Review by Nma26 -- Who Told You That You Were Naked?

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Review by Nma26 -- Who Told You That You Were Naked?

Post by Nma26 » 29 Jun 2018, 12:25

[Following is a volunteer review of "Who Told You That You Were Naked?" by William Combs.]
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2 out of 4 stars
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William E. Comb's book, Who Told You That You Were Naked? is a re-examination of Adam and Eve's disobedience. It is also an argument against some Bible commentaries on the same account and one must have a considerable knowledge of the Bible to read this book. Teachings from this book reveal that the first couple were deceived into believing they would gain the knowledge of good and evil and by this understanding become more like God. In their (The first couple-Adam and Eve)bid to draw closer to their father, they ate the fruit and because of this new acquisition of the knowledge of good and evil, they compared their individual differences with their mate and with the Lord. The feelings of nakedness these comparisons produced resulted in relational and spiritual death (separating them from the Lord and from each other) and fulfilling God's warning; "In the day you eat of it you shall die".More so, the author brings to light some salient points like “who gave the extra instruction not to touch the tree. Adam or Eve?”

The author’s major focus in this book is on the wellspring of sin- the knowledge of good and evil -which he says is the root cause of sin. He further admonishes that when we recognise the root of sin is our mental capacity to discern good and evil, then we can begin to understand we are incapable of overcoming the antagonist (sin).As long as we try, we will be functioning under the law of sin and death. But if we quit trying (i.e. die to sin) and believe there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, then we can live according to the law of the Spirit of life and walk in the light as He(God) is in the light. In addition, He gives new definition to the word ‘sin’, ‘death’, ‘salvation’, and ‘little faith’ as used in the Bible.

What I like most about the book include (i) The study questions for discussion at the end of each chapter (ii) His examination of some areas (e.g. the issue of translations) in the book that may breed conflicting opinions from other Bible commentators/readers (iii)Sharing his personal experiences in the course of his teachings.

My reasons for liking the above mentioned points are (i) His study questions for discussion extend beyond his explanations in the concluded chapter and make the reader an active participant in the topic being discussed. (ii) Examining some areas (i.e. the challenge of having different Bible translations) that may breed conflicting opinions from other Bible commentators and readers puts him in a good light as one who examines his own possible loopholes as you would see later. It also gives possible clues as to how he (the author) made his deductions. (iii) Sharing his personal experiences makes his teachings more practical and one you could easily identify with.

What I like the least about the book are (i) His creation of ADDITIONAL characters and events in the story which makes the story somewhat different and not an EXACT account of what happened that day. E.g. the introduction of the ewe as the first animal to die in the garden of Eden (page 2- 3) brings a lot of possibilities into the story such as (a) That death occurred before God made his pronouncement on Adam and Eve (b) That the animal God slew to clothe them (Adam and Eve) was not the first animal to die etc. Also, what I like least about the book are (ii) His making assumptions that are not clearly stated in the Bible in some of his teachings. E.g. He infers that Adam is convinced into eating the fruit because he doesn’t observe any unusual change in Eve who had eaten the fruit etc.(iii) Basing his examination of the account on just one Bible translation of that account (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version) (iv) Devoting a large part of the book discussing the wellspring of sin and a lesser part of the book on the Holy Spirit who helps us overcome it.

My reason for not liking these are (i) when you add to a story, you change the story and create more possibilities. (ii) making assumptions that are not clearly stated in the Bible does not make your argument on that matter valid. (iii) basing his teachings on one translation while there are over 100 Bible translations of the same account makes his argument incomplete.(iv) devoting a large part of the book discussing the wellspring of sin, and a lesser part on the ability of the Holy Spirit points to a problematic approach rather than a curative approach in his writing. Also worth mentioning is that there are some salient points which this book doesn’t tell us. This includes: (i) If this mentality (knowledge of good and evil) was destroyed after the coming of Jesus (ii) What happened to the ability of animals to converse with human beings? (iii)In one of his study questions in chapter 10, he says Satan empowered the serpent to speak to Adam’s wife. This was not stated in Genesis Chapter 3 or anywhere in the book of Genesis. The word Satan is never even mentioned anywhere in Genesis.

