral and ethical issues now seems rather dated, and Jehovah, like Zeus and Odin, often comes across as not much more than a wise tribal chieftain with unusually powerful technology. Jesus, on the other hand, seems entirely relevant even today, and his bold and unconventional ideas still have the capacity to shock and amaze.
Given the popularity of Creationism, I guess I have to say something about the Bible as a work of science. I'm inspired here to follow Feynman's treatment of Newton in QED, which I read last week. Feynman is very respectful towards Newton, and says what a great man he was; but he also points out where Newton got it wrong. We just know more now. Well: put in its historical context, I think that the Old Testament was way ahead of its time. Quite apart from the fact that it's great poetry, Genesis is a remarkably sophisticated creation myth. Consider the first few verses.
In the beginning, God created the Heaven and the Earth.People who know about modern cosmology may want to nitpick this. On the other hand, if you had to describe the first few minutes of the Universe to a bronze-age nomad, I'd like to see you do better. You aren't going to be able to explain inflation and nucleosynthesis to them; you'll have to improvise a bit, and take the odd liberty. But, later on, there are definite mistakes. For example, God makes the Earth before He makes the stars. That's just incorrect, and there's no reason why it couldn't have been presented in the opposite order. The author of Genesis hadn't got a telescope, and it was hard to figure this stuff out from first principles.
And the Earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved on the face of the waters.
And God said, Let there be light; and there was light.
To sum up: considering that it was written well over two thousand years ago, the Old Testament is a startlingly good book that's still well worth reading today. Before you knock it too hard, consider how few other books there are from that period that can make similar claims. And, oh yes, I was planning to say something about translations. I think some are better than others, but the point I wanted to make has already been made so much more elegantly by Richard Curtis in his Skinhead Hamlet sketch. I'll hand over now, and let him conclude by giving you his scholarly opinions on the New English Bible.
I offer a a logical review for you:
Okay let's be realistic here, people who give this book one star are simply biased and blind to the beauty contained in this book. Whether you believe the theology behind this book or not you cannot deny the power and brilliance it contains. The whole idea of living is centered around the idea of love. A book with the phrase "Love you enemy" is a book unlike any before it. The poetry and proverbs are inspiring and show depth. Each book has a clearly different writing style yet they all tie together in a cohesive whole. The Bible is a literary masterpiece. It tells us to live selflessly and not store up wealth, give to the needy and do good to those that hate you. Does this sound evil? The Old Testament speaks of what the Hebrew people were to do in situations of evil done, yet are these not just indicators of evil deserving punishment? Later it tells man not to take vengeance into their own hands, for it is not man's place. This book has given purpose and meaning to billions, transforming lives and inspiring the hopeless. It is the #1 best seller of all time. It is geographically and scientifically sound, giving birth to science itself. An incredible and riveting read that spans thousands of years. Still culturally relevant today. Tell me what is not to like?
Technically a re-read, but I hadn't read most of it since I was a kid reading it in dull bits of church, and I think I must have skipped some, because I don't remember all of it.
Going to review the books separately. I read the New Testament first because it was research, then went back to the beginning.
Matthew: Nothing would cure me of any impulse towards Christianity more than reading this. Meaning, of course, that the pre-Reformation church was right to tell people to look at the pretty pictures and go to mass but not read it.
Mark: This was the original, and there was also Q. Oh dear. So obviously not what the Church made of him later, in terms of being incarnate God, so obviously a confused person wandering about a backwater province of Rome feeling his way. And John so obviously important in ways that are not what was made of the story later. Fascinating to see this as a building block for such a teetering edifice.
Luke: How could anyone start off with this Bible and come up with the concept of biblical inerrancy? It would seem more plausible to me if they'd come up with Lacan or Foucault based on having four contradictory accounts of the same events. These things can not all be true if they contradict each other! If they did the Flight into Egypt, then they couldn't have had the Presentation in the Temple. And yet, I have stood in front of paintings of both done by pious people who aren't seeing the problem.
John: I like this one best. Entirely contradictory, but poetic.
Acts of the Apostles: I've read this one relatively recently. I like it. It's an account of some ordinary people wandering around the eastern Med in the early Roman Empire trying to organize a cult. Clearly a real account. Perversely, I wish there were three contradictory versions of it. Why didn't they start a religion where there are necessarily four contradictory versions of everything? Why wasn't that a standard of truth? That would have been really neat.
Epistles: What? St. Paul says they can stop with the food rules as long as they don't eat blood. I -- what? They ate blood all the time! Christian Europe in the middle ages ate blood sausage and blood puddings and meat with blood, and they still do. I never even heard this! Do people read their own Bible? Christians totally eat blood, right now! This is worse than "God hates shrimp", this is supposed to be the new dispensation, and the new dispensation is you can eat shrimp and bacon but not blood. Guys! Do your own religion right! Pay attention.
