Documents the author's quest to live one year in literal compliance with biblical rules, from being fruitful and multiplying to growing a beard and avoiding mixed-fiber clothing.
the year of living biblically
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Now a TV series Living Biblically airing on CBS! From the New York Times bestselling author of The Know-It-All comes a fascinating and timely exploration of religion and the Bible. A.J. Jacobs chronicles his hilarious and thoughtful year spent obeying―as literally as possible―the tenets of the Bible. Raised in a secular family but increasingly interested in the relevance of faith in our modern world, A.J. Jacobs decides to dive in headfirst and attempt to obey the Bible as literally as possible for one full year. He vows to follow the Ten Commandments. To be fruitful and multiply. To love his neighbor. But also to obey the hundreds of less publicized rules: to avoid wearing clothes made of mixed fibers; to play a ten-string harp; to stone adulterers. The resulting spiritual journey is at once funny and profound, reverent and irreverent, personal and universal and will make you see history’s most influential book with new eyes. Jacobs’s quest transforms his life even more radically than the year spent reading the entire Encyclopedia Britannica for The Know-It-All. His beard grows so unruly that he is regularly mistaken for a member of ZZ Top. He immerses himself in prayer, tends sheep in the Israeli desert, battles idolatry, and tells the absolute truth in all situations—much to his wife’s chagrin. Throughout the book, Jacobs also embeds himself in a cross-section of communities that take the Bible literally. He tours a Kentucky-based creationist museum and sings hymns with Pennsylvania Amish. He dances with Hasidic Jews in Brooklyn and does Scripture study with Jehovah’s Witnesses. He discovers ancient biblical wisdom of startling relevance. And he wrestles with seemingly archaic rules that baffle the twenty-first-century brain. Jacobs’s extraordinary undertaking yields unexpected epiphanies and challenges. A book that will charm readers both secular and religious, The Year of Living Biblically is part Cliff Notes to the Bible, part memoir, and part look into worlds unimaginable. Thou shalt not be able to put it down.
Avoiding shellfish was easy. The stoning of adulterers proved a little more difficult - and potentially controversial. Was it enough to walk up to an adulterer and gently touch them with a stone? Even that could be grounds for accusations of assault, especially with female adulterers in Manhattan. So what's a good Bible-reading boy to do? Raised in a secular family but increasingly interested in the relevance of faith in our modern world, A.J. Jacobs decides to dive in head first and attempt to obey the hundreds of less-publicized rules. The resulting spiritual journey is at once funny and profound, reverent and irreverent, personal and universal, and will make you see history's most influential book with new eyes.
Chronicles the efforts of an NPR contributor to read the "Encyclopedia Britannica" from A to Z, sharing the humorous mishaps that occurred as a result of the endeavor, from changed family relationships to his efforts to join Mensa.
A strong Christian woman embarks on a radical life experiment-a year of biblical womanhood. Strong and committed in her faith-but frustrated by the inconsistencies she saw in her evangelical culture's view of women-Rachel Held Evans became an independent woman. But, intrigued by the traditionalist resurgence that led many of her friends to abandon their careers to assume traditional gender roles in the home, Evans had a crazy idea:What if I took "biblical womanhood" literally for a full year? In the next twelve months Rachel: Wore a scarf over her head to pray Called her husband "master" and stood on the roadside with a sign that said "Dan is Awesome" Adopted a computerized baby Perched on the roof for an afternoon of penance for gossiping Camped out in her front yard during her period Visited an Amish schoolhouse, a pig farm in Bolivia, and a Benedictine monastery Took up baking and knitting Interviewed a polygamist, a Quiverfull daughter, and a courtship couple With just the right mixture of humor and insight, Evans takes readers along with her on a lively adventure. In the process she discovers that the journey itself leads her right to the heart of God.
