The Gospel of Barnabas by Joseph B. Lumpkin
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
An Anachronistic Islamic Riff on the Gospel
The Gospel of Barnabas is a late middle-age attempt by Islamic apologists to retell the Gospel Story of Jesus in a way that denies that he is the Son of God, and therefore is not divine (no God) ... with several anachronistic elements (such as references to Muhammad who doesn't make the scene for several centuries after) and attacks St Paul (who arguably defines much of what is the traditional Christian faith today). If you are familiar with the Christian Gospel stories, it can be interesting to explore the differences and what that might be trying to say ... however, you are on your own for that as there is no discussion on the work outside of the introduction ... and the translation seems to preserve some of what is awkward language that could use some explanation for better understanding. As it stands, this is a book for the curious (or independent student of which I am both) but would not likely appeal to anybody not interested in religious studies. The Narration was adequate with a few stumbles or odd pronunciations.
I was given this free advance review/listener copy (ARC) audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.
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My Ratings Explained ...
- [ ***** ] Amazing Read - Perfect story, exciting, engrossing, well developed complex characters, solid plot with few to no holes, descriptive environments and place settings, great mystery elements, realistic dialogue, believable reactions and behaviors; a favorite that I can re-read many times.
- [ **** ] Great Read - Highly entertaining and enjoyable, exciting storyline, well developed characters and settings, a few discrepancies but nothing that can’t be overlooked. Some aspect of the story was new/refreshing to me and/or intriguing. Recommended for everyone.
- [ *** ] Good Read - Solid story with a 'good' ending, or has some other redeeming feature. Limited character development and/or over reliance on tropes. Noticeable discrepancies in world building and/or dialog/behavior that were distracting. I connected enough with the characters/world to read the entire series. Most of the books I read for fun are here. Recommended for fans of the genre.
- [ ** ] Okay Read - Suitable for a brief, afternoon escape … flat or shallow characters with little to no development. Over the top character dialog and/or behavior. Poor world building with significant issues and/or mistakes indicating poor research. Excessive use of trivial detail, info dumps and/or pontification. Any issues with the story/characters are offset by some other aspect that I enjoyed. Not very memorable. May only appeal to a niche group of readers. Recommended for some (YMMV).
- [ * ] Bad Read - Awkward and/or confusing writing style. Poor world building and/or unbelievable (or unlikeable) characters. Victimization, gaslighting, blatant abuse, unnecessary violence, child endangerment, or any other highly objectionable behaviors by Main characters. I didn't connect with the story at all; significant aspects of this story irritated me enough that I struggled to finished it. Series was abandoned. Not recommended.