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Bible Babel
Making Sense of the Most Talked About Book of all Time

by Kristin Swenson


If you are looking for heavy theology, biblical studies that run the same course as most, an inspirational book full of heart warming but meaningless statements, don't buy this book. But, if you want the most enjoyable religiously educational trip of a lifetime, buy two—one to read and one or maybe two to give as gifts. I might even suggest giving one to the white bearded professor of theology who thrust us through the tedious and confusing Biblical Interpretation course in college. At least that's where one of the books I bought is headed. Though I love the man dearly, his teaching style in cemetery, I mean seminary, was akin to having teeth pulled without gas. I would almost be willing to go back to seminary if I could be guaranteed a professor like Kristin Swenson. I teach biblical studies in college, but I must admit I have fallen way short of the style of Kristin.

This book is more than a pleasure to read. It's out and out delightful and will be one I visit again and again. Though it's probably not designed for a theologian, I recommend every theologian read it. I learned and laughed all the way through.  Bible Babel is a suitable read for the well versed in theology, for the initiates, for the lay, for anyone—even those not interested in religious pursuits. There is history, humor, etymology of words and phrases, misunderstandings and clarifications, and precise story telling, all told within the context of conversational pop culture setting and language. Lot's wife turned into a pillar of salt, but did you know the wife of an adult Bible student turned into a telephone pole? What do Milton, Bob Dylan, The Grateful Dead, and the Gershwin brothers have in common with the Bible and each other? Not going to tell you, but look on page 171. I have a feeling I'll get to teach Biblical Interpretation again after my white bearded old friend reads this book. And I bet I'll get to use this book as the text. And I'll also bet the students will come away with a greater appreciation of religious studies. Extremely well done!

The Book

Harper Collins
February 2010
Non-fiction / Religion / Theology
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The Reviewer

Chris Querry
Reviewed 2010
© 2010