3 out of 4 stars
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The story at the beginning of the Bible of creation is one that’s commonly known and often glossed over as it seems pretty straightforward. However, in his book, M. Tieman goes further than what the first 10 chapters of Genesis say.
It is not entirely clear through the Bible, the very exact details of how events took place. We are only told that it did with a few excerpts of the actual dialogue and play by play scenes of the goings-on.
Killing Abel, nonetheless, proficiently fills in the gaps with theological but also fictional information. After reading the book, one is able to generally speculate why various phenomena exist or came to be. For example, why human beings do not live as long as the characters of the time (Genesis 1-10). Step by step, lifetime through lifetime, M. Tieman unfolds what the journey hypothetically was through the garden of Eden, on to the outside world, procreation, down the lineage and finally, the flood.
There is a lot to learn that isn’t sufficiently clear by just reading the Bible. This enlightenment illuminates the experience of reading the book. For instance, the curses inflicted on Adam and Eve are elaborated further and depicted in their true sense and what they really mean in their new everyday life.
The insight provided by the author on more in-depth happenings and information is the aspect I enjoyed most about reading this book. Though fictional, it is clear that he did extensive research to be able to fill in and help the reader understand the undertakings of that time. I, however, did not like the portrayal of God given. It is widely accepted that God is mysterious and supernatural. Giving him a fixed and learning persona takes away from and limits the power he is spoken to have in having created the universe.
I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. It has great flow and interesting, well played out scenes, which is why I wouldn’t give it 2 stars. Nevertheless, I would take away partial points from the official rating to make it 2.5. This is because of its numerous errors such as incorrect sentence fragments and tense. Additionally, there was a somewhat unrealistic view of God, for example by saying that “God lacked the requisite wisdom and just like man, was learning as time went by”. These two aspects cost the book a perfect rating.
Killing Abel is suitable for all audiences. Even so, I recommend it to people interested in spiritual/theological matters; those seeking further understanding of aspects portrayed in the Bible and also different perspectives. M. Tieman offers an intriguing look that gets his readers thinking further and wanting to apply the same to the rest of the Bible. If he could, I, and undoubtedly many would appreciate his fascinating heights of insight.
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