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An Accidental God: The Evolution of Religion, or How a Boy from the Dawn of Civilization Became the God of Jews, Christians, and Muslims

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An Accidental God tells how, through a series of accidents, a person who lived at the dawn of civilization became God. It is a fictionalized but historically plausible interpretation of the story of the biblical patriarch Abraham, focusing on how coincidental events and human misperceptions lead him to believe a particular ancestor, named Yehhi, is a powerful god. An earth An Accidental God tells how, through a series of accidents, a person who lived at the dawn of civilization became God. It is a fictionalized but historically plausible interpretation of the story of the biblical patriarch Abraham, focusing on how coincidental events and human misperceptions lead him to believe a particular ancestor, named Yehhi, is a powerful god. An earthquake shakes the ancient Mesopotamian city of Ur; amid the devastation, Abraham sees that all the family idols have toppled over, all except for the statue of Yehhi, a revered ancestor. He is convinced that Yehhi has shown his power by remaining upright amid the collapse of the other gods, and he believes that this is Yehhi’s call for his clan to abandon Ur. Abraham’s young nephew Lot is swindled by a wily merchant into squandering the family fortune on a smelly herd of sheep and goats tended by slave boys, named Ishmael and Isaac. Abraham must now become a nomadic shepherd wandering in a strange wilderness. Ishmael, who was stolen from his family, secretly guides them back towards his home in Canaan. Along the way, events challenge Abram to think differently about his relationship with his god Yehhi. Abraham has been unable to conceive children due to a disease that he does not understand, so he develops a fatherly affinity for Ishmael and Isaac. Nevertheless, Abram becomes increasingly obsessed by his inability to produce children of his own. He bargains with his god Yehhi, and he seizes upon a local custom of genital mutilation to improve fertility. He engages in increasingly gory animal sacrifices and eventually resorts to human sacrifice. Customer Reviews on Amazon 5.0 out of 5 stars Holy Bible Approved June 18, 2013 By dankuck Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase It's a fun journey through how things may have happened before the story got transformed into the Bible. And it's full of references to real life stuff, like blood sacrifices. Just wait until the circumcision scene, it's great fun for the whole family. Trust Me, you won't be disappointed. 5.0 out of 5 stars Telling all my friends about it! June 6, 2013 By John G. Format:Paperback|Amazon Verified Purchase This was one of the most unique things I have ever read, a combination of a page-turner story with a totally original take on the biblical story of Abraham. And, all of it ties into some really profound insights into the human condition, which underlie the story and are further discussed in essays at the end of the book. 5.0 out of 5 stars Truly great! May 26, 2013 By vt85 Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase What an excellent book. Fictitious, sure, but it so eloquently illustrates how an ordinary man can become a god and then become GOD. I highly recommend this book! 4.0 out of 5 stars Written from a different perspective. May 20, 2013 By James A. Wagamon Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase If you approach the Bible as a piece of fiction then you'll really enjoy this read as it takes the first part of the Old Testament and translates it into a really believable piece of fiction. It just confirms my belief in NOT believing in things over 2000 years old. 4.0 out of 5 stars AN ACCIDENTAL GOD May 11, 2013 By carolyn sutcliffe Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase If you like to study religion and beliefs this is one that is a new approach… I found it interesting with lots of ideas that I have thought of but never found expressed.


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An Accidental God tells how, through a series of accidents, a person who lived at the dawn of civilization became God. It is a fictionalized but historically plausible interpretation of the story of the biblical patriarch Abraham, focusing on how coincidental events and human misperceptions lead him to believe a particular ancestor, named Yehhi, is a powerful god. An earth An Accidental God tells how, through a series of accidents, a person who lived at the dawn of civilization became God. It is a fictionalized but historically plausible interpretation of the story of the biblical patriarch Abraham, focusing on how coincidental events and human misperceptions lead him to believe a particular ancestor, named Yehhi, is a powerful god. An earthquake shakes the ancient Mesopotamian city of Ur; amid the devastation, Abraham sees that all the family idols have toppled over, all except for the statue of Yehhi, a revered ancestor. He is convinced that Yehhi has shown his power by remaining upright amid the collapse of the other gods, and he believes that this is Yehhi’s call for his clan to abandon Ur. Abraham’s young nephew Lot is swindled by a wily merchant into squandering the family fortune on a smelly herd of sheep and goats tended by slave boys, named Ishmael and Isaac. Abraham must now become a nomadic shepherd wandering in a strange wilderness. Ishmael, who was stolen from his family, secretly guides them back towards his home in Canaan. Along the way, events challenge Abram to think differently about his relationship with his god Yehhi. Abraham has been unable to conceive children due to a disease that he does not understand, so he develops a fatherly affinity for Ishmael and Isaac. Nevertheless, Abram becomes increasingly obsessed by his inability to produce children of his own. He bargains with his god Yehhi, and he seizes upon a local custom of genital mutilation to improve fertility. He engages in increasingly gory animal sacrifices and eventually resorts to human sacrifice. Customer Reviews on Amazon 5.0 out of 5 stars Holy Bible Approved June 18, 2013 By dankuck Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase It's a fun journey through how things may have happened before the story got transformed into the Bible. And it's full of references to real life stuff, like blood sacrifices. Just wait until the circumcision scene, it's great fun for the whole family. Trust Me, you won't be disappointed. 5.0 out of 5 stars Telling all my friends about it! June 6, 2013 By John G. Format:Paperback|Amazon Verified Purchase This was one of the most unique things I have ever read, a combination of a page-turner story with a totally original take on the biblical story of Abraham. And, all of it ties into some really profound insights into the human condition, which underlie the story and are further discussed in essays at the end of the book. 5.0 out of 5 stars Truly great! May 26, 2013 By vt85 Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase What an excellent book. Fictitious, sure, but it so eloquently illustrates how an ordinary man can become a god and then become GOD. I highly recommend this book! 4.0 out of 5 stars Written from a different perspective. May 20, 2013 By James A. Wagamon Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase If you approach the Bible as a piece of fiction then you'll really enjoy this read as it takes the first part of the Old Testament and translates it into a really believable piece of fiction. It just confirms my belief in NOT believing in things over 2000 years old. 4.0 out of 5 stars AN ACCIDENTAL GOD May 11, 2013 By carolyn sutcliffe Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase If you like to study religion and beliefs this is one that is a new approach… I found it interesting with lots of ideas that I have thought of but never found expressed.

