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Pocket Guide to the Bible: A Little Book About the Big Book

ISBN: 978-0-470-37309-5
210 pages
August 2009, Jossey-Bass
Pocket Guide to the Bible: A Little Book About the Big Book  (0470373091) cover image


"Jason Boyett's Pocket Guides are smart and hilarious. And they're sneaky too: You don't realize how much you're learning because you're having so much fun." —AJ Jacobs, author, The Year of Living Biblically

Americans consistently identify the Bible as the most influential book in history, but seriously: are you really reading it? Probably not. If all you know about the Bible are a few Psalms and the Christmas story, then you're missing out on a book that's wilder, weirder, and more entertaining than you ever imagined.

With a stealthy combo of entertainment and insight, Jason Boyett's Pocket Guide to the Bible fills the gaps in your religious education. It introduces you to the characters you must know, reveals the thrilling development of the biblical canon, and details the less-churchy parts of Scripture (hello, sex and violence!). Don't miss out on discovering

  • How God employs talking donkeys, mentally unstable prophets, and helpful prostitutes in his master plan
  • Which moral failures may result in an old-fashioned smiting

  • Why Catholic Bibles include books some Protestants refuse to recognize

  • Whether your New International Version of the Bible may in fact be demonic

With Pocket Guide to the Bible, you'll finally realize what's so good about the Good Book.

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Table of Contents


Chapter one
BIBLICABULARY (A Glossary of the Good Book) 1

Chapter Two 

Chapter Three

Chapter four
WHAT HAPPENS, PART 1 (The Old Testament at Breakneck Speed) 87

Chapter five
WHAT HAPPENS, PART 2 (The New Testament at Breakneck Speed) 117

Chapter six

Chapter seven
VERSIONS AND PERVERSIONS (A Selective Survey of Translations) 157

Chapter eight
LIST YE BE SMITTEN (Biblical Flotsam and Jetsam) 173


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Author Information

Jason Boyett is not a professional theologian or historian but that hasn't stopped him from writing this book. His work has appeared in a variety of publications as well as on his blog (www.jasonboyett.com). He lives in Texas with his wife and children.

The Pocket Guide Series explains complex religious subjects with a lethal dose of educational hilarity, guided by the author's insatiable curiosity, humor, and gentle irreverence. The Pocket Guide series includes Pocket Guide to Sainthood, Pocket Guide to the Afterlife, and this book. Discover more at www.pocketguidesite.com.

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Press Release

August 10, 2009
POCKET GUIDE TO THE BIBLE: A Little Book About the Big Book

The Bible, the best-selling book of all time, has never been short on controversy. And yet, most Americans know very little about the big book apart from what they learned in Sunday School.

Using his trademark humor, sarcasm, and slight dose of irreverence to entertain and educate readers on the complex issue of the Bible, author Jason Boyett explores the book’s weirder and wilder side in his newly released POCKET GUIDE TO THE BIBLE: A Little Book About the Big Book (Jossey-Bass, a Wiley imprint; August 2009; $12.95 / Paper; ISBN: 978-0-470-37309-5).

Designed to painlessly tackle religious topics in a succinct format, POCKET TO THE BIBLE provides a brief and clever look into the characters, the cannon, and the controversy. Quirky content includes:

- A cast of Biblical characters and each of their high and low points in history
- The various versions and perversions of the Bible and why you should read them all
- Seven lesser known Bible stories that probably shouldn’t be told to children

Perfect for gifts, small group studies, or personal enjoyment, POCKET GUIDE TO THE BIBLE, along with the other newly released titles in the series – Pocket Guide to the Afterlife and Pocket Guide to Sainthood, is small in size, hip in design, and cleverly illustrated. After reading it, you’ll finalize realize what’s so good about the Good Book.

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