How God Became God by Richard M. Smoley
What Scholars Are Really Saying About God and the Bible

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 2 Critic Reviews

A decent resource, but several authors, from Karen Armstrong to Bart Ehrman, have provided better sources for curious readers.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

This epic, thrilling journey through Bible scholarship and ancient religion shows how much of Scripture is historically false--yet the ancient writings also resound with theologies that crisscrossed the primeval world and that direct us today toward a deep, inner, authentic experience of the truly sacred.

From a historical perspective, the Bible is shockingly, provably wrong--a point supported by today's best archaeological and historical scholarship but not well understood by (or communicated to) the public. Yet this emphatically does not mean that the Bible isn't, in some very real measure, true, argues scholar of mysticism Richard Smoley.

Smoley reviews the most authoritative historical evidence to demonstrate that figures such as Moses, Abraham, and Jesus are not only unlikely to have existed, but bear strong composite resemblances to other Near Eastern religious icons. Likewise, the geopolitical and military events of Scripture fail to mesh with the largely settled historical time line and social structures. Smoley meticulously shows how our concepts of the Hebrew and Christian God, including Christ himself, are an assemblage of ideas that were altered, argued over, and edited--until their canonization. This process, to a large degree, gave Western civilization its consensus view of God.

But these conclusions are not cause for nihilism or disbelief. Rather, beneath the metaphorical figures and mythical historicism of Scripture appears an extraordinary, truly transcendent theology born from the most sacred and fully realized spiritual and human insights of the antique Eastern world. Far from being "untrue," the Bible is remarkably, extraordinarily true as it connects us to the sublime insights of our ancient ancestors and points to a unifying ethic behind many of the world's faiths.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

About Richard M. Smoley

See more books from this Author
RICHARD SMOLEY is one of the world’s most distinguished authorities on the mystical and esoteric teachings of Western civilization. A graduate of Harvard College and the University of Oxford, he was a longtime editor of the venerated spiritual journal Gnosis. Smoley is the author of books including Inner Christianity, The Essential Nostradamus, The Deal: A Guide to Radical and Complete Forgiveness, and Forbidden Faith: The Secret History of Gnosticism. He is currently editor of Quest: Journal of the Theosophical Society in America.
Author Residence: Chicago, IL
 
Published June 7, 2016 by TarcherPerigee. 317 pages
Genres: Religion & Spirituality, Education & Reference. Non-fiction
Add Critic Review

Critic reviews for How God Became God
All: 2 | Positive: 1 | Negative: 1

Kirkus

Below average
on Mar 28 2016

A decent resource, but several authors, from Karen Armstrong to Bart Ehrman, have provided better sources for curious readers.

Read Full Review of How God Became God: What Scho... | See more reviews from Kirkus

NY Journal of Books

Good
Reviewed by Margaret Placentra Johnston on Aug 15 2016

In as far as the move beyond literalism toward more personal and more universal religious and spiritual understandings is the general direction in which an earnest spiritual search will tend to lead a person, Smoley’s How God Became God is an excellent tool for furthering spiritual development.

Read Full Review of How God Became God: What Scho... | See more reviews from NY Journal of Books
×