Analyzing passages from the KJV, Tyndale, Coverdale, and Geneva Bibles alongside the original Hebrew and Greek texts, Bloom candidly discusses which are the most accurate, which are the most sublime. "By any reckoning Bloom is one of the most stimulating literary presences of the last half-century,"---New York Times. 320 pages, hardcover. Yale University.
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Customer Reviews for The Shadow of a Great Rock Shadow of a Great Rock: A Literary Appreciation of the King James Bible a Literary Appreciation of the King James Bible
Review 1 for The Shadow of a Great Rock Shadow of a Great Rock: A Literary Appreciation of the King James Bible a Literary Appreciation of the King James Bible
Starts interesting, ends abysmally
Date:March 18, 2014
This is not just a book about his own personal faith and distorted theology, but a trashing of the Bible from a highly biased, self-indulgent, subjective literary lens. Bloom's own 'Kabbalah and Criticism' was nothing but a love fest on that topic. Here, he goes to the very source (the Bible) behind his own abstract leaning towards Christianized Gnosticism and Jewish Kabbalah, and proceeds to rip the Bible apart; and not just the King James version either. The book starts off intriguingly enough, although with the usual speculative modern scholarship ('Jahwist, 'Priestly', 'multiple Isaiahs', 'Q', etc. He is the co-athor of atrocious 'Book of J' after all.) That aside, he offers some interesting interpretations, mostly from Genesis and also between God and Moses; yet once he arrives to Jeremiah, leave any expectation of quality insights behind. By the time he arrives to Acts and the letters of Paul, it is nothing but pure, popular vitriol against Paul's challenging, philosophical and unique writings. Also, the previous lengthy essays about the Torah, are whittled down to nothing but bitter concise notes; ending in a spectacular finish by declaring nothing relevant about Revelation but his dislike for 'apocalyptic literature'. Bloom, a self-confessed Gnostic and of a seemingly traditional Orthodox Jewish upbringing (what a contradiction, yet wait for it...), confesses a massive dislike of Yahweh, in true Gnostic fashion. That mistrust of Yahweh, then obviously hinders everything about this work. I'm not even sure why he bothered with this endeavor. How this is an 'appreciation' and an attempt at objective, respectful literary insight, is beyond me.