Printed and bound in the United States of America. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data. Asimov, Isaac, Asimov's Guide to the Bible. Asimov's Guide to the Bible is a huge classic companion to reading the Bible. In this version the two volumes has been compiled in a single. A Book to approach Bible in a different perspective.
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Isaac Asimov - Free ebook download as PDF File .pdf) or read book online for free. Asimov's Guide to the Bible is a work by Isaac Asimov that was first. Asimov's Guide to the Bible by Isaac Asimov, , Avenel Books Distributed by Crown Publishers edition, in English - Avenel ed. $0™à§x„iÌ”E Wâ™\»_„iÌ”E xi E ™à _W}. %0\ü——x»——}º™\³€”E hWF\P xix Free Arabic Qu The Bible Atlas - Ultimate Bible Reference Library.
Jan 06, G. Branden rated it it was amazing What I gained from this book was a level of Biblical literacy that I had been sorely lacking. As a lifelong atheist with a wholly secular upbringing, I feel I have enjoyed much good fortune relative to those indoctrinated by religion from a young age; on the other hand, many literary and cultural references, and even a few jokes, have passed me by.
Since elementary school I have been better versed in Greek, Norse, and Egyptian mythology than I have been in modern religion. Even in a secular socie What I gained from this book was a level of Biblical literacy that I had been sorely lacking. Even in a secular society that is something of a handicap.
Having been aware of this title for many years, but knowing that I have a strong bias in favor of an Asimov-penned treatment of most any subject and wanting to broaden my horizons a bit in reaction, I searched high and low for a book that would fulfill my needs, but kept failing to find something written from an unabashed secular--and scientifically rationalist--viewpoint which was also written with character and not with such brevity as to be contemptuously dismissed as a "Cliffs' Notes" summary of the Bible.
Well, in my view, here it is--despite my efforts, I ended up with Asimov after all.
It should go without saying that this title is not for everyone, but for people who share the void in their cultural literacy that I had, I must regard Asimov's work as essential. Foremost, his book does what it says on the tin--it's a guide to the Bible rather than a critique of Judaism, Christianity, or religion generally. Asimov's approach to these scriptures is simply that of a thoroughgoing empiricist. He therefore disregards miracles and creation stories as myths.
Then too, many mainstream Christians and Jews share that assessment, and thus they stand to gain from Asimov's approach as well.
Another of Asimov's goals as candidly set forth in his Introduction is to place the historical events set forth in the Bible within their broader contexts. In contemporary histories of the ancient world, the events that were of all-consuming importance to the Israelite tribes, the Jews, and the early Christians are usually beneath notice, being irrelevant to the larger turning wheels in the rest of the Near East.
Asimov is unrelenting in using secular historical sources to tie Biblical events in with the doings of the great ancient empires such as the Mittanians, Egyptians, Assyrians, Mycenaeans, Babylonians, Greeks, Parthians, and Romans. In some cases, particularly in the books of Genesis and Exodus, Asimov has to speculate or ground his conjectures on extra-Biblical scholarship, and often can only establish rough contemporaneity.
But as the historical records become less murky and as the Jews became more concerned with posterity once they had enjoyed, and then lost, a kingdom of their own , matters firm up considerably. A further benefit is that Asimov is nearly as careful as the editors of The New Oxford Annotated Bible in covering apocryphal materials and documenting their status as such. A great book that helps to explain the historical context in which the events of the Bible play out. When my son and I read the Bible together, we read through this at the same time.
Many otherwise confusing passages came clear, and we also learned of some details that are still debated by scholars and theologians. This is worth reading front to back, but is probably most useful as a reference; when questions come up regarding a specific chapter or verse, take the time to see what Asimov has to A great book that helps to explain the historical context in which the events of the Bible play out.
This is worth reading front to back, but is probably most useful as a reference; when questions come up regarding a specific chapter or verse, take the time to see what Asimov has to say about it!
Sep 04, Ron rated it it was ok Shelves: While Asimov purported to just be dealing with the factual background of the Bible--and he does provide many interesting, if trivial facts--his point of view is plainly that the Bible and assumedly all books of faith are fiction.
Given that orientation, it's still a useful resource. View 2 comments. Aug 04, Josh rated it it was amazing. However, this isn't to say that it is a christian book. Rather, it goes through the books and matches what the bible says with what is known from other, more reliable, sources assyrian, chinese, roman records, etc.
You might say it is a secular look at the books of the bible. Mar 06, Thomas. Asimov goes through the entire Bible and provides the best current analysis of where all the material came from and points out inconsitencies and problems with the texts.
I found it very enlightening. Oct 28, Mehrdad Mb rated it really liked it. Jan 02, The Fizza rated it it was amazing Shelves: Isaac Asimov was one of the most prolific writers of his time. Having written, or edited, more than books and an estimated 9, published letters and postcards. He has published in nine of the ten major categories of the Dewey Decimal System. While a professor of biochemistry at Boston University he is primarily remembered for his Science Fiction works, several of which had been adapted for film in recent years.