Generally reading the epistles is great, I love letters, and these aren't very different from reading the Patristic stuff I've been reading, except that they're supposed to be canonical and holy in a different way -- people would be OK with St Basil being wrong but not these, they knot themselves into pretzels to make these right, except when they ignore them. Interesting to compare.
Revelation: I can't help thinking about Slactivist's takedown of Left Behind all the time.
And having finished, back to the beginning.
Genesis: People say the Bible is like mythology, but it isn't. It's like listening to old people tell long meandering stories where they leave bits out -- oh, actually, she was his half-sister, so it wasn't a lie -- and motivations get left out. Also, how did Rebecca's dad know about Abram and Sarai's name change? Did they send him a name change card? "Abram and Sarai would like you to know that from now on, they want to be known as Abraham and Sarah. (Pronouns remain the same.) Thanks for remembering!" And why did Lot stay in the wilderness? There were all those other cities he could have gone to. Weird, weird, book.
Exodus: Orson Scott Card wrote a series of books where God is a broken computer. It seems obvious to me reading this that God in this book is a stranded alien with very specific needs and very limited powers that mostly don't help much. Seen in this way, he's the most sympathetic character. He needs an ark to be carried in, and he needs to get back to the mother ship in Israel before it leaves. He's degenerating all the time. This makes so much sense I'm surprised it isn't a) an SF book and b) a loopy Velikovsky theory.
Leviticus: More staggering around with the poor confused alien. The Children of Israel sure did like to stop worshipping God and worship idols. And the food rules.
Numbers: More numbers than I could possibly have imagined. Wow. Where did this come from? What purpose could it possibly serve? This is even worse than the list of ships. Am I supposed to remember all these names? They're all so weird... except for the occasional one that sounds like an American.
Deuteronomy: And more? Really?
Joshua: You know what's weird? Being in the POV of barbarians. "And then we came to the cities of civilization and we trashed them because we don't know about cities." Barbarians do not normally write chronicles, and so that feels odd to me. This should be cited more by historians.
Judges: OK, so this is a chronicle. Fine.
Ruth: Odd little episode. It's odd generally to see how much space the "bible stories" have in the bible. I don't understand why this incident survived and was important.
4 Books of Kings: These are more actual historical chronicles and therefore quite interesting. I now have a theory that following the rules is hard, and worshipping Baal and having bacon was very tempting. If the alternatives are other monotheisms, then it's not so tempting, not like falling away into paganism, which they did at the drop of a graven image.
2 Books of Chronicles: Oh, I was supposed to be memorizing all these kings ready to get more information about them? When it said there was more information there really was? Who collated this?
Ezra: This is great.
Nehemiah: Oh, first person, and events, not just ranting! This is also great. But I'm trying to fit it together with actual history. The Babylonians conquered them, and then the Persians conquered them, and then (after this) Alexander conquered them, and then they were Hellenistic and then Romans. (NB to God -- next time, consider giving your chosen people an island. or possibly Switzerland. Somewhere more defensible and less in the way? Cyprus, maybe?) And this excellent story about rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem happened after the Persian conquest? I could probably find a concordance. but it would probably be annoyingly religious.
Wait -- I should get Tobit and Judith next, but King James left them out? Gah. I'll have to find another translation and come back to them at the end. I hate it when translators do this kind of thing.
Esther: The Purim story. Reads like actual history, coherent and makes sense and everything. Shushan is Susa. Remarkably little God in this one, just some Jews coping with persecution in the Persian Empire.
Job: Good heavens, philosophy and theology! Just when I'd given up expecting any. But I'm back to "how the heck did anyone come up with the concept of Biblical inerrancy starting from THIS Bible". I liked Job. But it does not fit with either a) Christianity as it is OR b) the rest of the Bible. Nor is God's behaviour either ethical or consistent. I could take a system based in Job, or I could take a system without it, but saying it's totally canonical then utterly ignoring it and its theological and philosophical implications is bizarre. (Judaism is easier to fit Job into, where Satan is a job. But even then, what's with this annual meetup of God and the sons of God and Satan? Again, I could retrofit the universe, but it would be hard work.)
I'm back to thinking that the pre-Reformation position that reading the Bible was dangerous and confusing and best left to experts had a great deal to be said for it, at least if you want people to follow the religion. But I've been told that while actually reading the Bible is a Protestant thing to do, even Catholics are encouraged to do it now. I have no idea how this works. It must take a miracle.
Yay, Psalms next.
Psalms. Lots of poetry, some of it intimately familiar, some of it completely off the wall strange. Beautiful language. Very very long. Took forever to read. And now, a whole book of proverbs. Well, you can't say it's boring, you never know what's coming next.
