This brilliant and provocative study of Jesus and Yahweh is a paradigm-changing literary criticism that will challenge and illuminate Jews and ...Show synopsisThis brilliant and provocative study of Jesus and Yahweh is a paradigm-changing literary criticism that will challenge and illuminate Jews and Christians alike, and may make readers rethink everything they take for granted about what they believed was a shared heritage.Hide synopsis
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This book is essentially Bloom?s long confession of unbelief, whether it regards the supernatural realm in general or the truth of the revelation found either in the Hebrew Bible or the New Testament. His preferred god is Shakespeare. He judges scriptures by their aesthetic appeal more than their messages. It is very tedious to read, being poorly and unclearly written. It is full of meaningless babblings and non-sequiturs. It is like sitting near to someone at a noisy restaurant where you can hear parts of dialogue and catch sentences and phrases, but cannot makes sense of them. He makes imperious assertions but proves nothing, not even looking carefully at any relevant scripture. His objections to the divine inspiration of New Testament Christianity are obtuse. He mentions and quotes the opinions of his elitist literary friends and books which only those elitist few who are conversant with them would understand. I think he likes to hear himself ?speak? like a know-it-all. Most disturbing was his flippant and insulting opinions of Yahweh, the one true God, as revealed in scripture. This book is totally worthless to provide any guidance for those seeking spiritual or religious truth.
Harold Bloom, with whom I once studied, is renowned as a critic of poetry, particularly Blake through the nineteenth century, and Yeats, and is also renowned as "when you study Blake, you get twenty percent Blake and eighty percent Bloom." Essentially, Mr. Bloom is a man of mental brilliance, having a near photographic memory, and can think quickly on his toes, even though he is a weighty fellow. One should never expect a normal or standard treatment of any text from him.
However, his reading of the Bible is almost completely subjective. He begins his book with a melee of revelations about Jesus, Jahweh (Jehovah), and Jesus of Nazareth, and what these persons have meant to him. Mr. Bloom recommends the Book of Thomas, which is not canonical. Mr. Bloom bases his views on various transcriptions of the Bible and he imputes that many copyists rewrote or altered the Divine texts, for which there is almost no basis. In short, he presents the material like Roger Federer playing ping-pong. One is quickly lost in Mr. Bloom's allegations, and one quickly feels that Mr. Bloom has elected himself a kind of prophet.
If one knows the Bible already, and has some idea of its content and history, this book is of supreme mental interest as an ideological crossword puzzle. The writer continually adds strange clues to the mixture, and the reader who can keep up with this fountain of references and asides is brave and brilliant besides.
The reader would be well-advised to read Mr. Bloom's THE AMERICAN RELIGION first. In this way the reader will have a perspective on Bloom's philosophy and spiritual perspective, the second being in continual sweep, taking in as much as could any one, and spinning the content as would a child a top. Read this book if you wished to be steeped in lore, literature, and learning, but you'd find it easier to solve an Agatha Christie plot.
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