Isaac Asimov thinks big; readers of his science fiction works are familiar with his grasp and mastery of scale and how the individual stories unfold within the epic work. In Asimov's Guide to the Bible
he utilizes this skill to pare down and untangle the many intertwined threads of biblical history and mythology. He views this guide as a way to illuminate the world of the Bible by incorporating the secular aspects of history, biography, and geography into a deeper understanding. Asimov's Guide to the Bible
is not a book to be read in continuum but an indispensable companion to any journey through the Bible. Situating the writers of the various books of the Bible in time and space, Asimov gives its writings context and also explains how that context has morphed with time. While some of his conclusions and "qualified speculations" may challenge certain traditional assumptions (for example, there is no reference in the gospels to Mary Magdalene as a prostitute; rather, she was a madwoman whom Jesus cured by casting out seven demons), his aim is not to tear it apart but to flush out some of its mysteries, give it a context that the average Bible reader can understand, and therefore make it more real. --Jodie Buller
From the Inside Flap
In Asimov's Guide to the Bible,
Isaac Asimov explores the historical, geographical, and biographical aspects of the events described in the Old and New Testaments. Asimov's attempts to illuminate the Bible's many obscure, mysterious passages prove absorbing reading for anyone interested in religion and history.