Again, a weird mixture of the very familiar and the utterly off the wall. Most of it went in one ear and out the other.
Beautiful, philosophical, kind of grumpy, kind of Stoic. I don't understand how it fits with the rest of it. The discussions on what to put in, what was canonical for the Jewish bible must have been epic. I only know about the Christian arguments, and they pretty much took these as accepted. I expect it's too early for there to be good records the way there are for Church councils. But I expect there was a lot of debate on this one.
The Song of Solomon
Excellent poetry about love and sex, some from the female point of view. I hear it's supposed to be an analogy for Christ and the Church. Risible. Obviously not. Really good though. My pleasure in reading the bible has had an uptick with Ecclesiastes and this.
You know that passage about the virgin having a baby and calling his name Emmanuel? Of course you do. Did you know the next line starts AND, and goes on to say he'll eat butter and honey to know good from evil early because before he naturally knows good from evil the king of Syria will die? Of course you don't. It's hard to see this kind of picking and choosing from sources as being anything other than mendacity. But people read this. Christians read it. Do they read it with their eyes half closed, to stop reading at Emmanuel and not see the AND? Even if modern Christians do this, what about the early Church? What about St Paul? What about Jerome? Surely St Jerome had more integrity than to do that? I'm horrified.
Some good ranting, but this is clearly in the genre of "prophecy written after the event" like the Ohs of Merlin.
Jeremiah -- now this is how prophets ought to be. Personal, accurate, specific, and the bit where he got thrown into prison during the siege was unexpectedly exciting. Much less obviously fake than Isaiah, because of the details like the king burning the scroll and the crusts of bread. This works as a fantasy story about an actual prophet. This is the only part of the Bible so far that works as fantasy. Exodus etc. sort of work as SF.
Lamentations. -- I thought that didn't sound very cheerful, but it turned out to be short and very poetic, and I guess people are entitled to lament after they've correctly predicted everything awful that was coming and nobody listened and then it has all happened.
Ezekial -- so far, so whiplash. Woah, where did this come from? Visions, and not God telling you that if you don't quit with the idol worship the king of Babylon will trash your city but super specific fantasy images of weird flying animals. I have seen Raphael's painting of this, but even so it was a surprise.
And it goes on, weird imagery, overly specific measurements, odd prophecies, and then suddenly bang, "shall these bones live" that I know both from Eliot and from the song, both of them undoubtedly coming from this one chapter of Ezekial, and on both sides of it acres of stuff that nobody has ever heard. How did they -- I mean did they throw a dart at the pages and decide what was going to be used? It's so weird.
Now on to Daniel, which I remember from Sunday school, Lion's den, furnace, Shadrach and Abednego. Let's see how much is really there.
Daniel: Very short, and indeed, has the furnace and the lions den, and also some deeply weird prophetic stuff. Trying to reconcile dates of Darius/Cyrus etc probably not a good plan.
Hosea: Lots of whoredom, and not so disapproving as usual.
Joel: Short, vivid, and a surprising amount of it familiar though I wouldn't have known where it was from.
Amos: Savonarola's favourite prophet, so I've re-read this recently.
Obadiah: In one ear and out the other.
Jonah: That great city, Ninevah. Also, it's a fish not a whale. It's so odd that everyone knows this one. If I went out into the street and stopped a random person even if they were a Buddhist they'd know this, but not a word of Obadiah or Micah.
Micah: More propheting. Doom, doom.
Nahum: And more, some specific.
Habakkak: Again, the conference where they decided what to put in must have been fun.
Zephanaiah: More Christian picking and choosing relevant bits.
Haggai: More propheting, less dire than some.
Zecchariah: More propheting
Malachi: Done done done done done!
Well, that was... interesting, and boring, and took a lot of persistence. So glad I'm done!
If I'd started at the beginning, going on to the New Testament now, and stories of actual people doing actual things would be a real relief. As it is, zero desire to re-read those bits.
I cannot recommend reading this book this way to any sane person.
I cannot recommend reading it if you are a Christian and you'd like to stay one, because it would need so much doublethink that it couldn't be good for you.
I do, however, recommend it heartily to any atheist or agnostic who likes Christian art and Latin masses and would sort of like to believe in Christianity, or anyone thinking about Pascal's wager, or anyone in doubt from that direction, because there is NOTHING going to dispel any doubts or "wouldn't it be nice if it were true" or "what if God had gone to all that trouble to save me and I was ungratefully ignoring it" better than reading this with an open mind because it is so very very obviously not an inerrant revelation, or even a coherent basis for a religion, and you'd have to be feeling super charitable to even think it was a glass darkly. It's a mix of history and poetry and ranting and very occasional scraps of philosophy and theology and it doesn't fit together at all, and it reveals the selectivity of its readers. And I don't think I should say any more, because it would be unkind.