The Year of Living Biblically

I have a small pile of books on my nightstand that I read whenever I get a chance, which isn’t often. I’ve been reading The Year of Living Biblically: One Man’s Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible for about a year now. The story isn’t really linear so it’s easy to put down and pick up almost anywhere.

A.J. Jacobs, an agnostic member of a Jewish family, decides that he is going to spend 365 days following the letter of the law of the Bible. He begins by reading the Bible cover to cover and making a list of all the suggestions, commandments and rules. He crafts the resulting list of 700 into a daily guide to live the next year of his life by.

Most people are familiar with the more common commandments, such as “love thy neighbor” and “thou shalt not steal,” but Jacobs’ experiment into the world of spiritual literalism uncovers some of the more bizarre and humorous. For instance, Jacobs is not allowed to sit on any seat that a menstruating woman has sat on, so he carries a travel seat with him everywhere goes.

I haven’t finished the book yet, but it is interesting, humorous, and at times disturbing to think of what some faithful will do to follow their gods.

A.J. Jacobs' book on Amazon

– Laura Riess

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