The Year of Living Biblically: One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible - A.J. Jacobs Jacobs and his Year of Living Biblically can be criticized for a lot of things. It’s not very structured. There is a superficial intellectual exploration of his topic. It smacks of attention-grabbing behavior that probably comes out in therapy.

But I really liked this book anyway.

Jacobs takes the “deed before creed” approach to understanding meaning in the Bible. A self-proclaimed agnostic, he lists out the hundreds of Biblical rules he can find and attempts to live by them. Sure, he has to pick and choose to some extent, but his goal leads him to seek out some fascinatingly devout characters. Jacobs writing style exudes a neurotic honesty which, if he didn’t have, would have cheapened the entire experiment.

Thankfully, there is no road-to-Damascus moment. His efforts may not lead to faith, but he finds meaning in acting out rituals that lack apparent purpose. He finds reflection and awareness in the constant diligence to maintain biblical rites. Which falls in line with the Judeo-Christian ethic of preparing the mind to accept God. To accept faith.

There are probably believers out there who take exception to what appears to be a stunt. To act not in accordance with faith, but out of a desire to document an experience. However, in these days of flippant talk of what people say they believe, his approach is probably more in tune with the Biblical authors than watching the 700 Club and doing a fist-pump for God’s America.