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Download How to Read the Bible: A Guide to Scripture, Then and Now Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample How to Read the Bible: A Guide to Scripture, Then and Now (Unabridged) Audiobook, by James L. Kugel
4.15 out of 54.15 out of 54.15 out of 54.15 out of 54.15 out of 5 4.15 (26 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: James L. Kugel Narrator: Mel Foster Publisher: Brilliance Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2008 ISBN:
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In How to Read the Bible, Harvard professor James Kugel leads the listener chapter by chapter through the quiet revolution of recent biblical scholarship, showing time and again how radically the interpretations of today''s researchers differ from what people have always thought.

The story of Adam and Eve, it turns out, was not originally about the Fall of Man,l but about the move from a primitive, hunter-gatherer society to a settled, agricultural one.

As for the stories of Cain and Abel, Abraham and Sarah, and Jacob and Esau, these narratives were not, at their origin, about individual people at all but, rather, explanations of some feature of Israelite society as it existed centuries after these figures were said to have lived. And whatever the original Ten Commandments might have been, scholars are quite sure they were different from the ones we have today.

Such findings pose a serious problem for adherents of traditional, Bible-based faiths. Hiding from the discoveries of modern scholars seems dishonest, but accepting them means undermining much of the Bible's reliability and authority as the word of God. What to do?

In his search for a solution, Kugel leads the listener back to a group of ancient biblical interpreters who flourished at the end of the biblical period. Far from naïve, these interpreters consciously set out to depart from the original meaning of the Bible''s various stories, laws, and prophecies - and they, Kugel argues, hold the key to solving the dilemma of reading the Bible today.

How to Read the Bible is, quite simply, the best, most original book about the Bible in decades. Clear, often funny, but deeply serious in its purpose, this is a book for Christians and Jews, believers and secularists alike. Download and start listening now!

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ethan | 2/13/2014

    " It took a while, but I very much enjoyed this book. I'm a pretty terrible Jew, and my knowledge of the Hebrew Bible generally ended with the Exodus, but this was a nice overview of the entire Hebrew Bible. The focus of the book is looking at two different sets of interpretations, those of the ancient biblical interpreters and those of modern academics, and trying to figure out how the modern reader should make sense of those generally conflicting approaches to reading the text. Not knowing too much about either set of interpretations I found the whole thing very interesting. The book questions a lot of the assumptions that people bring to reading holy texts, which I found enlightening. It's written for both a general and academic audience, and as one of the former I found it to be a gripping and informative read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sharman Wilson | 11/13/2013

    " Brent and I have been reading this together every night. Kugel guides you through interpretations of the Hebrew Bible, looking at both the ancient traditions/ commentary and the modern scholarship, and he tries to help you bridge the gap. It's a difficult task, and leaves many questions to ponder and make sense of. Modern scholarship is a work in progress and isn't the last word on interpretation, but the very different paradigm of the ancients can also leave one wondering. I guess we all have to have our own wrestle with God. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Angela Moore | 10/24/2013

    " I read did not enjoy this book because I felt like it was telling me how I should read the Bible and I rather read it the way I want to. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Molly | 10/22/2013

    " David's dad wrote this book and as I'm reading it I can hear the sound of his voice narrating it - its kind of trippy "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Merry | 10/19/2013

    " This has nothing to do with kugels. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lewis | 8/31/2013

    " Makes the Bible come alive. Provides both ancient interpretations as well as what modern Biblical scholarship has to say. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Myles | 7/26/2013

    " I might never have left Hebrew school if Dr. Kugel had been my guide through the Bible. Instead, I had a stream of European bumkins teach me the Bible and I caught up on my sleep instead. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Chongwon Park | 3/15/2013

    " This is a wonderful scholarly work. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sidney Davis | 2/15/2013

    " The author is a practicing Orthodox Jew. So his motivation is not to challenge religion. It more about challenging what we believe to be reality based on religion and how we negotiate between fact and faith. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kiera | 10/3/2012

    " A well-written history of biblical scholarship, easily accessible for a layman (and non-Christian) like myself. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 David | 9/1/2012

    " Kugel,an Orthodox Jew, talks about the current state of biblical criticism and applies it passages in the Bible. For instance, he writes about the Adam and Eve story as not about the fall of humanity, but a myth about the ancient transition of pre-Jewish culture from hunter-gatherer to agrarian. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ron | 1/25/2012

    " The author provides plenty to think regarding how the Bible may have come to be in the form we know. He also provides insight in how other generations thought about the Bible and its place in their beliefs. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Katie Dreyer | 1/20/2012

    " Gives a relatively unbiased account of biblical narratives... including both ancient and modern interpretation. Can't wait for Kugel to come out with his translation of the book of Jubilees - should be much better than the [very outdated] version available online! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Hans | 1/2/2012

    " This is the second time I have read this book. It's a must read if you ever wonder how scripture was collected and interpreted. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 tope | 11/30/2011

    " Really glad I read this book, highly recommend it - really, anyone who takes the Bible seriously or even just wants to understand how we got the Bible in the first place should read this book. I'll post a more detailed review when I get a chance. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tom Rowe | 10/29/2011

    " A lot to think about. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Terrell | 6/26/2011

    " Best book I have ever read on Old Testament biblical scholarship. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 HBalikov | 6/10/2011

    " Acheological, linguistic and anthropological insights make this more than old wine in new bottles. I found myself constantly surprised, challenged and delighted by Kugel's approach. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Katie | 3/4/2011

    " Gives a relatively unbiased account of biblical narratives... including both ancient and modern interpretation. Can't wait for Kugel to come out with his translation of the book of Jubilees - should be much better than the [very outdated] version available online! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tom | 12/29/2010

    " A lot to think about. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kiera | 3/23/2010

    " A well-written history of biblical scholarship, easily accessible for a layman (and non-Christian) like myself. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 tope | 2/2/2010

    " Really glad I read this book, highly recommend it - really, anyone who takes the Bible seriously or even just wants to understand how we got the Bible in the first place should read this book. I'll post a more detailed review when I get a chance. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Angela | 1/7/2010

    " I read did not enjoy this book because I felt like it was telling me how I should read the Bible and I rather read it the way I want to.
    "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lewis | 11/7/2009

    " Makes the Bible come alive. Provides both ancient interpretations as well as what modern Biblical scholarship has to say. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Hans | 8/29/2009

    " This is the second time I have read this book. It's a must read if you ever wonder how scripture was collected and interpreted. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ron | 1/25/2009

    " The author provides plenty to think regarding how the Bible may have come to be in the form we know. He also provides insight in how other generations thought about the Bible and its place in their beliefs. "

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About the Narrator

Mel Foster is a prolific audiobook narrator, having read dozens of titles throughout his career. He is the recipient of the prestigious Audie Award, as well as the AudioFile Earphones Award. A former advertising agency executive who used to record test tracks for commercials, his narration career was born out of encouragement from his clients who would often say, “why are we hiring someone else? I like this guy.”