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Is the Bible True?: How Modern Debates and Discoveries Affirm the Essence of the Scriptures Paperback – October 3, 2000
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What this book is not: a partisan (Jewish or Christian) account declaring the absolute historical accuracy of the Bible. What it is: a fair-minded exploration of this question of the Bible's historical truth. Author Jeffery Sheler is a journalist (religion correspondent for U.S. News and World Report) who relies extensively on interviews, onsite reports from Israel and Egypt, and a lot of library research. Instead of claiming to offer any startling breakthroughs, the book gives the reader an evenhanded treatment of this immensely controversial text. In a style that is clear and conversational, Scheler walks the reader through key moments in the Hebrew Bible and in the New Testament, exploring the grounds for the historical truth behind such figures as Abraham, Moses, and David, and behind such scriptural accounts as the Flood and the Exodus. Sheler retells the astonishing story of the discovery of the Qumran (Dead Sea) scrolls, and explores their significance for our understanding of first-century Judaism and early Christianity. He also discusses at length the work of the controversial Jesus Seminar scholars. His own conclusions, while not evangelical, are also not deconstructive: "After all of the scholarly scrutiny," he writes, "the Bible emerges affirmed but not unscathed, a credible but complex chronicle of humanity's encounter with God." --Doug Thorpe --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Sheler, the religion correspondent for U.S. News and World Report, offers an even-handed examination and critique of the Bible as a historical document in his first book. Drawing on biblical scholarship, archeology, modern debate and the Scriptures themselves, and relying on his journalistic sense of balance, Sheler proposes that much of the material in the Bible is based on fact. Did Moses really live? The chances of pinpointing a single, desert wanderer who lived 4000 years ago are virtually nil, but archeological evidence points to the likelihood that many biblical persons and events were, at least partially based on reality: a stele fragment uncovered in Galilee describes the House of David, and ancient hieroglyphics suggest that the departure of the Jews from Egypt happened not in a single exodus but in several large migrations. As the book draws heavily on already published scholarly material, there are few surprises here, yet this is a minor quibble because Sheler deftly presents the arguments side by side, allowing lay readers to decide for themselves if the Bible is true. Particularly enlightening is the segment on the search for the historical Jesus, in which Sheler highlights Jesus scholars' ideas and personalities. Sheler's true strength is his ability to maintain a reasonably impartial perspective as he arrives at his conclusionsAmostly favorableAabout the Bible's veracity. This is an excellent book for anyone interested in the Bible both as a work of history and a testament of faith. (Nov.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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professional scholars have been writing about the Bible. He writes
with a reporter's skill about the issues and comes out with what I would
call perspectives and conclusions that a believer in God takes.
His style is interesting and will hold an adult's attention.
I hold an earned M.A. in religion and can say he did his homework.