“Stories of the Old Testament” by Jacob Klein

storiesoftheoldtestamentSTORIES OF THE OLD TESTAMENT

Jacob Klein
Outskirts Press (2016)
ISBN 9781478748847
Reviewed by Josh Cramer for Reader Views (02/17)

When I saw the title, “Stories of the Old Testament,” I was looking forward to reading this book by Jacob Klein. I was even excited when I saw that his target audience is those who appreciate “simple language” and want a perspective from an “average Joe” (like Klein) instead of a theologian or minister. I believe this is a great mission and responsibility! As a Christian, I am all for making the Bible and its message of redemption and salvation easy to understand for everyone. The Good News is good news, after all. It is important that all audiences are able to understand these concepts.

My excitement soon soured, though, as I learned what Klein meant when he said “simple language” that doesn’t include a “theologian” or “minister” perspective. It meant that this book would be written from Klein’s limited perspective. If you are expecting this book to include various interpretations or understandings of each story, you will be frustrated. Instead, each story feels like I was reading a series of early college essays that the author wrote about these stories based on his own personal experience, presenting little research from what others have said. I feel his writing style needs to be developed more as it currently feels like reading a series of essays in a college Bible class, and even though he was shooting for a simple perspective for the average Joe, a book about Bible stories, in my opinion, should have been based on a broader resource list and research.

I do believe that it is important to seek out spiritual mentors to help in understanding a text (which I believe can include other books and resources). As it is, the bibliography includes six resources: Three books, (including the Bible) and three videos. My main discontent is the interpretation of historical events (like the description of Jews and the Roman Empire and other such statements), as I believe one’s own view should have an extensive research back up, especially on stories that are looked to in a historical and faith based context.

Again, I really wanted to like “Stories of the Old Testament” by Jacob Klein, but I feel it wasn’t what expected from reading its synopsis. Although his interpretation did not do it for me, if the reader is looking for the author’s own point of view on the stories from the Bible, then they should check it out.

Advertisements

About Reader Views

Reader Views is an Austin, Texas, based company. We started late December 2005 as a book review service. Shortly after the company's birth we expanded into offering a variety of services for authors such as book publicity services, editing, author interviews, literary book awards, as well as coaching to write book proposals.
This entry was posted in Books, Religion & Spirituality and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s