Bruce Feiler has written books about a variety of subjects, from teaching English in Japan (Learning to Bow
) to joining the circus (Under the Big Top
), but with Walking the Bible
, he mostly eschews the whimsy and humor of his previous work in favor of something considerably more profound: an epic search across the Middle East for the locations of the stories found in the Torah, the first five books of the Old Testament. Feiler's trek yields some fascinating revelations (so to speak): The Garden of Eden, in Mesopotamia, was mostly water. In order to accommodate the 18,000 or so animals it took on board, Noah's Ark would have been half the size of the Titanic
, with an entire deck just for the 600 tons of manure the creatures deposited. The body of water that Moses parted might not have been the Red Sea, but rather a shallow, reedy lake. And the burning bush, which monks at Saint Catherine's Monastery in Sinai say still lives within the walls of their sanctuary, has blossoms like roses and fruits like raspberries. Yet while the prospect of visiting the actual places where Biblical events took place is an intriguing one, the results are often inconclusive at best. When Feiler climbs Mt. Ararat, long thought to be the final resting place of the Ark, a local known as "the mayor of the mountain" boasts that he knows where the remnants are but refuses to show them to the visitor. Other locations remain elusive, rooted as much in myth as in fact; there are 22 possible candidates for Mt. Sinai, where Moses was said to have received the Ten Commandments from God. Feiler is no fundamentalist, and he wrestles with the imbalance between science and belief. But in the end, matters of physical evidence and proof become relatively unimportant. "The Bible transcends science," he says; it is the "larger meaning" that matters. Clearly, his sojourn had a profound impact on his faith. --Sam Graham
Both a heart-racing adventure and an uplifting quest, Walking the Bible presents one mans 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 Feilers inspiring odyssey will forever change your view of historys 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. Youll visit the slopes of Mount Ararat, where Noahs 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. 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.
Bruce Feiler is the New York Times bestselling author of seven books, including Walking the Bible: A Photographic Journey. He is also a frequent contributor to NPR and is a contributing editor at Gourmet and Parade.