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Asimov's Guide to the Bible (gnv64) (Size: 171.69 MB)
Asimov's Guide to the Bible - Two Volumes in One: the Old and New Testaments
By Isaac Asimov
Wings Books | 1981| ISBN 0-5 17-34582-X | PDF | 1295 pages | 90.4/81.2 mb
The Christian bible is a fascinating document, and the contents are open to a vast array of interpretations. In this book, Isaac Asimov examines it from a historical perspective. Despite the enormous attention that it has received from scholars of all types, the authorship of many of the sections has not been established, and Asimov makes that very clear. What is the most fascinating aspect is the interpretation of some of the passages based on the social and political conditions of the time. Whatever you may think about the early leaders of the Christian church, one fact remains very clear. They managed to take a small movement and turn it into an international one that survived fierce persecution by the Roman Empire, the greatest and most long-lived political power the world has ever seen. This is most impressive, and those who accept the Christian religion will find Asimov's descriptions supportive of their beliefs, even though he was a secular humanist. A book that describes the beginnings and growth of a powerful institution that outlived and outgrew all others that tried to destroy it, as a popular record of the history of the movement it has no equal.
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. 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.