[Ebook] ↠ God: A Biography Author Jack Miles – Thomashillier.co.uk

God: A Biography Miles Shows Us God In The Guise Of A Great Literary Character, The Hero Of The Old Testament In A Close, Careful, And Inspired Reading Of That Testament Book By Book, Verse By Verse God Is Seen From His First Appearance As Creator To His Last As Ancient Of Days The God Whom Miles Reveals To Us Is A Warrior Whose Greatest Battle Is With Himself We See God Torn By Conflicting Urges To His Own Sorrow, He Is By Turns Destructive And Creative, Vain And Modest, Subtle And Naive, Ruthless And Tender, Lawful And Lawless, Powerful Yet Powerless, Omniscient And Blind As We Watch Him Change Amazingly, We Are Drawn Into The Epic Drama Of His Search For Self Knowledge, The Search That Prompted Him To Create Mankind As His Mirror In That Mirror He Seeks To Examine His Own Reflection, But He Also Finds There A Rival We Then Witness God S Own Perilous Passage From Power To Wisdom For Generations Our Culture S Approach To The Bible Has Been A Reverential Act Than A Pursuit Of Knowledge About The Bible S Protagonist And So, Through The Centuries The Complexity Of God S Being And Life Has Been Diluted In Our Consciousness In This Book We Find In Precisely Chiseled Relief The Infinitely Complex God Who Made Infinitely Complex Man In His Image Here, We Come Closer To The Essence Of That Literary Masterpiece That Has Shaped Our Culture No Less Than Our Religious Life In God A Biography, Jack Miles Addresses His Great Subject With Imagination, Insight, Learning, Daring, And Dazzling Originality, Giving Us At The Same Time An Illumination Of The Old Testament As A Work Of Consummate Art And A Journey To The Secret Heart Of God


10 thoughts on “God: A Biography

  1. says:

    This book is amazing It really opened my eyes It s written by a former Jesuit named Jack Miles Who is brilliant This was given to me by a friend late in high school, while we were both struggling with our Catholic backgrounds It deals with God as a literary character, and what his choices would mean if the Old Testament were analyzed simply from the perspective of literary criticism I think it s fascinating and erudite It is guaranteed to give you a fewquestions about religion than This book is amazing It really opened my eyes It s written by a former Jesuit named Jack Miles Who is brilliant This was given to me by a friend late in high school, while we were both struggling with our Catholic backgrounds It deals with God as a literary character, and what his choices would mean if the Old Testament were analyzed simply from the perspective of literary criticism I think it s fascinating and erudite It is guaranteed to give you a fewquestions about religion than you had before starting it Everything is seen in a different light.I would recommend having some basic religious education in the Judeo Christian form, otherwise a lot of this is not going to make sense But I would absolutely and completely recommend this to both Christians and Jews alike, or anyone who s had some measure of bible study To say it is worth the read is obviously underestimating it


  2. says:

    Miles won the Pulitzer for this absorbing study of the life of the Biblical God, beginning with the opening chapter of Genesis and taking us through the entirety of the Old Testament in the Jewish ordering of the books from the Torah Jehovah makes for a stirring and multifaceted subject an omniscient and omnipotent deity that was assembled from the personalities and powers of a variety of ancient pagan pantheons, running the gamut from demiurge to demon a terrifying and vengeful master, brea Miles won the Pulitzer for this absorbing study of the life of the Biblical God, beginning with the opening chapter of Genesis and taking us through the entirety of the Old Testament in the Jewish ordering of the books from the Torah Jehovah makes for a stirring and multifaceted subject an omniscient and omnipotent deity that was assembled from the personalities and powers of a variety of ancient pagan pantheons, running the gamut from demiurge to demon a terrifying and vengeful master, breaking his creations and his promises maturing to a remorseful and avenging spirit, ragged from love and unyielding in justice and then apparently abandoning his children to exile and slavery, only to be discovered onceremote but present, restless but steadfast when his far flung flock regathered in the Chosen Land.Miles provides a remarkable exegesis, bringing erudition and analysis to this fascinating portrait of a singular entity who proved to be remarkably differentiated and inconsistent throughout his sorrow filled paternity imparting an eminently human element to his earthly involvement, the Almighty as a tyronic parent who experiences all the vicissitudes and difficulties of an evolving responsibility, adapting his divine mediations as his children mature within time and yet emerged at the end with the sagacity, capacity, and audacity to resolve the crisis in his being through a human form Jesus Christ, the subject of Miles equally excellent follow up Christ A Crisis in the Life of God


  3. says:

    Here we have an unique perspective of someone who doesn t appear to be a man of faith, within the book Miles considers God purely as a literary character that evolves in the unfolding of the canon as ordered in the Tanakh If Miles is even close to correct in his reading of the Hebrew bible, the God that Jews and Christians worship has very little in common with the extremely ambiguous, amoral and multi personalitied deity that he thinks the ancient writers conveyed Towards the end of the book, Here we have an unique perspective of someone who doesn t appear to be a man of faith, within the book Miles considers God purely as a literary character that evolves in the unfolding of the canon as ordered in the Tanakh If Miles is even close to correct in his reading of the Hebrew bible, the God that Jews and Christians worship has very little in common with the extremely ambiguous, amoral and multi personalitied deity that he thinks the ancient writers conveyed Towards the end of the book, Miles briefly retold the story of the Tanakh as it might be told if the Hebrews were polytheist, which would make it where the different personalities, motivations, intentions and moral tendencies would be found in different homogeneous gods, I found this part to interesting Miles writes how since the Hebrews, believed in one God, the many different portraits are conglomerated into one, resulting in a very ambiguous being, one who is occasionally good and while at other times evil a very unstable God with a divide self Miles also details the progression of a God that seems to have no back story, or identity outside of man who he made in his own image Within the story God acts, kills, kills some , promises, reneges, kills some , regrets, recalculates, readjust, viciously retaliates, only to eventually begin to fade, after being shown to be unjust be Job Towards the close of the Tanakh, God comes comes reclusive, and inconsequential as the divine tragedy comes to a close I thought some of Miles interpretations seemed tenuous at best, occasionally I felt he suppressed some evidence, and he definitely gave certain passages a very negative spin Though I think Mile s goes too far in his very uncharitable interpretation of the God portrayed in the Hebrew Scriptures, I still think he does bring to light some things that are actually there, things which the majority of Christians can t see, because the presupposition of the love and justice of God, means one automatically give the Old Testament a positive wholesome spin


  4. says:

    I was excited about the idea that this was going to be a book analyzing the God of the Old Testament Hebrew Tanakh as a literary character, which is exactly what the author, Jack Miles, promised he was going to give me It didn t turn out that way, however, and even though I enjoyed learning a lot about the Old Testament, its historical context, its major figures, and the many deities who were amalgamated over time to become God, I can t help being very disappointed that Miles never really achie I was excited about the idea that this was going to be a book analyzing the God of the Old Testament Hebrew Tanakh as a literary character, which is exactly what the author, Jack Miles, promised he was going to give me It didn t turn out that way, however, and even though I enjoyed learning a lot about the Old Testament, its historical context, its major figures, and the many deities who were amalgamated over time to become God, I can t help being very disappointed that Miles never really achieved his goal and that his editors let him publish a book where a thesis very clearly and explicitly articulated is never properly met The reason I say this is because Miles never ceases defining God as a split personality Of course there is plenty of historical proof that Elohim and Yahweh, etc were initially separate deities, which goes a long way toward explaining why God can sometimes command two opposite things at once or repent his actions immediately after he has performed them, but if one really tries to think of God as a character, which is what Miles says he is setting out to do, I don t understand how it can be acceptable to say that his contradictions merely prove that he hasthan one personality If Hamlet or Captain Ahab were reduced by a literary critic to split personalities, people would immediately be annoyed that that critic was being lazy and unperceptive The best characters and many of the most intriguing real people look at any U.S president are often defined by their contradictions, because big, interesting personalities are usually inscrutably complex personalities If I felt that Miles had treated God as that kind of character instead of continually reminding his readers that God is referred to by two different names in thus and such passage in the original Hebrew, I wouldn t feel like he totally failed to accomplish his supposed goal To the very end of the book, he doesn t treat God the same way a critic would treat Ahab or Hamlet, but keeps defining him as a fusion character His final chapter even has a section called Imagining the One God as Many He just seems to miss the fact that God s unpredictability and inconsistency of character are exactly what make God such a great literary figure singular.The book was incredibly well researched and very clearly and carefully written, but I just can t escape feeling like Jack Miles failed to do what he set out to do and then published the book pretending to himself that he had I wish somebody else would write the book that was promised


  5. says:

    There is nothing I can write that can reach the level of scholarship, thought, writing, originality, and sheer mental discipline of this work The author has taken the Hebrew Bible not as a religious work, but rather as a literary work He then analyzes the character God in the same way he would analyze the character Prospero in Shakespeare s The Tempest He is not interested in theological questions, nor is he interested in proving religious interpretations He is only interested in God, wh There is nothing I can write that can reach the level of scholarship, thought, writing, originality, and sheer mental discipline of this work The author has taken the Hebrew Bible not as a religious work, but rather as a literary work He then analyzes the character God in the same way he would analyze the character Prospero in Shakespeare s The Tempest He is not interested in theological questions, nor is he interested in proving religious interpretations He is only interested in God, what he says, does, and even feels When he refers to actual history and the formation of the Bible, he does so in order to explain what concepts, words, and comparisons meant to the Jews at the likely point in time when a particular book of the Bible is thought to have been written It is a truly awesome accomplishment God A Biography should be read carefully and analyzed thoughtfully by all capable of setting aside their prejudices and preconceived notions This book offers great rewards to all regardless of their religious convictions


  6. says:

    Brilliant piece of literary criticism, friendly to the believer and the nonreligious alike.


