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Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Mysteries and Intrigues of the Bible: Extraordinary Events and Fascinating People by Jonathan A. Michaels
What this book is and what it is not
Published by Tyndale House Publishers in 1997.
I picked this book up somewhere along the way and I am sure when I bought it I thought that it was something that it is not.
What I thought the book was:
-I thought it was a Graham Hancock-type (ironically, Graham Hancock is referred to in the text of this book) look into some of the oddities of the Bible. What really happened at Jericho? What does the archaeological record say? Where did Moses and the Israelites cross the Red Sea? Are there possible explanations for a parting of the Red Sea besides a divine one? What about those that claim that Jesus did not really die on the cross? Is the popularly referred to "Swooning" of Jesus an explanation for his resurrection. If not, why not. The kind of stuff you get on the History Channel from time to time
That is not what this book is (although if anyone knows of such a cool book, let me know!)
What this book is is a compilation of a number of odd stories from the Bible. They are re-told here in loose categories in no particular order under such topics as "Unlucky Seventies" (times when 70 people died); "Family Customs" (polygamy, circumcision and the like - why they were done) or such ongoing categories such as "Strange but True" and "FAQs". A good feature is the listing of the verses where the strange story can be found in the Bible after every entry.
While well-written, I kept on wondering why it was written. I suppose I was not the target audience. I was quite familiar with 95% of the stories that were told and very little new information on the mysteries themselves were revealed.
So, my recommendation is that if you know your Bible backwards and forwards, this book will have little to offer. If you are relatively new to the study of the Bible, this one may help spur your interest.
I rate this book 3 stars out of 5.
This book can be found on Amazon.com here: Mysteries and Intrigues of the Bible: Extraordinary Events and Fascinating People by Jonathan A. Michaels.
Reviewed on December 25, 2006.