Book Beginnings and Friday 56 – The Harlot by the Side of the Road (January 18)

I missed out on this meme combo last week as our internet was down for almost a whole day, due to someone digging where they shouldn’t have had and severing a fibre optic cable, causing numerous communities to be without internet, cellphones and long-distance calls. For this week’s combo I have chosen a book I just picked up today at a local thrift store for a dollar. The book, The Harlot by the Side of the Road: Forbidden Tales of the Bible by Jonathan Kirsch, has the following description on GoodReads:

harlot by the side of the road largeSex. Violence. Scandal. These are words we rarely associate with the sacred text of the Bible. Yet in this brilliant book, Jonathan Kirsch recounts shocking tales that have been suppressed by religious authorities throughout history. Kirsch places each story within the political and social context of its time, delves into the latest biblical scholarship to explain why each one was originally censored, and shows how these ancient narratives hold valuable lessons for all of us.

Now for this week’s excerpts:

book beginningsBook Beginnings is hosted by Gilion at Rose City Reader, who invites anyone to join in, saying: ‘Please join me every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.  Please remember to include the title of the book and the author. Leave a link to your post.  If you don’t have a blog, but want to participate, please leave a comment with your Book Beginning.’

The beginning of The Harlot by the Side of the Road:

The stories you are about to read are some of the most violent and sexually explicit in all of Western literature. They are tales of human passion in all of its infinite variety: adultery, seduction, incest, rape, mutilation, assassination, torture, sacrifice, and murder. And yet every one of these stories is drawn directly from the pages of the Holy Bible.

Friday 56This is quite the beginning. It’s either going to draw you in or put you off completely!

The Friday 56 is a book meme hosted by Freda’s Voice and the rules are as follows:

*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56.
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it) that grabs you.
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post below in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url.

It’s that simple.

From page 56 of The Harlot by the Side of the Road:

If there is a single overarching theme in the Bible – a single primal drive that animates the men and women whose lives are chronicled in its pages – it is the affirmation of life and the celebration of childbearing.

I’m not sure when I’m likely to get around to reading this book, but I have to admit that I’m intrigued by what it claims to be. It certainly offers a different perspective from what I have read before and may be worth reading just for this.

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2 thoughts on “Book Beginnings and Friday 56 – The Harlot by the Side of the Road (January 18)

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