Customer Reviews for

The Gifts of the Jews: How a Tribe of Desert Nomads Changed the Way Everyone Thinks and Feels

Average Rating 3.5
( 35 )
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(11)

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(5)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

Cahill increases our understanding

This book is chockfull of original thinking and presents in a clear, concise way the contributions of the early Jewish people to civilization. Cahill shows how the Jews moved us from a cyclical to a processive worldview. They gave us the concept that time has a start an...
This book is chockfull of original thinking and presents in a clear, concise way the contributions of the early Jewish people to civilization. Cahill shows how the Jews moved us from a cyclical to a processive worldview. They gave us the concept that time has a start and an end, and replaced the world seen as a wheel by a world as a journey. Life came to have value and people developed a conscience. All of this and the Ten Commandments too. This book is a must read and buy.

posted by Anonymous on October 30, 2000

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Most Helpful Critical Review

6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

Judaism Stands Alone

Artifacts and documents have surfaced recently that give testimony on how both Christianity and Islam both plagerized Judaism and still try to link themselves to the G-d of Israel while being anti-Semitic. This author has not taken into account all the miracles and titl...
Artifacts and documents have surfaced recently that give testimony on how both Christianity and Islam both plagerized Judaism and still try to link themselves to the G-d of Israel while being anti-Semitic. This author has not taken into account all the miracles and titles used in the New Testament were originally from Mithra, Egyptian paganism, Buddhism and even Hinduism. Also, he neglects to mention how Hellenistic both Christianity and Islam became and changed their commitment to the Noah Covenent into a new religion that far from resembles what the Almighty instructed the Jews to be and do, even today. This author missed the mark on how Romanized the New Testament is which includes our own US gov't policies and court system, a far cry from the Supreme Court (Sanhedrin) of the nation of Israel under King David and King Solomon. Actually, Native American religions can relate closer to Judaism than any other, especially the original Cherokee beliefs & customs.

posted by Anonymous on April 29, 2002

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 29, 2002

    Judaism Stands Alone

    Artifacts and documents have surfaced recently that give testimony on how both Christianity and Islam both plagerized Judaism and still try to link themselves to the G-d of Israel while being anti-Semitic. This author has not taken into account all the miracles and titles used in the New Testament were originally from Mithra, Egyptian paganism, Buddhism and even Hinduism. Also, he neglects to mention how Hellenistic both Christianity and Islam became and changed their commitment to the Noah Covenent into a new religion that far from resembles what the Almighty instructed the Jews to be and do, even today. This author missed the mark on how Romanized the New Testament is which includes our own US gov't policies and court system, a far cry from the Supreme Court (Sanhedrin) of the nation of Israel under King David and King Solomon. Actually, Native American religions can relate closer to Judaism than any other, especially the original Cherokee beliefs & customs.

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 30, 2000

    Cahill increases our understanding

    This book is chockfull of original thinking and presents in a clear, concise way the contributions of the early Jewish people to civilization. Cahill shows how the Jews moved us from a cyclical to a processive worldview. They gave us the concept that time has a start and an end, and replaced the world seen as a wheel by a world as a journey. Life came to have value and people developed a conscience. All of this and the Ten Commandments too. This book is a must read and buy.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2001

    Required Reading

    Thomas Cahill is one of those rare authors who takes a subject and, with study, insight, and masterful style, increases our understanding of not only that subject but also the world in which it lives. All of Cahill's books are 'must reads.' His input is priceless.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2000

    The Jews ARE it

    Cahill is an excellent writer and historian. He provides a history of the Bible, but places historical evidence above the 'Word of God', unlike many who have written about this book. It's about the Jews have been given credit for their enormous contribution to the world.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2000

    Wow!

    At first the author left me speechless. I couldn't believe one could be so egomanical regarding the Jews. Ten stars for best part in the book, 'We know they (dimmest ancestors) looked up at the night sky in wonder, wandered...vague notion of a destination, and heard the prompting of an inner voice...'(p 169) Relevant then and now. Ten stars for his effort in admiting to prior similarities in literature (Gilgamesh Epic) that predates the Bible and that there might exist absurdities and contradictions in the Bible. He tries, but then retracts, 'We are not merely creating literature: we are retelling a personal story that really happened...' (p 129) Minus twenty stars for trying to laugh and shrug off Abraham's lies and cowardly acts in passing off Sari as his sister (p 66). Then with 'Good' God's help punishing the innocent victims of his deceit and walking away loaded with blackmailed wealth. This entertaining act was so successful he did it twice. The author calls it comic and almost a vaudeville routine! Following are a FEW firsts by Jews: 1. First to value education (p 144). Prehistoric people had no feelings of learning values? 2. Jews invented 'history' and the 'new' as positive values. No history or new as positive values prior to the Jews? 3. 'Many new things...but faith most of all, which prior to Avraham had no place in religious feeling and imagination.' (p l93-4) No faith in early religious feelings and imaginations before the Jews? 5. Semitic's invented the alphabet and was developed by Phoenician scribes and then admits it was borrowed from hieroglyphics. (footnote p. 150) 6. Joseph Campbell FORCES evidence to infer that all religions are cyclical, mythical, and ahistorical. Author categorically states all religions EXCEPT the Judeo-Christian religions. (no comment) William Carl Eichman in Catal Huyuk: The Temple of Prehistoric Anatolia called Jerico (9000 BC) an armed trading post and less than half the size of Catal Huyuk (6,500 BC and still being excavated to lower levels)the first city. Jews are a very important part of 'it', but discounting the efforts of the rest of the human race is pretty 'wild'! Three stars for motivating me to do some checking.

    2 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2015

    Recommend for those wishing to learn how we arrived at this point.

    Gifts of the Jews presents the transition of a disorganized group of humans becoming aware that there is an entity behind all that we see, and with which humankind is involved. Humankind is more than a gaggle of beings sacrificing animals, or even fellow humans to appease... something... a god... a spirit... "not sure what, but we know we better acknowledge whatever it is."

    The Jews gave humankind a beginning of an understanding of what truly may be behind all that we see around us.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 17, 2014

    Not for the novice reader

    This was not a good book to read from my standpoint concerning the history of the Jews. The narration was just too much to keep a train of thought. I could not grasp the subject matter without being confused with the amount of detail which for me was overwhelming for a person like myself that wanted to know the history but with a little less detail that really didn't help you understand what the gift of the Jews was really about.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2014

    Jhaiyo {[ Bushes ]}

    Where the Halvidar and Naik rest.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2014

    Fade bio

    Species:fox
    Talent: sneaking around never noticed by anyone!!.
    Personality: fun wise smart funny clever very clever
    Age: 22 moons
    Mate:none
    Pups: none
    Kin: felix her brother
    History: :3:3

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2014

    Waterwalker

    Name Waterwalker age 29 moons species wolf.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2014

    Ash bio

    Age: 4
    Name:ash
    Animal: phonix
    Details: golden wings and sliver eyes
    Power: heals the wounded when injured and when dies easily comes back by being reborn in fire
    Weakness:water
    Strenght: fire

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2014

    BountyFire's Bio

    Age: 27 Moons. <br> Name: BountyFire. <br> Species: Wolf. <br> Gender: &female. <br> Looks: Grey fur, with silvery blue eyes, shorter than a regular wolf. Strong looking, and feirce. <br> Personalitu: She is strong and know what to do in bad times, and help the hurt. The rest of my personality, just get to know me.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2014

    Alyssa

    Long brown hair. That falls to her waist. With dimples. She's Thin. And she's 5'4

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2012

    yuck

    He did not read the same Old Testament that I am reading. I will not continue to read this filthy and world-loving book.

    0 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 22, 2011

    Disappointing

    This book rambles on and on with what seems to be an almost endless yammering that has nothing to do with the title. I did not finish reading it, I may or may not get back to it eventually.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 8, 2011

    A great attempt that succeeds and falls flat

    One thing that bothers me is the world's use of the term "Old Testament" as though with the advent of Christianity, the entire Eternal Covenant God made with Abraham had been abrogated. Nonsense. The heavens and the earth have not yet passed away, therefor, the one and only Covenant is still very much in force. Cayhill skirts the issues by virtually ignoring it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 20, 2007

    Undermines his own proof text

    I enjoyed this book very much and agree with Mr. Cahill's conclusions regarding how the philosophical foundations of Western society can be traced back to the influence of the Bible. It is blatantly obvious to the open minded individual that the Judeo-Christian ethic is the foundation for modern human rights and equality under the law among many other things. It is also very evident that the religion of the Jewish God is different than any other religion. However, Mr. Cahill would use the Bible as history and proof text on one hand then, with the other hand would undermine the authenticity of the Bible by deciding for himself which parts were historical and which parts were added later by other writers with their own agendas. I felt that with every stroke of the axe laid to the historical foundations of the Bible he chipped further away at the premise of his own conclusions.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2001

    Brings New Meaning to Old Testament

    This book explains in a very entertaining way why one-half of the people in the world are now members of an Abrahamic faith. We all know that Christianity and Islam trace their inspirations back to Abraham, but Cahill tells us why faith in the all-powerful one God is such a revolutionary and compelling idea. If you are searching for a book to bring new meaning to the Old Testament, THE GIFTS OF THE JEWS is required reading.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 20, 2000

    The main argument is wrong

    There is a basic mistake of the book, beyond that it is very well written. One should not identify the Jewish and Western civilizations. Those are two different ones and they will never meet, even if they can sometimes live closely and peacefully together. Western civilization is not born when Abraham hears the voice of God, but rather when Tales says 'all is water'. Chistianity is a vital contribution and a great part of Western civilization, but is it Jewish? The main argument of the book is wrong and it is one sided when it speaks about our civilization.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2000

    Low intellectual and moral level

    This book includes the only description of adult-child sex to which I have ever been subjected; if I had known, I wouldn't have gone through it! So you should be warned. In addition, what the author calls 'the gifts of the Jews' are actually some of the gifts of Christianity: if it had not been for Christianity, no one among the non-'chosen' would have accepted Jewish ethics. It was God's universal Dispensation that made ideas He first revealed to the ancient Hebrews prevalent in the West (and elsewhere), not some special insight of dreamy Jews. The author reads the Old Testament in a very 'Jewish' way, which is to say that he ignores the fact that the Old Testament's main function is to foreshadow the New, to show how God's Dispensation was worked out in history. If one believed Cahill, he would think the Old Testament was just a collection of quaint stories about an obscure Middle Eastern people. Amazing. (Perhaps political correctness prevents him from saying this, despite the fact that it has been the basic belief of Christianity since A.D. 33.)

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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