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What Is the Bible?

How an Ancient Library of Poems, Letters and Stories Can Transform the Way You Think and Feel About Everything
By: Rob Bell
Narrated by: Rob Bell
Length: 6 hrs and 32 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (78 ratings)
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Publisher's Summary

New York Times best-selling author Rob Bell, using his inspired and inquisitive approach, focuses on the most widely read book of all time. He provides surprising insights and answers about how the Bible actually works as a source of faith and guidance, showing a brand-new way of interpreting this sacred text.

Rob Bell, the beloved author of Love Wins and What We Talk About When We Talk About God, goes deep into the Bible to show how it is more revelatory, revolutionary, and relevant than we ever imagined - and offers a cogent argument for why we need to look at it in a fresh, new way.

In Love Wins, Rob Bell confronted the troubling questions that many people of faith were afraid to ask about heaven, hell, fate, and faith. Using the same inspired, inquisitive approach, he now turns to our most sacred book, the Bible. What Is the Bible? provides insights and answers that make clear why the Bible is so revered and what makes it truly inspiring and essential to our lives.

Rob takes us deep into actual passages to reveal the humanity behind the Scriptures. You cannot get to the holy without going through the human, Rob tells us. When considering a passage, we shouldn't ask, 'Why did God say...?' To get to the heart of the Bible's meaning, we should be asking, 'What's the story that's unfolding here, and why did people find it important to tell it? What was it that moved them to record these words? What was happening in the world at that time? What does this passage/story/poem/verse/book tell us about how people understood who they were and who God was at that time?' In asking these questions, Rob goes beyond the one-dimensional question of 'is it true?' to reveal the Bible's authentic transformative power.

Rob addresses the concerns of all those who see the Bible as God's word but are troubled by the ethical dilemmas, errors, and inconsistencies in Scripture. With What Is the Bible?, he recaptures the good book's magic and reaffirms its power and inspiration to shape and inspire our lives today.

©2017 WORB, Inc. (P)2017 HarperCollins Publishers

Critic Reviews

Praise for Rob Bell:
"Bell is at the forefront of a rethinking of Christianity." ( Time)
"One of the most influential evangelical pastors." ( The New York Times)
"Rob Bell is one of the hottest names." ( Boston Globe)
"Bell will be joined by the likes of Brian McLaren, James Martin, Diana Butler Bass and Carol Howard Merritt." ( Christianity Today)
"Forever grateful for the brilliant mind, boundless heart and fierce faith of Rob Bell. His work convinced me that it was possible - maybe necessary and thrilling - to be a person of both faith and intellect.... Please read everything Rob's ever written and then go see him live." (Glennon Doyle Melton, author of Carry On, Warrior)
"It isn't easy to develop a biblical imagination that takes in the comprehensive and eternal work of Christ.... Rob Bell goes a long way in helping us acquire just such an imagination - without a trace of soft sentimentality and without compromising an inch of evangelical conviction." (Eugene H. Peterson, professor emeritus of spiritual theology, Regent College, and author of The Message and The Pastor)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Fantastic!

Rob makes the Bible come alive with deeply insightful thoughts on these ancient texts that are both easy and enjoyable to listen to.

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Deep diving at its most insightful!

I have always read the bible one dimensionally and it has left me with many more questions than answers but I’ve never found an engaging enough way to get answers other than loads of theological research by academic writers. (Which I have never pursued with any real vigour). This book is packed with insight and truths that are constantly blowing my my mind! I wish he would go from the start of the bible and work through every single line. I’d read that forever!

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intriguing

love the historical truths, understandings also causes you to approach the bible from different angles

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intriguing

love the historical truths, understandings also causes you to approach the bible from different angles

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Amazing book about the great book.

As a Christian and skeptic, I really, really enjoyed the questions and thoughts brought about in this book. Rob bell has been blessed with knowledge and he freely gives it away in this book!!

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Rob Bell's best.

Now I want my own Jewish rabbi. How cool to be able to dance your way around God's Word!

