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Paperback 101 Myths of the Bible: How Ancient Scribes Invented Biblical History Book

ISBN: 1570718423

ISBN13: 9781570718427

101 Myths of the Bible: How Ancient Scribes Invented Biblical History

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Book Overview

In his startling book, Gary Greenberg exposes the reality behind the greatest story ever told. Learn about the Egyptian myths and ancient folklore that survive in one of history's most sacred texts, and discover how:

King David's bodyguard, not David, killed GoliathNoah's Ark did not land on Mount AraratSamson did not pull down a Philistine templeThere are at least two versions of the Ten CommandmentsThe walls of Jericho were destroyed 300...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings


I love this book it's very interesting I had it years ago and thought I lost it so I reordered it. If anyone has questions about the Bible this book just might answer them but not in the way a religious person might want....

Excellent Take on Biblical origins

Most of us have wondered at some point in our lives, "Who wrote the stories in the Bible and where did they come from?" Obviously no one was around to interview Adam, Eve, Noah, Moses or King David, what they did much less what they said or thought. Divine inspiration is the only "explanation" and even then there are some serious problems in regard to historical reality. The bigger question is "WHY" these books came into being in the first place. The Bible is obviously a collection of ancient works that the authors (or editors) edited into a seemingly seamless unity. This facade was cracked upon applying scientific methods (linguistics, archaeology, historical writings, etc and the underlying stories were at last revealed. The flood is a good example. The same story was found on ruins of at least three different civlizations, replete with an ark, animals and the rain. Obviously this story had universal appeal. The author notes that many tales in the Torah come in pairs that contradict one another - Ten Commandments, Creation, flood, heroic deeds. One version uses "Yahweh" while the other uses "Elohim" indicating dual sources for the stories. The author is not attempting to point out Biblical "myths" such as a man living in a fish for several days or rain covering the Earth or the sun "standing still" or a donkey talking. Instead, it's about discovering the underlying myth behind the various stories in the Torah and he suggests they come from the Egyptians where the Israelites lived for so long. The tone is respectful as the author calmly shows that behind all the great stories is an original cultural myth originating usually in Egypt and given a Hebrew twist. The first Creation story is a jewel of explication: Egyptians held that four male gods and four female gods created the Earth. These represented earth, wind, light and water - exactly what is mentioned in the opening verses. The structure is simple - after an introduction as to the various myths (some are from Persia, others from Babylon or Assyria) the 101 myths are listed. The Biblical version and the "real" (underlying mythical) version. Differences and similarities are discussed and the evidence varied from conclusive to sketchy. Over all, an excellect work for the layman.

Answers for the thinking Christian

I am a born again Christian who is interested in thinking outside the religious box. This was the book that opened the box for me. It didn't disprove my faith in God, it settled those nagging questions about the Sunday School stories we've all taken for granted. I hated for this book to end.

A Remarkable Book About A Serious Subject

Gary Greenberg has written a remarkable book which describes how the Bible was influenced by many different myths and legends taken from cultures with which the Hebrews came into contact. For example, early biblical history was much affected by Egyptian mythology and literature. Babylonian myths were sometimes added later and then integrated with other legends drawn from still more sources.The author describes the Old Testament as a collection of myths. The myths are valuable because they lead us to learn the truth about the history of ancient Israel. Greenberg points out that by identifying the myths and legends which were used in writing the Bible we are able to determine where the Jewish people were located at definite dates in history. These myths and legends can sometimes even be offerred as proof of the validity of certain biblical events in the same manner as archaeological sites are utilized.In discussing the myths individually the author has grouped them chronologically into three groups as follows: Myths of the Beginning, Myths of the Founders and Myths of the Heroes.The book includes an extensive suggested reading list and a table of useful maps.

Interesting Insights into Bible Stories

The use of the word "myth" in the title of this book is perhaps unfortunate. Readers who associate the word "myth" with falsehood may pass this interesting book by. The author has examined the biblical stories that we are all more or less familiar with and located earlier versions of those same stories in other cultures, particularly that of ancient Egypt. The evidence turns out to be surprisingly compelling.This is not a book that attempts to debunk the Bible, but rather treats the stories sympathically. While this approach may offend the strict literalistic reader, other believers will be struck by the mythic power that these stories possess. It is also true that the open-minded reader will be impressed by the evidence that connects Bible stories to earlier accounts of the gods of the Egyptians and others. To me this was fascinating stuff!One more point: The organization of this book makes it very easy to read. By having each chapter deal with a very specific story or "myth" and by presenting the antecedent myths and related evidence with the confines of the chapter, this book is very easy to read. One can turn to any chapter at random and read it with a complete understanding of the author's contention on that particular story. This makes the book an easy and informative read.
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