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I would like to recommend a book titled The Shadow of God for those interested in biblical history (written in a palatable form).

 

This is a series of 15 short stories from early Judaism (including one about Jesus) which the author, Leo Sandgren, calls historical imagination. He is a scholar of ancient Mediterranean Religions and tries to imagine how real people would have experienced what was going on in these famous periods and events. His characters are largely fictional but say and do only things that are consistent with historical scholarship (this is not Dan Brown and the Da Vinci Code). There are 50 pages of end-notes as well as a nice chronology of early Judaism.

 

I read this several years ago, but the mention of Ezra recently in one of the threads brought it back to mind. One of the stories is told about a family that has to deal with Ezra's edict for the man to separate from his wife and children. It puts a very human face on the biblical story. Another that I thought was enlightening was the story of a wandering preacher named Yeshu'a (Jesus).

 

It is both scholarly and entertaining at the same time. In fact, as I write this, I think I will go back and reread it again.

 

In the interest of disclosure, I should mention that I am acquainted with Dr. Sandgren and can attest to his scholarly credentials. But, I get no cut in the book sales and haven't seen him for several years.

 

George

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Thanks George.

 

It's amazing how effective good storytelling can be for making a reader understand a certain time or place. Often it's much better than rote analysis, as understanding requires several mental capacities beyond the analytic ones.

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