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I've recommended this to all the atheists and Christians I know

Rob Bell could have written about goldfish and spoken about it for 12 years and I would have loved it. But this book is way better than that, and my only sadness comes from the fact it's over. I want more. Seriously worth a read and definitely worth listening to if you're like me and feel like Rob is the best friend you've been missing all your life. SO GOOD! Cheers Rob!

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So Good.

Everybody say it with me.... So Good.
Best quote: Some atheists say some really good truths and some Christians are full of shit.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • LR
  • 21-03-2018

Rating not on writing skills

It’s a well written book in the sense that it’s easy to read and the language was well written. However, the book can not be great given a close look on its logic and reasoning, if there is any. Read lots of books yet always be alert and check what’s written by men with what’s revealed by God.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Laurence Martins
  • 12-07-2017

Guess who's back!? Back again!

Everyone will benefit from this book! yes. even the Christians...

It's a piece of CLARITY and literary enlightenment for this generation!

i luv his humor and flow...he brings deep issues to the surface and challenges us to go into the deep end with him...

nothing in this book is "new" (like all things under the sun)...hermeneutics for the simple minded...he reads the bible like an artist, a critic, a historian, a scientist, and with a generous heart.

5Star for his vivid narration....easy to listen to...
just download it...

(luv u, Rob. so thankful that OurFather, put me in the same timeline of history as u)

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  • Mitzi
  • 15-01-2018

So interesting and educational and enlightening and ...

Despite Rob Bell’s apparent disdain for the comma, I absolutely loved this book. I learned so much; deeply insightful observations about scripture context and meaning. I highly recommend to anyone even slightly intrigued by the Bible. It helps to be familiar with the books of the bible but you can definitely still enjoy this book without any knowledge of them. Can’t wait to read my next Rob Bell book! His podcast is great, too.

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  • joshua hodson
  • 22-05-2017

Rob bell does his thing.

If you have ever found the bible inexplicable, incomprehencable or just barbaric, this book will give you an insight into it's value and it will give you good tools in engaging with it.

There will be, no doubt, hundreds of individuals denouncing it as heresy, but Rob is not saying anything that is not well within the christian tradition, and uses methods that some of the great bible scholars used.

I fully endorse this book.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 22-09-2018

Vague equals intellectually sound??? <br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />

Left thinking "How then can anyone reach conclusions about who Jesus really is?" or "What does the bible say about this or that issue relating to everyday life?"
This was the author's personal interpretation at the time. You can interpret this in any way you feel is right for you. Little resonance for someone who is genuinely searching for consolidated foundations for living by faith.

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  • J. Hamer
  • 19-07-2018

Erratic

Although it contains some real nuggets of insight and information I found Rob Bell's telling erratic and sometimes confusing. Perhaps this needs to be read rather than listened to, to further understanding of what he is saying.

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  • Sian
  • 06-10-2017

Every Bit As Good As I'd Hoped

First off, I am a Rob Bell fan. He has a gift of making difficult concepts more easily accessible and this down to earth explanation of what the Bible is, is clear and very helpful. Whatever you may or may not believe about God, the Bible is first and foremost a human resource compiled by human beings, and within its pages you see an unfolding of the story of humanity's attempt to understand itself and its relationship to the world and to God.
Thanks Rob!

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  • andre van wyk
  • 21-05-2017

Great book about the 'good book'

Rob 'comes out' fully towards the end of the book and if that has you interested...read it!

Love Wins starts the conversation for many and this book let's you sit in and participate in the greatest and ongoing conversation that tells the story of you as part of US

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  • tim royales
  • 29-07-2017

Enjoyable and informative book

Shakes up the way you see some of the stories you read a 100 times

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Betherina
  • 10-09-2017

Well done Rob Bell

You have simultaneously blown my mind and articulated everything I've felt for years! Great stuff!

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  • Jader Feijo
  • 16-08-2017

Must read!

An absolute must read, not just for Christians but for everyone. This book presents a completely new dimension to the bible, one that will expand the horizons of the reader and completely reshape the way he sees scripture.

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  • Elan Mcquaid
  • 31-05-2017

Brilliant Book

This is one of the best books I have read. Very insightful and liberating to listen and read your thoughts on the Bible: can't wait for your next book

0 of 1 people found this review helpful