In he decided to put the Old and New Testament of the bible into historical Isaac Asimov was one of the most prolific writers of his time. In he decided to put the Old and New Testament of the bible into historical context. This edition is the two volumes in one for a whopping pages and includes maps by the artist Rafael Palacios.
This guide goes through the books of the Bible in King James Version order, explaining the historical and geographical setting of each one and the political and historical influences that affected it.
Asimov even goes as far as providing biographical information about the main characters.
In essence Asimov seems to consider the bible as one of the most important history books ever written, and treats it as such. There is no theological commentary, just information. For those of you who really want to know "what's really going on" as well as "what's happened before" this guides to the Old and New Testament includes biblical verse, footnotes, references and subject indexes.
Suggested for anyone who wants to know about the arc of history. Mar 21, Alexandru rated it it was amazing. It does not matter if you are an atheist or believer - the book is an excellent detailed historical analysis of the period of time covered by the Bible. The best analysis from a historical, geographical and logical standpoint.
I was always looking for a scientific analysis of the Bible and Asimov did that. The connections between multiple myths and mythology and the Bible, the logical explanation of what is described in the Bible, the revealing of many errors in years and names of people describ It does not matter if you are an atheist or believer - the book is an excellent detailed historical analysis of the period of time covered by the Bible. The connections between multiple myths and mythology and the Bible, the logical explanation of what is described in the Bible, the revealing of many errors in years and names of people described in the Bible.
And al of it is done in a very objective and neutral manner. A must read for anyone interested in the topic of Human history and the influence of religion on it. Dec 30, Bill rated it it was amazing Shelves: Asimov, best known as a science fiction master, took a long and hard look at the Christian Bible and came up with observations that never seemed to occur to the many Bible teachers I had as a boy.
Asimov is a much better Bible teacher than they are. Having said that, this book would almost certainly be unwelcome in most Bible study sessions. I won't elaborate - but be sure to find a place for it on your reference shelf. Jan 11, Todd rated it really liked it. This is a large tome, and certainly more a reference book than a novel.
It can be quite a dry read at times, but in small doses, it is really fascinating. I keep it in my bathroom and randomly read entries a few hundred words at a time. May 25, Lorna Collins rated it it was amazing. This is a wonderful reference text. Asimov compares the biblical accounts with other historical references of the time.
Over the years, we have found it provides a different perspective to the events, often including a frame of reference. Mar 21, Curtiss rated it it was amazing Shelves: Jan 30, Jeff rated it it was amazing Shelves: Asimov goes through the Bible and interprets the stories written by the uninformed ancients based on what we now know what was going on at the time. I found it very interesting. Sep 14, Dena rated it it was amazing. This is an amazing read!
His analysis also includes books not included in the King James version of the Bible. Dec 08, Daniel rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: I've never read an Isaac Azimov book I didn't like. If you are ready, then this one will certainly teach you a few things. Apr 14, Steve Carroll rated it it was amazing.
This is a page book that approaches the bible as an important historical document that had incalculable influence on Western culture.
Asmiov takes a rationalist approach here and isn't interested in ethics or the supernatural but I think if you scan the other reviews here you'll see that he does it in a respectful way that even true believers find to be pretty palatable.
What Asimov is interested in is how the Bible line fantastic! What Asimov is interested in is how the Bible lines up with the historical record and setting the books in the context of Ancient History.
I grew up Catholic, but went to public schools and so to be honest never really had any idea what a Pharisee or Samaritan was and how they related to the land of Canaan or any of that let alone what a Corinthian was. I've spent the last few years trying to fill in the holes in my liberal arts education since I'm engineering educated, and they don't really teach the classical canon much anyway and it quickly became apparent that I had big holes in my understanding of stuff so as usual I turned to Asimov, the great explainer.
He goes book by book and explains who wrote it and whether or not it is likely that is who it is attributed to , where the places they are talking about are with lots and lots of maps, whether it is corroborated by the rest of the historical record, and what the most likely biases of the authors were given that most books of both the old and new testament were written well after the events they describe. He spends a lot of time trying to untangle various inconsistencies in the versions of the stories and speculates as to what may be their cause.
Sometimes his analysis on the genealogies get a little tedious, so I skimmed those, but otherwise, I found this a very useful guide. I had originally intended to put it down at the volume break between the old and new testament and read something else before picking it back up, but I ended up powering straight through which is a good testament to the material. Mar 22, Steven Jacke rated it did not like it Shelves: This book was not what I wanted it to be, and is one of the more disappointing books I've encountered.
It is a 2 volume complete Bible commentary, so it is more of a reference book. This is an extremely traditional walk through the Bible from a historical-critical perspective.
As I've heard books like this described before, it could be titled, "Introduction to Biblical Contradictions and Inconsistencies. If you want a way to look up stories in the Bible and find historical inaccuracies, implausibilities, and contradictions, this has some value. But my gripe is that those books have been written, many times, by many many people. When you download Asimov's Guide to the Bible, you want to read Asimov's thoughts, not generic historical-critical notes from the 60's.
