Sunday, May 31, 2009

American Patriot's Bible: The Word of God and the Shaping of America, Richard G. Lee (editor)

I was so excited waiting for delivery of "American Patriot's Bible: The Word of God and the Shaping of America," edited by Richard G. Lee and published by Thomas Nelson. When the box arrived it was surprisingly heavy. This Bible (NKJV) is hardcover, 9.1 x 7.4 x 1.9 inches in size, and has a shipping weight of 3.7 pounds. My first impression of the book was that it was too large to become a handy reference or to take with me for casual reading.

When I requested this book I was hoping to find that it used biblical references to uphold the principles of liberty and democracy that are the cornerstones of American government. Instead, as I read, this Bible gave me an unsettling view of America as God's promised land. I am both a patriot and a Christian, but the concept that we are special and blessed by God above other nations makes me feel very uncomfortable.

There are lots of interesting historical tidbits scattered throughout this edition. I think the overall effectiveness of this Bible would be improved if it were split into a two book set- the NKJV Bible and a companion book with all of the historical tidbits, speech excerpts, and other commentary. While the "American Patriot's Bible" is advertised as a study bible, I don't think it really is. Instead it is a collection of short biographies, parts of speeches, and historical trivia compiled between the pages of the Bible.


Amy said...

I looked through this at Borders, and I have to say that your review is far nicer than mine would have been. I actually found this to be a scary book. I think it is just wrong in it's fervor to attach US history to the bible. I'm not denying that the bible and religion have played a part in out history as a country, but this just struck me as almost a rallying cry for a crusade or something.

I guess it just felt wrong. Maybe it would have been good, as you said, as a basic bible with a companion book, but this mix to me was fanatical patriotism at it's worst.

Janet said...

So, does this mean I need to choose something different for your birthday present? I was thinking I had all of my gift giving wrapped up already! :-)

I was trying to be nice in case my mood while reading was affecting my interpretation of the Bible. It made me so uneasy that I had a very hard time reading the one chapter I committed to read in order to do the review. This review should have been posted over a week ago, but I just couldn't find the words to convey my impression of the work.

Amy said...

I kept waiting for your review. And if you want to read something really scary you should read the reviews for this book on Amazon from the people who liked it!!

Doreen said...

If you don't want this Bible, I would like to check it out and have it if you don't want it.

Janet said...

Thanks for your interest Doreen. I've already passed this Bible on. Is is still available for review through Thomas Nelson?

Jake camping in the living room

Jake camping in the living room