  7. says:

    Read bits forIntriguing information, but the author s prose is particularly dry and repetitive at times which makes the book hard to get to at times.Otherwise, the analysis of God as a literary character is an analysis not often considered by individuals Thus, Jack Miles insights are unique and interesting to think about and may help us understand the motivations and character progression of God within the Old Testament Tanakh.


  8. says:

    This is a book with which I thoroughly disagreed, and thoroughly enjoyed On the one hand, Miles is a vivid interpreter and helps you to really appreciate the Old Testament or Tanakh, as he rather forcefully presents with his in my opinion forced narrative of an active beginning God and a closing God who loses interest as literature, compelling and enthralling literature On the other hand, he pushes his thesis narrative of God in tension to the breaking point He finds the tension with This is a book with which I thoroughly disagreed, and thoroughly enjoyed On the one hand, Miles is a vivid interpreter and helps you to really appreciate the Old Testament or Tanakh, as he rather forcefully presents with his in my opinion forced narrative of an active beginning God and a closing God who loses interest as literature, compelling and enthralling literature On the other hand, he pushes his thesis narrative of God in tension to the breaking point He finds the tension within Yahweh to be irreducible he seems to have little favor for the idea that God is one presented in the book as the view of the Dtr For my part, certainly there is a tension in the character of the OT God, but it is not as irreducible as Miles says it is For example, in the closing Miles blithely states that.but it may also be taken as a statement about the initial untransparency of God to himself He wants an image because he needs an image 402 I found myself saying Really The text just doesn t say that To sum up perhaps the major difference between myself and Miles is that I am a Christian interpreter The literary drama of the First Testament finds its climax in Jesus Christ, not God losing interest Perhaps his biography is closer to the raw tragedy of a hopelessly deluded God, but I am one who thinks that the Biblical story and indeed life itself goes Beyond Tragedy From a literary standpoint, though, tragedy is quite the cathartic experience


  9. says:

    This book is at once an incredibly interesting introduction to the literary structure of the Hebrew Bible for someone with little religious background, and a book that would be greatly supplemented by a thorough understanding of the text being analyzed Similarly, this analysis of God as a literary figure is one that could both supplement a religious reading of the Bible, or lend asecular appreciation for the Bible as a literary text So, despite the subject matter of this book, there is n This book is at once an incredibly interesting introduction to the literary structure of the Hebrew Bible for someone with little religious background, and a book that would be greatly supplemented by a thorough understanding of the text being analyzed Similarly, this analysis of God as a literary figure is one that could both supplement a religious reading of the Bible, or lend asecular appreciation for the Bible as a literary text So, despite the subject matter of this book, there is no agenda other than to analyze the main character of the text at the heart of Western civilization.I didn t know what to expect when I first approached this book, and was thus pleasantly surprised with what I found This book is written as a literary analysis, breaking down the Bible to get a better understanding of its main character, the chronology of his actions, and the way he grows, learns and changes throughout But at the same time, Jack Miles discusses the factors that influenced the creation of the Bible, the ways in which gods from older polytheistic religions were fused into the Judeo Christian God, how this fusion led to seeming inner conflicts in God s personality, and finally, how these different facets of God s personalities can be put together to understand God as a holistic literary figure.This text is slightly dense, and would definitely beeasily read by someone with some knowledge and understanding of the Bible, but it is definitely a worthwhile read that offers a new perspective on how to approach the idea of God


  10. says:

    So, this is a long book, and deep reading The author proceeds through every book in the Jewish bible the Tanach It has a lotbooks in it than the Christian Old Testament, and does not include the New Testament.What I found fascinating is that he basically rips up God The author lays out arguments that God is not omnipotent, not all powerful, not all loving, and is in fact a confusing mess of different personalities And then ends the book saying how terrific the Tanach is.I came to a So, this is a long book, and deep reading The author proceeds through every book in the Jewish bible the Tanach It has a lotbooks in it than the Christian Old Testament, and does not include the New Testament.What I found fascinating is that he basically rips up God The author lays out arguments that God is not omnipotent, not all powerful, not all loving, and is in fact a confusing mess of different personalities And then ends the book saying how terrific the Tanach is.I came to a very different conclusion From his own arguments, I see the God of those books as a completely human construction God gradually plays less and less a role in the stories until he s not there at all Yes, I am an atheist I feel that much of the worlds problems come from believing in this religion or that one that if God is on my side then he s not on yours, and that makes you less than me less important, less valuable, less right , and okay for me to ignore, denigrate or kill.So, it s a fascinating book Long, hard to get through I had started it several years ago and failed to finish it, but I finished it this time.I think you may get out of it what you expect to get out of it.I realize my views may offend some It s not my objective to offend, but to make folks think


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