I got a couple books out of the library recently.  Didn’t overly much like them.

They had promise, but . . .

First up was Excavating Jesus (subtitled Beneath the stones, Behind the texts).  It is a deeper look into Jesus and his times.  I had hopes for this book.  I like archeology, and subscribe to Biblical Archeology Review.  But it started smelling fishy when they mentioned finding a “Q” gospel, and I stopped reading at

. . . did Luke himself invent that incident at Nazareth?

(Jesus speaking at the synagogue, from Luke 4:16-30) and

Luke, himself a learned scholar, takes it utterly for granted, as do many modern scholars, that Jesus was literate and learned.  This is very unlikely.

(quotes from p.28 and p.30).  At least I didn’t waste too much time on that one.  Thumbs down, unequivocally.  One of the suppositions of my faith is that the Bible is true.  It’s foundational, and built into my world-view.  If the Bible isn’t true, then you’re making up a God to suit yourself.  Bzzzzzt.

The other book was The Billion Dollar Game (behind the scenes of the greatest day in American sport – Super Bowl Sunday).   It’s about, not surprisingly, the Super Bowl and all the preparation that goes into the event.  Not so much the teams, although they get some mention, but the production.  The cities vying to host the SB, the construction of a stadium in Phoenix specifically to host the game, the TV producers that cover the action, the intricacies of the half-time show.  I liked those sections, although I thought it was thin.  The book comes in at just over 250 pages, and a deeper look could have fleshed out the details I was looking forward to.  What I didn’t want fleshed out, and what was not mentioned on the book jacket or in the blurb inside the front cover, was that the author spends time at and writes about the Playboy party.  I don’t want to read that, and didn’t.  It’s mostly limited to chapters instead of being interspersed throughout the other story lines, so it was easy to skip.  If that would have been mentioned in the blurb, the book would have stayed in the library.  Since the book was skinny and I skipped a few chapters, it was not as satisfying as it could have been.  Because of the objectionable content, this one is not recommended.