What Is the Bible? Book Summary - What Is the Bible? Book explained in key points
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What Is the Bible? summary

Rob Bell

How an Ancient Library of Poems, Letters, and Stories Can Transform the Way You Think and Feel About Everything

4 (196 ratings)
19 mins

Brief summary

What Is the Bible? by Rob Bell is a thought-provoking exploration of the Bible, challenging readers to rethink their assumptions about this ancient text and its relevance to modern life. It offers a fresh perspective on the stories and themes that make up the Bible, and encourages readers to engage with it in new ways.

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    What Is the Bible?
    Summary of 8 key ideas

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    The Bible is the most popular book of all time, yet it’s often misunderstood.

    What’s your favorite book? Some like fiction, others history – but there’s one book that’s a best seller across the board. In fact, it’s the best-selling book ever.

    We’re talking about the Bible, which can be found in homes and hotels around the world. But despite how common this book is, many people misunderstand its origins.

    For instance, many are unaware that a number of biblical stories are rooted in the historical context in which its authors were writing, and the relative minority status of its original readers. Readers also fail to realize that lots of biblical tales began as oral traditions, passed on until they were written down.

    Interestingly, while history is generally written in favor of those with power, the Bible is an exception to this rule. Rather than being penned by the rulers of the time, the Bible was written by Jewish people, an oppressed minority for hundreds of years. This is why the motif of liberating the exploited is so central to the book as a whole.

    So, why were these stories published in the first place?

    Originally, the ideas in the Bible were presented as a new way of viewing the world, one that gave hope to the oppressed Jews who came to see themselves as imbued with a divine purpose. For example, in the story of Exodus, Moses leads the Jews out of Egypt. In this narrative, the implication is that the divine force is on the side of the oppressed people, and that slavery can be ended. For readers at the time, this idea was absolutely revolutionary.

    Later in the book, the reader discovers that, when Moses died, “he still had his vigor.” The implication here is that Moses retained his sexual potency until his death.

    But why does Moses’ libido matter?

    Well, metaphorically speaking, the idea that’s communicated is that in order to break a cycle of oppression, you have to pass your freedom onto your offspring.

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    What is What Is the Bible? about?

    What Is the Bible? (2017) takes a fresh look at the best-selling book of all time: the Holy Bible. These blinks take the Bible for what it is – a conglomeration of books written by real people in real historical contexts that are at once subversive, timeless and transformative.

    What Is the Bible? Review

    What Is the Bible? (2017) dives deep into the origins, history, and relevance of the Bible, making it a fascinating read for anyone curious about this ancient text. Here are three reasons why this book stands out:

    • With its thought-provoking questions and fresh perspectives, it challenges traditional interpretations of the Bible and encourages readers to engage critically with its contents.
    • By exploring the cultural and historical contexts behind biblical stories, it sheds light on the rich complexity of the text, making it more accessible and relatable.
    • Through his approachable writing style and personal anecdotes, Rob Bell creates an immersive reading experience that keeps readers hooked from start to finish.

    Best quote from What Is the Bible?

    The Bible is a reflection of growing and expanding human consciousness.

    —Rob Bell
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    Who should read What Is the Bible??

    • Christians and non-Christians interested in learning about the Bible
    • Those who have left the Church
    • People with a negative view of religion who are open to new perspectives

    About the Author

    Rob Bell is the New York Times best-selling author of Love Wins, among other titles and founder of the nondenominational Christian megachurch Mars Hill Bible Church. In 2011, he was named one of the “100 Most Influential People in the World” by TIME magazine.

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    What Is the Bible? FAQs 

    What is the main message of What Is the Bible??

    The main message of What Is the Bible? is to inspire readers to explore and understand the Bible in a new and thought-provoking way.

    How long does it take to read What Is the Bible??

    The reading time for What Is the Bible? varies depending on the reader's pace. However, the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is What Is the Bible? a good book? Is it worth reading?

    What Is the Bible? is a thought-provoking and insightful book that is well worth the read. It offers a fresh perspective on the Bible's relevance and meaning.

    Who is the author of What Is the Bible??

    The author of What Is the Bible? is Rob Bell.

    What to read after What Is the Bible??

    If you're wondering what to read next after What Is the Bible?, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • The Bible Recap by Tara-Leigh Cobble
    • A History of God by Karen Armstrong
    • Religion for Atheists by Alain de Botton
    • Islam by Karen Armstrong
    • The Women of the Bible Speak by Shannon Bream
    • Why I Am a Hindu by Shashi Tharoor
    • The First Muslim by Lesley Hazleton
    • The Name of God is Mercy by Pope Francis
    • Shameless by Nadia Bolz-Weber
    • The Reason For God by Timothy Keller