I'm stuck. I'm trying to read Robin Lane Fox's The Unauthorized Version: Truth and Fiction in the Bible, but I'm on page 165 and don't think I can go any further.
I really like biblical history; that, to be clear, is not so much history as portrayed by the Bible, but rather the history of the writings themselves -- who wrote it, when, where, why and for whom. It's not going to be everyone's cup of tea; a lot of people just aren't going to be open to the suggestion that Deuteronomy not only wasn't written by Moses, but was composed at the conclusion of the Babylonian exile by Jews returning to Jerusalem seeking to codify and re-establish temple practices and culture that had withered in captivity. See, I find that stuff fascinating.
This book is full of interesting information but there are two huge flaws: structure and style.
The chapters seem out of sequence. Presently I'm stranded in a chapter that seeks to define agreed-upon standards for what constitutes an ancient "historian." I can't help but feel that this probably belongs at the beginning of the book, and, at fourteen pages, is at least nine pages too long. There does seem to be a vague arc; the first chapter talks about the two separate creation traditions that got spliced together in Genesis, and most of the stuff relating to the New Testament is clumped together at the back. But it feels haphazard, and what comes in between does not have a sense of flow or development.
And, oh...the prose. Dull does not begin to cover it. Mr. Fox just has no voice. It's an effort just to turn the page.
There's stuff toward the back I'm interested in, but I feel like what I'm reading now is supposed to be laying the groundwork for what I'm to take away in ensuing pages. I'm tempted, however, to regard it more like an encyclopedia and just skip to what interests me. I'm also tempted just to put it back on the shelf.