For example, the binding of Isaac is an important episode from the OT. Over the years, I have seen all sorts of commentaries on this, from Christians, Jews, Atheists, and others - you don't need to come at it from a particular faith perspective to be able to reflect on the story. For example, I have seen beautiful comparisons from that story to the Vietnam War.
And none of this requires a faith in God. People still read the Iliad and find thoughts that apply to today without believing in the Greek deities. Asimov himself used fiction to make points - he should be able to find something meaningful or reflective to say. Instead, Asimov spends 2 paragraphs talking about how we can't find the mountain, and the traditional mountain wasn't it.
Mar 06, Erwin rated it it was amazing Shelves: Highly recommend. Describes the world at the time when the books of the bible were written. May 31, William Schram rated it it was amazing Shelves: Imagine my surprise when I saw a copy of this. I mean, it's Isaac Asimov, I have to see what he says about the Bible. So Asimov goes through the Bible and discusses all of the major talking points. Have you ever wondered what a Sadducee was? So did I until I read this book.
Where exactly is Jericho as related to Jerusalem? This book has multiple maps that show you just that. Along the way, we are I had heard that Isaac Asimov was prolific, but I had not realized that he went into Biblical Study. Along the way, we are treated to Secular History that has been verified by other records and not just the Bible. So that part alone makes it fascinating. I especially liked the parts that covered verifiable Jewish and Early Christian History. Those parts were excellent.
The rest of the Bible seems to be made up of old Folk Legends and stories borrowed extensively during the Exile Period.
For instance, there are numerous references to Marduk and Ishtar and other gods of the Babylonian Pantheon. The Pentateuch and other parts make for pretty dry reading, but trying to estimate the relative dates and authors of certain books must be pretty hard. In any case, I really enjoyed this book. Oct 28, Anthony McKay rated it it was amazing.
This is the second time through this as well. It is a secular tour of the books of the Bible - painting the back drop of periods of time where the rise and fall of dominance in the Assyrian, Babylonian, Persian, Greek, and Roman conquests affected Judaism and Christian perspectives. To borrow a paragraph from the introduction: Millions know Ahasuerus as a Persian king who married Esther, even though there is no record of such an event outside the Bible. Most of those same millions never suspect t This is the second time through this as well.
Most of those same millions never suspect that he is better known to modern historians as Xerxes and that the most important event of his reign was an invasion of Greece that ended in utter defeat. That invasion is not mentioned in the Bible. It is gems like those that makes this book a mandatory companion to reading the source book of Judea-Christian worship.
It was a lot of pages to conquer, but to quote Jesus himself: Dec 10, Corbin Routier rated it it was amazing. It is a history book covering the first four thousand years of human civilization. But the writing isn't the "Most people who read the Bible do so in order to get the benefit of its ethical and spiritual teachings, but the Bible has a secular side, too.
But the writing isn't the drone of a college professor. If you and a friend were to sit down and discuss what you knew about religion, then this book would read like that. I enjoyed it because it paints an educational story. Whether you are religious or not this book has great information. It's only agenda is to drop some knowledge. Jan 06, Jonathan McGaha rated it it was amazing.
Well I did it. And I loved it. This book is exhaustively researched and respectfully written. As a scholarly work, it's fantastic. It generally stands the test of time. I think this book would be a great companion to any person with any interest in the bible, Christianity or Judaism.
Jun 06, Mark rated it really liked it. This is an indespensable reference book for people who want a more complete and less emotional driven interpretation of the writings of the bible.
I use it often both when I am writing and to check out propositions made by those I am discussing the Christian religion with. Mar 02, Tamcamry rated it really liked it. He literally read the entire Bible, and then discussed each book in his guide. He also did so in a way as to not try and prove or disprove anything, but simply to put things in a greater historical context.
It is a long read, however, but overall worth it. Dec 10, G. Lupo rated it it was amazing. I read this as a two-volume text some years ago, and downloadd the combined edition later.
Asimov presents a well-rounded look at the books of the old and new testament, without taking sides on the truth or fiction of each story. This should definitely be in the library of anyone with an interest in biblical analysis. Jan 04, Diana rated it it was amazing. If you want to understand the underlying geography and anthropology of biblical stories--and maybe I'm weird that I do--this is the book for you.
Somewhat dated, but still quite relevant. Asimov did his homework. This is an eye-opening study. Oct 11, Sammy rated it really liked it Shelves: A very interesting look at how the bible was written, and the various texts and cultures which came together to create the religion of Christianity.
It's very interesting - as a non-Christian - to read and gain more of an understanding of how this religion started. Readers Also Enjoyed. About Isaac Asimov. Isaac Asimov. Isaac Asimov was a Russian-born, American author, a professor of biochemistry, and a highly successful writer, best known for his works of science fiction and for his popular science books.
Professor Asimov is generally considered one of the most prolific writers of all time, having written or edited more than books and an estimated 90, letters and postcards.