Bible Review 10:6, December 1994

Bible Books

Big Subject, Little Insight

A History of God

Karen Armstrong (New York: Knopf, 1993) 460 pp., $27.50

Reviewed by Richard Elliott Friedman

This book is an enormous undertaking. Karen Armstrong attempts to explain. “The 4000-Year Quest of Judaism, Christianity and Islam,” and to analyze the development of the monotheistic conception through its many stages and variations. Armstrong writes with the assurance of one learned in scripture and in a vast range of history literature and language of these religions. She explains the meaning of foreign terms, identifies the authors of biblical stories and reveals their motives, and explains concepts of myth and history in various epochs. Incredibly, the author does not have such learning, nor is she an authority in these subjects.

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