A.J. Jacobs embarks on a year long journey to follow the many rules, guidelines, and suggestions he uncovers in the Bible. He tackles not only popular injunctions like the Ten Commandments but obscure and perplexing rules like the ban on wearing clothes made of mixed fibers and the blowing of trumpets on the start of each month. In all, more than 700 rules. Jacobs hopes that his venture into a stringent and literal biblical life will reveal the Bible’s enduring truths for modern consumption. With a mix of reverence and irreverence, humor and earnestness, Jacobs plunges us in world where the mundane can easily become a profane or sacred act. Though we may be tempted to judge and dismiss biblical literalism as bizarre and out-of-sync, Jacobs’ own wonderment at life’s renewed beauty and preciousness cause us to pause; maybe following the Bible to the letter helps us find the transcendent in the routines of daily life. But following the Bible to the letter also has many pitfalls. Jacobs’ book is both a personal spiritual journey and an examination of religion in America today. Thou shalt enjoy.
The Year of Living Biblically: One Man’s Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible