101 Myths of the Bible: How Ancient Scribes Invented Biblical History

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Overview

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...

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101 Myths of the Bible: How Ancient Scribes Invented Biblical History

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Overview

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!

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Greenberg, author of The Moses Mystery, sets out to uncover the layers of mythology within the Bible. He studies stories that have at least two contradictory accounts in the Bible; those that closely parallel preexisting myths and legends from other cultures and those that cannot be supported by archaeological data (such as the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah). Greenberg outlines the strong influence of Egyptian, Greek, Sumerian, and Hebrew mythology and literature to provide a way to read biblical stories within the larger context of history and world culture. He covers the Old Testament, starting with the Creation and its time line (did it take a full seven days to create everything?), through the founders (the Hebrew text does not mention Joseph's coat of many colors), and ending with heroes (Elhanan, not David, killed Goliath). Some background reading is provided at the end of the text. Recommended for larger religion collections.--Leo Vincent Kriz, West Des Moines Lib., IA Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Booknews
Greenberg, a lawyer who's also president of the Biblical Archaeology Society of New York, explores how the myths and legends of neighboring cultures are built into the foundations of the modern monotheistic religions. He describes a long and continuous relationship between ancient Israel and Egypt, examining Old Testament stories to link Egyptian motifs and mythology to Hebrew interpretation of its earliest history. For his study, he looked for three kinds of biblical stories: those with at least two contradictory accounts; those with parallels in earlier myths and legends; and those involving incidents "that simply couldn't be true." Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781570718427
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/28/2002
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 276,585
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.88 (d)

Meet the Author

Gary Greenberg is the author of The Moses Mystery: The African Origins of the Jewish People. He is a member Society of Biblical Literature, The Egypt Exploration Society, The American Research Center in Egypt and The Archaeological Institute of America. He has addressed The International Conference of Egyptologists, The Society of Biblical Literature and conferences held by the American Research Center in Egypt. He is a senior trial lawyer for the Criminal Defense Division of the Legal Aid Society in New York City.

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Table of Contents

Preface
Introduction
Notes on Terminology
Timetable of Biblical History

Part I - Myths of the Beginning
Myths of the Beginning: An Overview
1. In the beginning everything was without form and void.
2. God initiated Creation with a spoken word.
3. Creation began with the appearance of light.
4. God separated light from darkness on the first day.
5. A firmament rose out of the primeval waters.
6. God called the firmament "heaven."
7. God gathered the waters in one place.
8. Vegetation appeared before the sun.
9. God created the heavenly bodies.
10. Birds emerged from primeval waters.
11. God created man and woman in his own image.
12. God created Adam and Eve on the sixth day.
13. God gave man dominion over the creatures.
14. God created earth on the third day.
15. God rested on the seventh day.
16. God rested after Creation.
17. The heavens and the earth had children.
18. Adam and Eve were the first humans.
19. God formed Adam from the dust of the earth.
20. God planted a Tree of Life and a Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.
21. Adam would die if he ate from the Tree of Knowledge.
22. God forbid Adam to eat certain fruit.
23. Eve came from Adam's rib.
24. Adam gained wisdom without immortality.
25. There were other beings in the Garden of Eden before Adam and Eve.
26. God planted a garden eastward in Eden.
27. Adam and Eve lived a simple primitive lifestyle while in the Garden of Eden.
28. The serpent was more subtle than any beast.
29. God punished Adam, Eve, and the serpent.
30. Cain killed Abel.
31. Cain built a city east of Eden.
32. God sent a flood to destroy mankind.
33. Ham was the father of Canaan.
34. Noah released birds to determine if the land had dried.
35. The flood occurred in the tenth generation of humanity.
36. All earthly life had become wicked and had to be destroyed.
37. The sons of God married the daughters of man.
38. Noah saved only two of each species.
39. The rain lasted forty days and forty nights.
40. The flood covered the entire earth and all the mountains.
41. After the flood, Noah sacrificed all clean animals.
42. All living creatures not on the ark perished.
43. God confused the common language of humanity and scattered the people about the world.
44. The Ark landed on the mountains of Ararat.
45. The sons of Noah formed the nations of the world.
46. Nimrod conquered Babylon.
47. The Sons of Ham were Cush, Mizraim, Phut, and Canaan.

Part II - Myths of the Founders
Myths of the Founders: An Overview
48. Abraham came from Ur of the Chaldees.
49. Abraham left Egypt to go to Canaan.
50. God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.
51. Lot's wife turned into a pillar of salt.
52. Lot fathered Ammon and Moab.
53. Abraham pretended that Sarah was his sister.
54. Jacob and Esau fought in the womb.
55. Jacob cheated Esau out of his birthright.
56. Jacob dreamed about a ladder to heaven.
57. Jacob wrestled with a stranger.
58. God changed Jacob's name to Israel.
59. Esau is Edom.
60. Jacob buried Rachel in Bethelehem.
61. The prince of Shechem raped Dinah.
62. Abraham named his son "He Laughed."
63. Jacob's sons became the Twelve Tribes of Israel.
64. Reuben was Jacob's oldest son.
65. Jacob disqualified Simeon and Levi from leadership.
66. Jacob awarded the sceptre to Judah.
67. Benjamin was born in Canaan.
68. Dan was an Israelite tribe.
69. Jacob gave Joseph a coat of many colors.
70. Joseph's brothers sold him into slavery.
71. Potiphar's wife tried to seduce Joseph.

Part III - Myths of the Heroes
Myths of the Heroes: An Overview
72. Egypt enslaved Israel for four hundred years.
73. Jochebed placed the infant Moses in an ark.
74. Pharaoh's daughter gave Moses a Hebrew name.
75. God sent ten plagues against Egypt.
76. Pharaoh's army drowned in the Red Sea.
77. Aaron fashioned a golden calf.
78. Moses gave Israel the Ten Commandments.
79. The Ark of the Covenant contained the Ten Commandments.
80. Moses defeated King Sihon at Heshbon.
81. God denied Moses entry into Canaan because he sinned against the Lord.
82. Joshua parted the Jordan.
83. Joshua tumbled the walls of Jericho.
84. Rahab aided the Israelite spies.
85. Joshua ruined Ai.
86. The sun stood still upon Gibeon.
87. Joshua captured Jerusalem.
88. Joshua fought King Jabin of Hazor.
89. Joshua conquered Canaan.
90. Joshua led Israel after the death of Moses.
91. Shamgar was teh son of Anath.
92. Deborah rallied against Israel after the death of Moses.
93. Samson judged Israel for twenty years.
94. Samson pulled down the Philistine temple.
95. Micah stole silver from his mother.
96. David killed Goliath.
97. King Saul committed suicide.
98. The House of Judah fought the House of Saul at Gibeon
99. Solomon did not impose forced labor on Israel.
100. Daniel predicted the future.
101. Queen Esther saved the Jews of Persia.

Conclusion
Suggested Reading
Table of Maps
Index
About the Author

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 15 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2012

    Christians will hate thus book

    If you are completely ignorant and beleive everything in the bible is true, than this book is not for you. If you know that the bible was writen just by man and would like to find out what the stories are that the bible stole from, than this book is for you.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2006

    For anyone willing to learn

    A book that examines the many facets of biblical references, and cultural myths that perhaps borrow from eachother thread that make up religion today. An interesting look for those who have an open enough mind to examine it nonbiased, but this is 2006 we wouldn't want to be educated about something as important as religion, now would we? For people who deem this a sin or blasphemy, one should never apologize for a different opinion.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 20, 2005

    Interesting look at comparative mythology

    This is an enjoyable read pointing out the parallels the author sees between Hebrew myth and other Middle Eastern mythological systems(mostly Egyptian). The author devotes much of his time to pointing out and explaining the inconsistencies and contradictions in the Old Testament. My only problem with the book was that it lacked a scholarly format. He'd claim that certain things were conventional wisdom amongst scholars, but he didn't cite any sources support those assertions. This oversight calls some of the books veracity into question. However, the author did not make up the bible passages that he qouted. The inconsistencies are in the Bible, for everyone to see. I don't understand how a society that has put a man on the moon can still produce people who take the Old Testament as being literally true. This book will be entertaining and thought provoking to those with open minds, and it will be garbage to those who believe the perfect Bible dogma. The reviews thus far has bourne this out.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2005

    Excellent look into the culture and minds of the men who wrote the Bible

    Ever since my Junior year of Catholic High School when I took a Scriptures class, I've long wondered how much of an effect other cultures had on the creation of the Bible. Now, in this book, one can see how the myths came to be in the Bible and why the Bible is not the literal word of God but, rather, a work meant to convey the human condition and man's faith in a God.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 5, 2012

    Whom ever beleives this book obviously has never read the Bible

    Whom ever beleives this book obviously has never read the Bible and therefore are ignorant and can not write a truthful review.p

    1 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2006

    thoughtful

    While the author may lean too far to his own assumption that the Bible took its stories from surrounding cultures, aren't some reviewers on here being equally closeminded by automatically assuming all he says is heresy. Blind faith in anything is foolish--even one's religion. Remember, the Bible does say David took Goliath's head to Jerusalem, which the Jebusites controlled at that time. It also says David--an adulterer, usurper, conspirator, and man who failed to perform his duties as head of his army--as a man after God's own heart. The text does not support this. Don't blindly dismiss things, people, just because someone tells you to disbelieve them.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2006

    Hmmm

    Just a thought...couldn't the Egyptians and other cultures of the ancient near east have gotten thier stories from Biblical accounts. Hmmm bet you didn't think of that...

    1 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 13, 2005

    WARNING

    The author of this book forgets one very key detail: that there is a God and also a Devil who wants nothing more than to be God himself. To accomplish this he will do anything including mimicking the true history of God and his creation and works and twisting those facts with his own evil interests at heart in order to compel humanity to falsely worship him rather than the One True God. This work attempts to subvert the one true word of God and lead the less mature in Christ astray and I would not recommend it to anyone.

    1 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2004

    DISGUISTING

    Do not forget this, It is a Sin to destroy the woed of our God and Father. It is also a sin to destroy the doctrine whom is Christ!!

    1 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 28, 2014

    It opened my eyes to the fact that the old testament is 80% fict

    It opened my eyes to the fact that the old testament is 80% fiction. Further, his depiction of the Genesis creation myth as a mish-mash of corrupted Egyptian and Babylonian myths, just blows any claims of the Creationists totally away.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2001

    Enlightening

    This book is great for anyone who wants to re-examine the many stories that they were told as children, especially if they were brain-washed into believing them. The author does a great job of showing how ancient Hebrew scribes plagiarized myths from the ancient Egyptians and Babylonians. A good book for anyone considering atheism or already there.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2001

    Excellent

    This book examines biblical stories we are all more or less familiar with and identifies earlier versions of the same stories in other cultures, particularly ancient Egypt. The evidence is surprisingly compelling. This book does not attempt to debunk the Bible, but rather treats Biblical stories sympathically. The open-minded reader will be impressed by evidence that connects Biblical stories to earlier accounts of Egyptian gods. The book is also well organized, making it an easy read as well as an interesting one.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

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