Thursday, February 24, 2005

Book Review: The Bible

(In another instance where I introduce - then never continue - a new regular feature here at BlaggBlogg, I have decided to try my hand at book reviewing. As a not-so-humble person, I thought it necessary to choose a subject worthy of my substantial intellect and talent. So, I chose The Holy Bible, an ancient document many consider to be the most influential in the history of all mankind.)

Written in 66 chapters, by over 40 different people, the Bible is the highest selling and possibly most recognizable book in history. Which I don't really understand.

The Bible starts out pretty good, despite a sort of twisted historical logic and many claims that are in direct discrepency with the generally accepted laws of physics. I mean, I know it makes for an exciting read, but are we really supposed to believe the entire universe was created in 7 days by some entity that thinks everything is good? Sort of juvenile, if you ask me. Also, what's with the Noah's Ark story? We're really supposed to accept the reality that one single dude rounded up two of every species in the world - including insects, birds and reptiles - and put them on a big boat and sailed around for 40 days? I've read Choose Your Adventure books with better plots.

And while I enjoyed all the stuff about the Jews' enslavement and subsequent liberation, with the plagues and locusts and what have you, I really just don't believe one dude with a stick could make an entire sea part. I mean, even if it did part, the fucking ground where the ocean was would be all wet and mushy. You'd get mud all over your sandals and it would take days or even weeks to sludge through it with millions of people in tow. Just doesn't jibe with me.

After the initial excitement of the world's creation and Adam and Eve and Moses and all that other stuff, things really slow down somewhere between Numbers and Deuteronomy. I mean, the whole text really just starts to read like the recorded rantings of a schizophreneic street preacher standing on top of a wine box, holding a protest sign and a bunch of poorly written pamphlets. It's incoherent and, after the initial novetly, pretty boring, with the one exception of the story of Jonah, where the dude gets swallowed by a whale, chills out in its belly for like three days, then gets puked up to shore, alive and well with nary a scratch (again, not big on the whole logic thing, but whatevs).

Around this point in the Bible, the names of the chapters start to get really weird and confusing. I mean, 1st and 2nd Maccabees? What's a Maccabee? Why do there need to be two of them? I definitely don't heart Maccabees. Some of my colleagues in the circles of literary elite are saying that Nahum is the new Habakkuk, but I'm not buying it. Habakkuk is a fucking classic and all throughout Nahum, I really just wanted to skip ahead and dive right into Zephania, or go back and re-read Hosea, which was totally dope and amazingly written. Also, Song of Soloman could be a cool name for a rock band that fashioned themselves as the Southern rednecky cousins of the Strokes or something, but it wasn't really working for me as a chapter in the Bible.

So then we get to the New Testament, telling the story of my man JC, and while a lot of it was pretty sweet (water into wine? for shizz), it seemed pretty redundant to me. I mean, Luke pretty much nailed the story of Jesus by his ownself, so I don't really see why Matthew, Mark and John had to crowd onto the bandwagon and cramp the nigga's style. Hell, Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ nailed the holy spirit (no pun inten--okay, pun intended) better than anything in the Bible -- and Scorcese's "Last Temptation" is so good IT should be The Gospel. I feel guilty even mentionioning it in the same paragraph as these other hacks.

So then we get Corinthians and Ephesians and Galatians and Whateverians else, which are all the books written about Christianity by this dude Paul. See, this is where the Bible really went downhill for me. Before becoming Christianitiy's Publicist, Paul was the #1 murderer and torturer of Christians throughout the land. Then one day, he has some revelation on the road to Damascus and suddenly we forgive him for all the bad shit he did? I mean, that's the equivalent of a confessed serial killer or Hitler or someone being all like, "Look, I know I killed a bunch of people, but God spoke to me in a vision, and now I'm sorry and you should follow my teachings, for they are the word of God". I mean, WTF??? Could you imagine what the world would look like in 2000 years if the majority of its population is worshipping and studying the writings of Charles Manson? Also, Paul was a major woman-hater, and that just ain't cool me. He's all like, "bitches can't speak in church!", but we pretty much threw that one out the window a hundred years or so ago, when we seemed to collectively realize that it was retarded, yet we still take his other teachings and crochet them onto quilts. Don't get it.

Finally, we reach the end of this mammoth piece of literature: Revelation. Now, I've gotta say - the Bible ends strong. Revelation is all about hellfire, brimstone, whore-raping beasts and whole bunch of other badass apocalyptic shit. My favorite chapter by far, it almost made me forgive my problems with the middle 62 chapters or so of the Bible. To be honest, the Bible might be the world's greatest case for the powers of editing. It should have just been: Genesis, Exodus, Luke, Revelation. That would have been so much more concise, less boring, without nearly as much babbling bullshit. I know it had over 40 authors, but whoever edited this sucker should be banned from the publishing world permanently.

Overall, I have to confess, the Holy Bible is not much of a page-turner. While it has its moments of excitement and action, for the most part its just a bunch of variations on people chanting, "Oh holy God, we love you and praise your holy name, yeah, amen". That's pretty much it. However, I did hear that Brian Grazer and Ron Howard's Imagine Entertainment has snapped up the film rights to the book of Jonah, with Russell Crowe set to star as the young hero who is swallowed by the whale and forced to overcome incredible odds (though word is Crowe is planning on playing the character as a retarded math genius, a bold choice that might just get him another Oscar).

So there you have it, my review of the Holy Bible. I'm giving it 2 1/2 out of 5 Thessalonians. Also, it should be noted that I've never actually read it.

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