Walking the Bible A journey by land through the five books of Moses

Bruce S. Feiler

Book - 2001

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Subjects
Published
New York : W. Morrow 2001.
Language
English
Physical Description
451 p.
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN
0380977753
Main Author
Bruce S. Feiler (-)
Review by Booklist Reviews

Determined to connect more deeply with his religious roots, Feiler joined archaeologist Avner Goren in a trek through the Middle East, visiting the sites mentioned in the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Hebrew Bible. Weaving together archaeological evidence, historical theory, orthodox theology, and religious myth, Feiler here explores each of the stories in the Pentateuch whose settings he visited. In addition to trekking, Feiler communed with other pilgrims, Islamic, Judaic, and Christian alike. He consulted local historians and scholars, and he interviewed local residents about their understanding of the various sites' significance. Full of wonder and awe, yet written from a perspective of reasoned inquiry, Walking the Bible delightfully proves that the rational and the mystical can exist side by side, each contributing to the understanding of personal and cultural religious heritage. Feiler's own spiritual journey was strengthened by his inspection of the historical and archaeological evidence relevant to the stories of the Mosaic scriptures, so as to place them firmly into a context that illumines their origins and evolution. ((Reviewed February 15, 2001)) Copyright 2001 Booklist Reviews

Review by Library Journal Reviews

Feiler tracks the sources of the Bible on a 10,000-mile trek across the Middle East. Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

A journalist and contributor to National Public Radio's All Things Considered, Feiler (Dreaming Out Loud, LJ 4/15/98) traveled over 10,000 miles on three continents and five countries to retrace the route of the Hebrew patriarchs throughout the Middle East. His "objective was less to prove the Bible and more to witness its atmosphere and lingering appeal." To investigate the latest archaeological findings, he teamed up with Avner Goren, former chief archaeologist and preserver of antiquities in the Sinai region and currently one of Israel's most eloquent authorities on life in the ancient world. For the two men, reading the biblical accounts within their natural surroundings turned into a two-year journey throughout Turkey, Israel, the Palestinian Territories, Egypt, and Jordan to such famous sites as Mt. Ararat, Jerusalem, St. Catherine's Monastery, Mt. Sinai, and the Dead Sea. At the end of their pilgrimage, both men came away with a deeper faith and a better appreciation of the Bible as a living, breathing testimony to man's relationship to the divine. Essential for anyone interested in religion, archaeology, or travel, this is highly recommended for most collections. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 12/00.] Michael W. Ellis, Ellenville P.L., NY Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Prolific author Feiler has turned from his earlier subject (clowning, in Under the Big Top) to more serious fare: the Bible and the Middle East. Jewish author Feiler offers himself here as a pilgrim, walking through biblical lands and interviewing individuals from many religious traditions and walks of life. He reads the stories of the Pentateuch in the places they are thought to have happened, he records the latest archaeological understandings of the Bible, and he wrestles with his own faith. Of course, contemporary politics sneaks into the story, too; Arab-Israeli conflicts are hard to avoid when one is writing about the biblical Canaan. Feiler is an accomplished wordsmith. When he describes the "smells of dawn cinnamon, cardamom, a whiff of burnt sugar," the reader is transported to Turkey. He has the rare talent of being able to write in the second person, a gift he uses sparingly here: "Light. The first thing you notice about the desert is the light." In the sections of the book where his content is banal (readers can only take so many descriptions of dusty museums, bustling streets and breathtaking sunsets), Feiler's prose carries the narrative through. This book belongs on the shelves next to classics such as Wendy Orange's Coming Home to Jerusalem. Readers who find Westerners' encounters with the Holy Land enchanting will cherish this book. (Apr.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

From the mountain where Noah's ark landed to the site of the legendary burning bush, a ten-thousand-mile journey across the Middle East goes in search of the roots of the Bible to discover whether it was an abstraction or a living, breathing entity. 75,000 first printing.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

The author recounts his ten-thousand-mile journey across the Middle East in search of the roots of the Bible to discover whether it was an abstraction or a living, breathing entity.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

&;An instant classic. . . . A pure joy to read.&; &;Washington Post Book WorldBoth a heart-racing adventure and an uplifting quest, Walking the Bible presents one man&;s epic journey- by foot, jeep, rowboat, and camel- through the greatest stories ever told. From crossing the Red Sea to climbing Mount Sinai to touching the burning bush, Bruce Feiler&;s inspiring odyssey will forever change your view of history&;s most legendary events.The stories in the first five books of the Bible, also known as the Torah, come alive as Feiler searches across three continents for the stories and heroes shared by Christians and Jews. You&;ll visit the slopes of Mount Ararat, where Noah&;s ark landed, trek to the desert outpost where Abraham first heard the words of God, and scale the summit where Moses received the Ten Commandments. Using the latest archeological research, Feiler explores how physical location affects the larger narrative of the Bible and ultimately realizes how much these places, as well as his experience, have affected his faith. A once-in-a-lifetime journey, Walking the Bible offers new insights into the roots of our common faith and uncovers fresh answers to the most profound questions of the human spirit.&;Smart and savvy, insightful and illuminating.&; &;Los Angeles Times&;An exciting, well-told story informed by Feiler&;s boundless intellectual curiosity . . . [and] sense of adventure.&; &;Miami Herald

Review by Publisher Summary 4

'An instant classic. . . . A pure joy to read.' 'Washington Post Book WorldBoth a heart-racing adventure and an uplifting quest, Walking the Bible presents one man's epic journey- by foot, jeep, rowboat, and camel- through the greatest stories ever told. From crossing the Red Sea to climbing Mount Sinai to touching the burning bush, Bruce Feiler's inspiring odyssey will forever change your view of history's most legendary events.The stories in the first five books of the Bible, also known as the Torah, come alive as Feiler searches across three continents for the stories and heroes shared by Christians and Jews. You'll visit the slopes of Mount Ararat, where Noah's ark landed, trek to the desert outpost where Abraham first heard the words of God, and scale the summit where Moses received the Ten Commandments. Using the latest archeological research, Feiler explores how physical location affects the larger narrative of the Bible and ultimately realizes how much these places, as well as his experience, have affected his faith. A once-in-a-lifetime journey, Walking the Bible offers new insights into the roots of our common faith and uncovers fresh answers to the most profound questions of the human spirit.'smart and savvy, insightful and illuminating.' 'Los Angeles Times'An exciting, well-told story informed by Feiler's boundless intellectual curiosity . . . [and] sense of adventure.' 'Miami Herald