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In his startling book, Gary Greenberg exposes the reality behind the greatest story ever told. Learn about the Egyptian myths and ancient folklore that survive in one of history's most sacred texts, and discover how:

-King David's bodyguard, not David, killed Goliath
-Noah's Ark did not land on Mount Ararat
-Samson did not pull down a Philistine temple
-There are at least two versions of the Ten Commandments
-The walls of Jericho were destroyed 300 years before Joshua arrived there
-Sodom and Gomorrah were mythical cities that never existed
-The story of Esther had nothing to do with the Jews of Persia
-And much, much more

101 Myths of the Bible provides a new dimension of biblical studies for believers, historians and anyone who has ever wondered about the facts behind the legends. By looking deeper into history, Greenberg shows that the true story makes the Bible more interesting than ever imagined!
Published: Sourcebooks on Sep 1, 2002
ISBN: 9781402252372
List price: $19.99
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This book is a very interesting read, it basically compares excerpts of the bible with apparently related myths from mainly Egypt. I say apparently because it is a popular written book and to check the facts you need to find the sources. Sometimes similarity is based on similar names, in the view of Greenberg. So I would say this book is an appetizer into this topic, but I would not use the arguments in discussions. For that I highly recommend Richard E. Friedmann ("who wrote the bible") and Bart Ehrman ("misquoting Jesus").read more
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This book wasn’t quite what I expected when I bought it, but I nevertheless enjoyed reading it. In my opinion, you won’t read conclusive evidence that the stories are myths; what you’ll read are possible explanations for 101 of the Bible’s legends, for scholarship has hardly settled upon many of the conclusions Greenberg draws. But he does make you think, and that’s the purpose of my writing as well. An occasional idea for my daily blog post originates from this book; yesterday’s post combines two such ideas from Greenberg.Greenberg’s specialty may be Egyptian mythology, because in many of the Bible’s stories, he finds Egyptian roots. This is not a new line of thought; others have proposed that Christianity, at its core, derives from even more ancient Egyptian beliefs. Perhaps this can be explained by Israel being a breakaway nation from Egypt—Moses led the children of Israel out of slavery there. Some examples may be helpful.The Myth: God planted a tree of life and a tree of knowledge. The Reality: These two special trees symbolically represent the Egyptian deities Shu and Tefnut.The Myth: God formed Adam from the dust of the earth. The Reality: The biblical editors confused the birth of Atum in Egyptian mythology with the birth of the first human.The Myth: Jacob wrestled with a stranger. The Reality: The wrestling story reflects the daily struggle between Egyptian figures Horus and Set.For each of the 101 “myths,” Greenberg provides two or three pages of explanation. The result is a fascinating peek below the surface of the Bible’s stories, making them even more interesting than you had imagined!read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Many easy to read comparisons of biblical stories with older Egyptian and other myths. Accompanying sharp analyses of the biblical stories makes it pretty easy to establish that the nonbiblical myth came first and was re-written for another audience and cult. I especially love his earliest chapters comparing the Genesis creation with Egyptian creation myths. Includes also some biblical stories without pagan myth parallels but with analyses that argues strongly for less than straight forward origins. Unfortunately I wonder if Greenberg has leaned to popular readability at the expense of giving some more historical explanation that might help readers understand how such borrowing could have taken place. Without this one can see died-in-the-wool bible believers simply dismissing the contents. But then again, I guess not too many of those would be reading a book with such a title anyway. I would also liked to have seen at least some acknowledgement of other views beside his parallels and case for borrowing, but I suppose I am personally looking for something with stronger academic bite to it to salt its popular appeal. And why does Greenberg stop with the Old Testament. I thought he was straining a bit sometimes in there to get his 101 for the title, but could easily have made up the number by flipping forward and giving the New Testament a similar treatment. Would that have been just too controversial for a presumably predominantly American readership?read more
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This book is a very interesting read, it basically compares excerpts of the bible with apparently related myths from mainly Egypt. I say apparently because it is a popular written book and to check the facts you need to find the sources. Sometimes similarity is based on similar names, in the view of Greenberg. So I would say this book is an appetizer into this topic, but I would not use the arguments in discussions. For that I highly recommend Richard E. Friedmann ("who wrote the bible") and Bart Ehrman ("misquoting Jesus").
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This book wasn’t quite what I expected when I bought it, but I nevertheless enjoyed reading it. In my opinion, you won’t read conclusive evidence that the stories are myths; what you’ll read are possible explanations for 101 of the Bible’s legends, for scholarship has hardly settled upon many of the conclusions Greenberg draws. But he does make you think, and that’s the purpose of my writing as well. An occasional idea for my daily blog post originates from this book; yesterday’s post combines two such ideas from Greenberg.Greenberg’s specialty may be Egyptian mythology, because in many of the Bible’s stories, he finds Egyptian roots. This is not a new line of thought; others have proposed that Christianity, at its core, derives from even more ancient Egyptian beliefs. Perhaps this can be explained by Israel being a breakaway nation from Egypt—Moses led the children of Israel out of slavery there. Some examples may be helpful.The Myth: God planted a tree of life and a tree of knowledge. The Reality: These two special trees symbolically represent the Egyptian deities Shu and Tefnut.The Myth: God formed Adam from the dust of the earth. The Reality: The biblical editors confused the birth of Atum in Egyptian mythology with the birth of the first human.The Myth: Jacob wrestled with a stranger. The Reality: The wrestling story reflects the daily struggle between Egyptian figures Horus and Set.For each of the 101 “myths,” Greenberg provides two or three pages of explanation. The result is a fascinating peek below the surface of the Bible’s stories, making them even more interesting than you had imagined!
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Many easy to read comparisons of biblical stories with older Egyptian and other myths. Accompanying sharp analyses of the biblical stories makes it pretty easy to establish that the nonbiblical myth came first and was re-written for another audience and cult. I especially love his earliest chapters comparing the Genesis creation with Egyptian creation myths. Includes also some biblical stories without pagan myth parallels but with analyses that argues strongly for less than straight forward origins. Unfortunately I wonder if Greenberg has leaned to popular readability at the expense of giving some more historical explanation that might help readers understand how such borrowing could have taken place. Without this one can see died-in-the-wool bible believers simply dismissing the contents. But then again, I guess not too many of those would be reading a book with such a title anyway. I would also liked to have seen at least some acknowledgement of other views beside his parallels and case for borrowing, but I suppose I am personally looking for something with stronger academic bite to it to salt its popular appeal. And why does Greenberg stop with the Old Testament. I thought he was straining a bit sometimes in there to get his 101 for the title, but could easily have made up the number by flipping forward and giving the New Testament a similar treatment. Would that have been just too controversial for a presumably predominantly American readership?
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
A good book providing a wonderful analysis with religious/mythological parallels. Unfortunately, Greenberg treats the original biblical authors/redactors as unsophisticates stumbling over their attempts at providing a monotheistic context for the sources.
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Excellent book! Very informative and factual.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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