An eBook boxed set that features the first three of A.J. Jacobs's riotous—and surprisingly informative—ventures into experiential journalism. The Know-It-All: Puzzle along with A.J. as he endeavors to read—and retain—the entire encyclopedia, and discover what exactly it is he learns along the way. The Year of Living Biblically: Discover what life would be like in the 21st century if you lived precisely by the dictates of the Bible—the insights gained about religion might surprise you. My Life as an Experiment: Join A.J. on a roller-coaster tour of life as a human guinea pig: he explores both the perks and pitfalls of various undertakings in a series of charming essays, including those titled “My Outsourced Life" and "My Life as a Beautiful Woman."
From the bestselling author of The Year of Living Biblically and The Know-It-All comes the true and truly hilarious story of one person’s quest to become the healthiest man in the world. Hospitalized with a freak case of tropical pneumonia, goaded by his wife telling him, “I don’t want to be a widow at forty-five,” and ashamed of a middle-aged body best described as “a python that swallowed a goat,” A.J. Jacobs felt compelled to change his ways and get healthy. And he didn’t want only to lose weight, or finish a triathlon, or lower his cholesterol. His ambitions were far greater: maximal health from head to toe. The task was epic. He consulted an army of experts— sleep consultants and sex clinicians, nutritionists and dermatologists. He subjected himself to dozens of different workouts—from Strollercize classes to Finger Fitness sessions, from bouldering with cavemen to a treadmill desk. And he took in a cartload of diets: raw foods, veganism, high protein, calorie restriction, extreme chewing, and dozens more. He bought gadgets and helmets, earphones and juicers. He poked and he pinched. He counted and he measured. The story of his transformation is not only brilliantly entertaining, but it just may be the healthiest book ever written. It will make you laugh until your sides split and endorphins flood your bloodstream. It will alter the contours of your brain, imprinting you with better habits of hygiene and diet. It will move you emotionally and get you moving physically in surprising ways. And it will give you occasion to reflect on the body’s many mysteries and the ultimate pursuit of health: a well-lived life.
The idea was deceptively simple: New York Times bestselling author A.J. Jacobs decided to thank every single person involved in producing his morning cup of coffee. The resulting journey takes him across the globe, transforms his life, and reveals secrets about how gratitude can make us all happier, more generous, and more connected. Author A.J. Jacobs discovers that his coffee—and every other item in our lives—would not be possible without hundreds of people we usually take for granted: farmers, chemists, artists, presidents, truckers, mechanics, biologists, miners, smugglers, and goatherds. By thanking these people face to face, Jacobs finds some much-needed brightness in his life. Gratitude does not come naturally to Jacobs—his disposition is more Larry David than Tom Hanks—but he sets off on the journey on a dare from his son. And by the end, it’s clear to him that scientific research on gratitude is true. Gratitude’s benefits are legion: It improves compassion, heals your body, and helps battle depression. Jacobs gleans wisdom from vivid characters all over the globe, including the Minnesota miners who extract the iron that makes the steel used in coffee roasters, to the Madison Avenue marketers who captured his wandering attention for a moment, to the farmers in Colombia. Along the way, Jacobs provides wonderful insights and useful tips, from how to focus on the hundreds of things that go right every day instead of the few that go wrong. And how our culture overemphasizes the individual over the team. And how to practice the art of “savoring meditation” and fall asleep at night. Thanks a Thousand is a reminder of the amazing interconnectedness of our world. It shows us how much we take for granted. It teaches us how gratitude can make our lives happier, kinder, and more impactful. And it will inspire us to follow our own “Gratitude Trails.”
A.J. Jacobs has received some strange emails over the years, but this note was perhaps the strangest: “You don’t know me, but I’m your eighth cousin. And we have over 80,000 relatives of yours in our database.” And so begins A.J. Jacobs’s quest to build the biggest family tree in history. In an era of us-versus-them thinking, this book is a hilarious, heartfelt and profound exploration of what binds us all – where family begins, how far it goes, and the science that is revolutionizing the way we think about ethnicity, history and the human species. This book is about A.J. Jacobs’s family. But it’s also about your family. Because it is the same family.
An evangelical pastor shares what it was like to spend one year living like Jesus and obeying his teachings.