The Year of Living Biblically – Review

A little over a week ago I blogged that I had downloaded The Year of Living Biblically by A. J. Jacobs with one of my June credits. And, I have to say that it is one of the best books that I have read recently. It is an honest attempt by a person who considered himself an agnostic to live the Bible as literally as possible for one year. In the process he reveals both the loftiest aspects of religious of belief and also the dangers. The author is witty and honest, especially about his own shortcomings (one of the best features of the audiobook version is that it is read by the author himself).

I do not want to spoil the book for you because I hope that many of you will read it, but I would like to relate one of the more entertaining anecdotes.  Jacobs decides that he is going to try and literally fulfill the Bible’s commandments to stone adulterers and blasphemers.  He knows that he cannot do this with large stones, so he decides to choose small ones.  When he is out in New York a man asks him what he is doing, and he must be honest, according to the Bible, so he tells the man what he is doing.  The man then proceeds to tell Jacobs that he is an adulterer and asks if Jacobs is going to stone him.  Before Jacobs can do anything the man takes one of Jacob’s own rocks and throws it at him.  Once Jacobs regains his composure he takes a rock and hits the man in the chest with it.  He then relates his feelings about the incident afterwards.  They are mixture of both satisfaction and disgust.

This and many of the other stories make the book a worthwhile read (or listen).  Even if you do not agree with Jacobs at many points I think that you will find it helpful to see an outsider attempt to live out the commandments of the Bible.  If you are interested in checking it out, follow the links below:

Get The Year of Living Biblically with an Audible Free trial