I rate this book 2 out of 4 stars. I gave it a 2 because his argument might seem right to some people and at the same time wrong to some people. I.e. not everybody will accept it. There are over 100 translations of the Bible and reading each of them (e.g. New King James Version) might yield a different view of what happened so his teaching can be said not to be entirely correct.l did not give him a 4 because he ADDS to the account in the garden of Eden and sometimes makes assumptions that are not clearly stated in the Bible. I did not give him a 3 because some of his arguments were not based on the original rendering of the story without any additions.

This book would appeal most to the Christians especially theologians, Bible commentators, Bible scholars, and several theology/church debate and Bible study groups. It would appeal least to non-Christians and other religions apart from Christianity.

Who Told You That You Were Naked?
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Post by LaurenHaupt » 18 Aug 2018, 23:22

I can understand what you didn't like about the book. You can't add facts that aren't there. Book still sounds like it may be a fun read but I'll keep that in mind. Thank you.

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Post by Abigail R » 21 Aug 2018, 19:24

I can be dangerous to add to parts of the bible. I hope he did his research well before doing so! Thank you for an honest review!

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Post by Cardinalsparrow » 22 Aug 2018, 06:06

Thanks for the honest review. I quite agree that he shouldn't have added to the accounts in the Bible.
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Post by Nma26 » 22 Aug 2018, 08:32

Exactly.There were a lot of additions.

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Post by joycechitwa » 22 Aug 2018, 08:33

Your review is totally on point! I too was kind of disturbed by the author's story in the garden of Eden, where the animal died before sin or death entered the world. I found that abit off. I liked how he expressed that you can't conquer sin through your own efforts. Like you, I wished he had expounded more on the role of the Holy Spirit. Thank you for your review!

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Post by sharkyjen998 » 22 Aug 2018, 09:02

I found this review very enlightening. I had to pause and stop to think about the author's claim that it is our mind's ability to discern good and evil which makes us incapable of overcoming sin. As I pondered on this part of your review, I couldn't help but think of my children (3 years old and 5 years old). As children who don't know right from wrong, sometimes they do "wrong" things like hitting each other over a toy. It's difficult to blame them because they don't understand what they are doing or even why they have done it. Despite the two star review, I do think this book will interest me. Thanks for the comments!

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Post by Bookcool123 » 22 Aug 2018, 11:57

If the author have references to the creation of his book, then he is free to expound his knowledge. It is up to the reader to discern the premises as presented.

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Post by ArriettyClock » 23 Aug 2018, 06:45

I completely agree with your statement that you cannot make additions to the bible or assumptions that are not there. This could make a completely different view from someone who takes the text at face level.

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Post by Rosemary Khathibe » 23 Aug 2018, 13:51

This book seems to contain a lot of unanswered questions. Thanks for your helpful review.

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Post by crediblereading2 » 23 Aug 2018, 18:16

I do agree with you that if the author adds to the argument re the Adam and Eve's story, he should ensure that the addition is credible and coming from the Bible itself. Thank you for your insightful review of this book.

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Post by melissy370 » 25 Aug 2018, 15:38

I reviewed this book awhile back. Truthfully, I don't remember much about it, but I believe I liked it more than you did. Thanks for your review.

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Post by Raya raymond » 26 Aug 2018, 05:57

I read this book some time earlier and I agree with most of your opinions. I don't like some of the assumptions the author makes and I think it could be misleading. Amazing review.

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Post by Julehart1 » 27 Aug 2018, 03:24

This book sounds very interesting. I appreciate you stating the things you didn’t like about it so clearly. It’s weird that the author would add parts of the Bible that aren’t true. It sounds misleading. Thanks for your review.

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Post by Fuzaila » 27 Aug 2018, 09:07

Excellent review. I agree with the problematic approach of adding assumptions which were clearly not stated in the Bible. As it is, one cannot please everybody with their writing, basing it on just one translation.
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