[Novel] Torah (the first five books of the Old Testament)

TorahOnly the first two books of the books of Moses are really worth reading as while Genesis and Exodus kind of reinvent some of the more interesting Mesopotamian fairy tales to suit their mythos  — most will probably be most familiar with Utnapishtim –> Noah transformation, but even the story of Moses is heavily influenced by the ancient legends of Sargon of Akkad —, the latter three books are just a list of rules and instructions the Israelite god bestows upon his people, most of which are repeated over and over again. So unless you want to listen that you shouldn’t boil calves in their mother’s milk, shouldn’t mix fabrics of your clothes, and should die if you work on Sundays for five times in a row, I’d just recommend reading the summary of the last three books  — nothing much really happens anyway, God just punishes sinners for having the audacity to make an idol for him, and makes them make a different idol instead (though this one’s portable!).

The plot’s gonna pick up in the following books of History (Nev’im), though.

Also, I wouldn’t really recommend tackling Bible without a good guide on its historical background and Hebrew literary devices, or you’ll end up getting a completely wrong idea about the passages where the work mentions feet, that turns out to be a Hebrew euphemism for male genitals, among other things. xD

Positive: Negative:
Gives insight into tradition, society, and mindset of Jewish nomads Kind of awkward, repetitive prose
Some of the stories a pretty cool, like the Binding of Isaac Pales in comparison to other much more complex works four-thousand years of literary evolution has brought us
The plot and tone is all over the place as the book is just an awkwardly pieced compilation of originally unrelated myths
The last three books might as well be gibberish for today’s readers, only really useful for cultural research at this point

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