Automotive Holiday Deals Books Gift Guide Books Gift Guide Shop Men's Athletic Shoes Learn more nav_sap_SWP_6M_fly_beacon Black Friday egg_2015 All-New Amazon Fire TV Luxury Beauty Gifts for Her Amazon Gift Card Offer cm15 cm15 cm15 $30 Off Amazon Echo $30 Off Fire HD 6 Kindle Cyber Monday Deals Nintendo Digital Games Outdoor Deals on HTL
Joseph's Bones and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

Buy Used
+ $3.99 shipping
Used: Acceptable | Details
Sold by hippo_books
Condition: Used: Acceptable
Comment: Used may contain ex-library marking, notes or highlighting, may no longer have it a dust jacket
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Joseph's Bones: Understanding the Struggle Between God and Mankind in the Bible Paperback – February 26, 2008

14 customer reviews

See all 5 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
New from Used from
"Please retry"
"Please retry"
$1.47 $0.92
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Take an Extra 30% Off Any Book

Special Offers and Product Promotions

  • Take an Extra 30% Off Any Book: Use promo code HOLIDAY30 at checkout to get an extra 30% off any book for a limited time. Excludes Kindle eBooks and Audible Audiobooks. Restrictions apply. Learn more | Shop now

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

The narratives concerning Joseph, the eldest son of Jacob and Rachel, are related in Genesis, verses 37 to 50. They form the transition between the stories of the patriarchs and the Israelite enslavement in Egypt. Segal points out that Joseph's bones are mentioned three times in the Hebrew Bible and once in the New Testament. He posits that the first six books, Genesis through the Book of Joshua (sometimes called the Hexateuch), reveal a single, powerful, and coherent story that does, in some ways, resemble Greek mythology. "It is not Pious. It does not revere God, but depicts a constant struggle between God and humanity, and in many ways, its sympathies lie with mankind." Philosopher Segal has written a perceptive and intelligent book. George Cohen
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Modest in manner but brilliant in the closeness of its readings, Joseph's Bones is a work of stunning originality. Nothing quite like it has appeared in years. -- Jack Miles, author of God: A Biography --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Hero Quick Promo
Holiday Deals in Kindle Books
Save up to 85% on more than 1,000 Kindle Books. These deals are valid until November 30, 2015. Learn more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Riverhead Trade (February 26, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594482896
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594482892
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.9 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,032,089 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By E. Lang on May 11, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Joseph's Bones offers a radically different interpretation from traditional views of the relationship between God and the Israelites (and more generally humanity). Dr. Segal presents the case that, at least initially, while God is powerful, he is not omniscient, nor particularly benevolent, and indeed, may be somewhat insecure and emotionally immature. Thus, the book is concerned with understanding the content of the Bible, rather than whether the Bible itself is true or whether God exists. Nevertheless, the issues the book raises may be troublesome for people who truly believe in God (though perhaps not impossible to accept, because, by its end, the book also raises the possibility that God may have evolved into a being that could be worthy of worship). Indeed, this book may be more difficult for true believers to dismiss than are books that outright deny the existence of God, because its arguments are so tightly bound to the Bible and therefore show that the Bible itself paints a not very pretty picture of God.
The author's case is not airtight. For example, at a few points in the text assumptions or interpretations are chosen because of their interest value rather than their validity (which is impossible to prove). That said, most of the assumptions are amply buttressed by evidence and quotations from the Bible, and the arguments that flow from them are clearly laid out. Moreover, I don't believe it was the author's intention to absolutely prove his thesis, which, in fact, may be an impossibility, just as proving any particular interpretation of the Bible may be. Instead, the author has put forth an interesting and logically plausible interpretation of the historical events, and the relationship between God and humans, that are described in the Bible.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By P. Levine on April 26, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Joseph's Bones will be controversial. Most people will not be persuaded by its radical interpretation of the Hebrew Bible. However, if you can read it with an open mind, you will find it full of insights. Segal bases his interpretation on a close reading of the text, minus the metaphysical and theological assumptions that we take for granted as the legacy of mainstream Judaism and Christianity. He does not clutter his argument with secondary scholarship or jargon, but focuses tightly on the story, which he deeply appreciates and admires. His interpretation unfolds with some of the suspense of a detective novel, but the stakes are much higher.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
8 of 11 people found the following review helpful By DP Gatten on September 9, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Joseph's Bones
Understanding The Struggle Between GOD And Mankind In The Bible
Jerome M. Segal

Loved Of The LORD

I just finished reading this book and I thought you might be interested in another direction I invested in.
Being a believer and follower of Jesus for thirty years, reading this work was somewhat a strain to do, as Jerome Segal suggests, to set aside my beliefs and read with an open mind. This was indeed a trek in unexplored space for me. Yet another review to add to my list
I found Jerome Segal to be an astute student and scholar of the bible. His extensive knowledge and understanding of Holy writ is obviously displayed in this in-depth critical analysis and perspective.
Segal sets aside conventional, theological and accepted views and uses Scripture (Those he chose.) alone to radically present his contentions.
His analysis thru the Torah and Joshua (Hexateuch ) portrays GOD as a immature neophyte, who is omnipotent, yet not omniscience nor magnanimous.
He seems to have Yahweh looking for a mentor and has Abraham and Moses as instruments in respectably shaping GOD's character and perspective on obedience, justice and punishment...
His writing displays his belief and love for GOD and he is scholarly neutral in his position on the deity of JESUS, while at the same time suggesting that JESUS was also a part of Yahweh's evolution.
He emphasizes the Israelites carrying two arks with them one being the bones of Joseph, which seems feasible, as the bones were with them till they buried them in Shechem, It was probably more a sarcophagus being of the rank he held in Egypt.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By David C. Belden on October 10, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This book is a great and enjoyable read. I was raised Christian and an enthusiastic one at that, then went secular, then eclectically spiritual. The Bible remains a huge influence in my life but not one I have looked into much in recent years. This book turned my understanding of what it may mean upside down in a most exciting way: the idea that the first six books of the Bible is the story of a relationship with a powerful God who needed to be taught morality by the people he was protecting. I am no Biblical scholar but Tikkun magazine (where I work) recently included a very positive review of the book by highly respected scholar Jack Miles, Distinguished Professor of English and Religious Studies at the University of California, Irvine, and the author of Christ: A Crisis in the Life of God. The review can be found at [...] and put "Joseph's Bones" in the search function.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Want to discover more products? Check out these pages to see more: audio bible, bibles zondervan