30 review for An Accidental God: The Evolution of Religion, or How a Boy from the Dawn of Civilization Became the God of Jews, Christians, and Muslims

  1. 4 out of 5

    Mike Massino

    I thoroughly enjoyed this challenging and thought provoking book. One can clearly see that exhaustive research of biblical times was done before the book was even started. A real combination of biblical history, anthropology, comparative theology and science in one book. I have recommended it to friends and colleagues and plan to reread it to delve into any nuances that I might have missed on my first reading of it. Looking forward to the next book by this author.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Richard Condon

    Interesting speculative theory about one family's ancestor might have become the god worshipped by the three largest monotheistic mythologies. Quite feasable.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Iris

    Inspiring Strong Opinions. Sweeping philosophical message about the way human history and human religious thought has evolved from ancient times. A good read.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Sundaram Shanmugam

    It tries to explain how religion could have come into practise. Religion is mostly worshipping our ancestors. There are millions of Gods, especially in countries like India and Africa. The variety of Gods in existence today are all our ancestors. Over period of time some of our ancestors we remember and some have been forgotten over time.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Deb

    At first, I wasn't quite sure how to approach this book, as "The Evolution of Religion" suggests some heavy going, while "How a Boy..." suggests a lighter approach. An Accidental God skews towards the latter, being a quick, easy and enjoyable read. There are copious notes at the end of the book, and these proved to be as interesting and engrossing as the main body of the work. The author manages to set forth his ideas of the evolution of religion through the everyday life of the biblical characte At first, I wasn't quite sure how to approach this book, as "The Evolution of Religion" suggests some heavy going, while "How a Boy..." suggests a lighter approach. An Accidental God skews towards the latter, being a quick, easy and enjoyable read. There are copious notes at the end of the book, and these proved to be as interesting and engrossing as the main body of the work. The author manages to set forth his ideas of the evolution of religion through the everyday life of the biblical characters, and how the events of their lives have become merged with older myths and religions over millennia of retelling. Definitely a book I can recommend. My thanks to the Goodreads Firstreads program for giving me the opportunity to read this book.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Dutch

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I like the idea of posing a theory on the origin of religion and its development and changes via a fictional story. I appreciated the author's notes throughout the book explaining how his story differs from that told in Genesis and why as well as the similarities between ancient Sumerian and Near East cultures and the rites and rituals in Judaism, Islam and Christianity. I highly recommend this book to anyone who has ever questioned the origin of faith.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Tina

    This book really makes you think. I received a free copy of this book and I decided to give it a try because I am really interested in religion history. At first I thought it was just going to be hard to get into but after the first chapter my mind was changed. The author has a different point of view and I can understand what he is saying to us readers. I found this book insightful and a very good read.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Maylen Bolster

    The best part was the culmination of ideas in the last 30 minutes of this book. Well worth the time. See above. I give 4 stars. Some gratitude and positive learning about struggles in a life. Very many assumptions are made that are still made, sort of a sad statement about knowledge.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Brian

    I received An Accidental God via a goodreads giveaway. As a semi-rational take on the legend of Biblical Abraham, this book left a lot to be desired. Casting these legendary characters as everyday people opened many opportunities. Most of those opportunities were missed, or only vaguely touched upon. There's potential here, but perhaps somebody else should take up the challenge.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Bok Sherman

    If only there are were a book on pastafarianism, all hail the Flying Spaghetti Monster! An extremely interesting read, but what should be explored was why Yehhi was left standing and not the FSM. After all, evolution still hasn't explained why our DNA is in the shape of Fusilli, signaling the birth of our God, the great flying pasta.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Patty

    I found this to be a truly entertaining look into the power of myth in religion. It looks at one personage present in the stories of three large faiths - Judaism, Christianity and Islam - and portrays how a man can become god then morph into GOD. Very easy to read, it's one I know I'll go back to. The illustrations are great too!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Zane

    Very insightful and might possibly be the true story if what happened thousands of years ago. At the same time, funny yet purposeful, creative writing makes it a book you want to finish without putting down.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Elissa Hayworth

    This book was interesting. An interesting look at how an ordinary man can become a god and then in turn God. Christians may not necessarily like it, but I believe that this is a true show (at least the human side of it) of how God of modern religions could have come about.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Sherry

    I have to say, I've changed my opinion of the premise of this book from the opinion I held early on in my reading of it. Richard Condon's opinion of "plausible" I initially thought ludicrous. Now, I have to say, plausible.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Eric

    I received this book from GoodReads as a part of the FirstReads program A fascinating exploration of the Abraham narrative. I'd call this interesting Midrash.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Ardyth

  17. 5 out of 5

    Barbara

  18. 4 out of 5

    Suzanne Hight

  19. 4 out of 5

    Nina

  20. 5 out of 5

    Dianne

  21. 5 out of 5

    Tony

  22. 5 out of 5

    Dominic

  23. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Seal

  24. 4 out of 5

    Viral Panchal

  25. 5 out of 5

    Texx Norman

  26. 4 out of 5

    Matthew

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sam Aw

  28. 5 out of 5

    Thakur Punshi

  29. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

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