I Dare You Not to Bore Me with the Bible; A Book Review

I’ve become quite a fan of Michael S. Heiser’s work. Some books are heavily footnoted theological tomes that make my head hurt. Others are like a series of essays or articles, like the one I’ll review today. It answers the challenge that the Bible is boring.

Like Pastor Maury Davis said at our church, “That’s because you’re not reading it right.” Then he gave examples that made Pastor Rod uncomfortable. 

You can watch it on YouTube here: https://youtu.be/j-S5Oiyge7E

Back to the book…

I Dare You Not to Bore Me with the Bible

“The Bible is filled with passages that are so baffling we tend to ignore them. Yet, the passages that seem weird might be the most important. This collection of essays from Bible Study Magazine will shock you, intrigue you, and completely change the way you view the Bible. Dr. Michael S. Heiser visits some of the Bible’s most obscure passages, unveiling their ancient context to help you interpret them today. Read this book, and you’ll never be bored by the Bible again.

Part One: Old Testament

The Ancient’s Guide to the Galaxy

Walk Like an Israelite

Even the Bible Needed Upgrading

Spellchecking the Bible

Why Circumcision?

The Abandoned Child and the Basket Case

A Tale of Courage We Never Teach

Counting the Ten Commandments

Is There Really a Sin Offering?

There’s a Devil in the Details

Love Potion: Numbers 5

Is My Bible Right?

The Most Horrific Bible Story

Righting a Wrong

When Giants Walked the Earth

The Divine Arrow

Promise Undelivered?

Sanctified Dirt

1003 BC Census: Who Authorized It-God or Satan?

Cookin’ the Books

Slaying the Sea Monster

Does God Need a Co-Signer?

The Witness in the Clouds

Who Wrote the Book of Proverbs?

Immanuel’s Mother: Virgin or Not?

Standing in the Council

Jeremiah: Double Vision?

Why the Ark of the Covenant Will Never Be Found

He, Him, Me, Myself, and I

Bizarre Visions for the Worst of Times

Do the Dead Sea Scrolls Answer the Canon Question?

Part Two: New Testament

Burying Hell

My Guardian Angel

The New Testament Misquotes the Old Testament?

“I Saw Satan Fall like Lightning”: When?

The Healing Serpent

Who Took Verse 4 out of My Bible?

What Walking on Water Really Means

Born Again … and Again and Again?

Dumbledore Meets Philip & Peter

Paul’s Lost Letters

Destiny & Destination

A Female Apostle

Signed, Sealed, and Delivered-to Satan?

Treason & Translation

Charlton Heston Had Company

When Abraham Met Jesus

How Many Times Is Jesus Coming Back?

What’s Jesus Waiting For?

God’s Right-Hand Woman? Wisdom in Hebrews

Baptism as Spiritual Warfare

Jesus Is God: Jude and Peter Tell Me So

When Angels Do Time

Tough Love

Jesus, God, a.k.a., The Name

666: What Theories Add Up?

Perspective Changes Everything

Constantine, Conspiracy, and the Canon”

I could end it here. I mean, look at the list above. You can’t tell me nothing catches your eye.

I’ll post quotes from the last one about Constantine.

“The notion that Constantine decided which books should constitute the New Testament springs from the ancient Life of Constantine by Eusebius of Caesarea (AD 263–339). Eusebius reports that in a letter written in AD 331, the emperor instructed him to … order fifty copies of the sacred Scriptures, the provision and use of which you know to be most needful for the instruction of the Church, to be written on prepared parchment in a legible manner, and in a convenient, portable form, by professional transcribers thoroughly practised in their art. This same Constantine had earlier convened the Council of Nicea (AD 325), famous for its focus on the full deity of Christ against Arianism, which taught that Jesus was a created being. Brown carelessly conflated the two events in The Da Vinci Code to put forth the preposterous idea that Constantine had decided at Nicea which books belonged in the New Testament. But can we be sure this didn’t happen? And if not, what exactly did Constantine demand in this letter? We can be certain that the Council of Nicea did not determine the books of the New Testament at Constantine’s request. The date of Eusebius’ correspondence tells us that Nicea did not consider the issue of the canon. Today, anyone can read the 20 decisions rendered at Nicea (coincidentally called “canons”).1 None of them concerns the New Testament Scriptures.”

“So what did Constantine want? During the first several centuries of the early Church, the issue of which books were to be considered sacred and authoritative was uncertain. Several early lists of sacred books have been recovered, as have records of rejected books. Constantine’s order brought the problem to a point of decision. Once the emperor commanded copies of the sacred books to be distributed, early church leaders were forced to produce the item that needed to be copied. The result was a minimalist consensus canon—books considered authoritative by the vast majority of Christian leaders throughout the empire. Books regularly disputed or already rejected were thus set aside in faith that the Holy Spirit had successfully enlightened His believing Church to reach consensus. We hold that consensus New Testament in our hands today.”

That’s not even the most exciting essay.

If you think the Bible is boring, I dare you to read the book. 5 Stars.

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