cover image Don't Know Much about the Bible

Don't Know Much about the Bible

Kenneth C. Davis. William Morrow & Company, $25 (512pp) ISBN 978-0-688-14884-3

Davis (Don't Know Much About History) attempts to teach us everything we need to know about the Bible but never learned. Davis brings to life the world of the Bible by putting it in historical context and attempting to clear up misconceptions and mistranslations. He summarizes Bible stories and parables, adding his own interpretive insights. Among his claims: Joseph didn't own a coat of many colors (the words have been mistranslated); Moses didn't part the Red Sea; Jonah wasn't in the belly of a whale; King David didn't kill Goliath, nor did he write the Psalms; Jesus probably wasn't born in Bethlehem; Jesus performed three resurrections besides his own. Davis also identifies which biblical teachings he thinks were appropriate for a semi-nomadic desert tribe but are no longer applicable to life at the dawn of the 21st century (e.g., the prohibition in Leviticus against planting your fields with two different kinds of seeds). While Davis's engaging volume offers little for biblical experts, it serves as an good introduction for Bible novices. (Oct.)