The Bible, or Old Testament, is the bestselling book of all time. It is venerated by Jews and Christians alike, and respected, though not necessarily adhered to, by other religions as well.
But Bible readership is declining.
The other day, while visiting a busy public library in Miami, I was curious to find out how many potential readers checked out the Bible on their shelf, a voluminous and richly illustrated hardcover book. I shockingly discovered that over a period of ten years, there were only three borrowers. Needless to say, I was puzzled as to why the Bible is neglected, having so much to offer.
There might be numerous explanations, but I venture to propose the following:
- The Bible is perceived as a strictly religious scripture, without universal appeal.
- Many segments of the Bible deal with issues and topics that can be viewed as anachronistic, unrelated to the modern world of today, for example, the laws of the Torah (Old Testament) guiding animal sacrifices.
- The language, style, and words used in the Bible are archaic, and certainly not “reader-friendly.”
I believe the very opposite. In my opinion, the Bible’s narrative is spellbinding, and its messages have eternal bearing and validity, whether one is religious, atheist or agnostic. So, in writing this book, I was prompted to make the Bible attractive to a wider audience.
The select segments of the Bible chosen for this undertaking generally deal with ethics and interpersonal relationships, hoping they will make us into better, happier persons.
For strict, practicing religious Jews, the Bible is God’s creation, handed down by Moses to the Israelites, or People of Israel, at Mount Sinai. To them, it’s a sacred inviolable entity, to be rigidly observed.
For these religious Jews, or indeed Christians, deviation from to the teachings of the Bible, or doubting the validity of any happenings narrated by the Bible, is simply an act of sacrilege, bordering on atheism.
To the non-religious, or questioning doubters, as well as to some archeological researchers, the narratives of Bible have been gradually developed by humans over many centuries.
But regardless whether the Bible is God-given or not, it is a fascinating, unparalleled creation, which guides the whole spectrum of human existence.
The purpose of this undertaking is to narrate a select collection of the Bible’s salient episodes in a fictionalized novel-like form, which will hopefully appeal to a wide audience of interested readers.