Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Guest Blog--The Year of Living Biblically

Even for the complete Agnostic, A.J. Jacob's The Year of Living Biblically is an enjoyable read. Jacobs, himself an agnostic of Jewish heritage, tells about his year-long quest to live as closely as possible to the "rules" found in the Bible. The wonderful thing about his account is Jacob's humor--both in the telling of his experiences and in his creative attempts to live them. Jacobs grows a beard, starts wearing white, carries a staff, blows a ram's horn, and at one time even dons a white shepherd's robe in his attempts to be Biblical. He even starts carrying around a portable seat because he isn't allowed to sit in any chair where a woman who recently menstrated may have sat.

Apart from the many chuckles this book gave me, I had many moments of personal insight. Being religious, I reflected on my own beliefs, practices, and knowledge of the scriptures.

I learned there are many ways to interpret the Bible, and this results in the many different methods people follow to worship God. I also learned a lot about other religions and felt a greater tolerance for them.

The only disappointment I found in the book was Jacob's lack of conversion by the end. Jacobs made spiritual progress during the year, but he never really "got" religion or found out that there really is a God. That is a sad thing considering the depth of his experiences. It also shows that outward actions don't lead to conversion.

1 comment:

Blogger said...

What an interesting book. I know I've read the Bible, but I can't remember parts telling us to wear white and beards. And I totally agree with you that there is more to spirituality than not sitting on a seat.