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Walking the Bible

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3.87  ·  Rating Details ·  2,521 Ratings  ·  331 Reviews
Both a heart-racing adventure and an uplifting quest, Walking the Bible describes one man's epic odyssey—by foot, jeep, rowboat, and camel—through the greatest stories every told. From crossing the Red Sea to climbing Mount Sinai to touching the burning bush, Bruce Feiler's inspiring journey will forever change your view of some of history's most storied events.
ebook, 496 pages
Published September 14th 2010 by HarperCollins e-books (first published 2001)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Ensiform
Sep 02, 2013 Ensiform rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, travel
As the subtitle suggests, the author retraces the Pentateuch as best he can, Bible in hand and affable expert in tow. Mostly a disappointing book, I’m afraid. First, Feiler is a rather laborious writer – the 424 pages are packed with rather stilted purple prose at times (his imagery is wild and uninformative: mountains resemble pies, “a drip castle,” “sweet potatoes,” “rancid hamburger meat,” or bizarrely, “melting dinosaurs” [!]). Second, Feiler is one of those travel writers who feels the need ...more
Jessica
Sep 28, 2007 Jessica rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People raised with a Christian background who are interested in learning about the Middle East
This book is absolutely fascinating so far. I am two chapters in and already, I am hooked. The author of this book, Bruce Feiler, along with a Israeli expert anthropoligist named Avner, travel through the modern day Middle East (namely Iraq, Iran, Syria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan and Palestine, viewing it through a biblical perspective. By traveling to places where tradition and history say biblical events actually once occured, the author makes remarkable connections between the oral tradition of t ...more
Mitch
Sep 10, 2011 Mitch rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, biographical
I read this book because the topic- wandering through the Middle East and connecting to sites/events mentioned in the first five books of the Bible- seemed interesting. Also, I knew that the author would be mentioning some places I visited last year.

The author's motivation for his trip was twofold: first, he felt the same longing that many people feel to experience the Bible more fully by visiting its home turf. Secondly, he wanted to write a book. His trip was work, basically. So here you have
...more
Pamela
Oct 18, 2014 Pamela rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thought I might go to Israel and almost did...twice. Once I had my passport ready and had nearly signed up to go with my pastor's tour, but had to stay to help move the family. And this time...walking through the bible with Bruce Feiler.

This author (who I have heard comment on All Things Considered (NPR) started at Tigris/Euphrates and up to Mount Ararat and migrated to Canaan then traveled to the Nubian Nile up to the pyramids of Giza then through the Sinai peninsula on to Petra and then to
...more
Jim
Oct 23, 2013 Jim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: middle-east, travel

I donned my hiking shoes and backpack and expected a lengthy traipse through the Middle East, but no. Yes, there was plenty of walking, often up a hill here or there, but mostly it was a trip via vehicles (and some camels) to various places highlighted in the Bible. That fact did not diminish the enjoyment of the tale though, as Feiler weaves a nice account that blends travelogue, history, theology, and commentary. Although I have read some travel accounts of trips to Egypt, I was happy to follo
...more
Kathy
Nov 29, 2011 Kathy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is so much more than a travel essay as the author describes his adventures following the land through which the Israelites traveled and lived through the five books of Moses. As a Jew, Bruce Feiler begins his journey with interest in the history, the topography and the archaeology of these lands. However, as Mr. Feiler admits on pagew 182, "...I was strenuously--at times acrobatically--avoiding showing interest in the central character of the entire book." It was impossible to leave Go ...more
Linda
I was excited to read this book. I love history and archeology, and I know that I will not get the chance to go to the Holy Land anytime soon. However, my interest laid in experiencing this story from the perspective of a believer. Although I knew that the author began the journey as a secular Jew, I thought that this was about his journey of spiritual growth. The author says that his faith grew from his experience, but, from what I could tell, it didn’t. He doesn’t believe that the Torah is any ...more
Jenna Leigh
Jun 09, 2013 Jenna Leigh rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I deeply disliked this book. I'm not even sure why I finished it - probably because the perfectionist in me would hate to leave it unfinished. It was so filled with prose and epiphanies that it came off as a floaty recounting of a journey of personal enlightenment, rather than a quest for the historicity of the Pentateuch. Maybe that's what he was going for, I don't know. Feiler often made sweeping statements on the authenticity of the five books that he presented as hard facts, but he never pro ...more
Anne Hawn Smith
When Bruce Feiler begins his journey, he has no particular attachment to the Biblical lands. He is not even sure of what he hopes to find. With the help of an Israeli anthropologist, he visit the places mentioned in the Bible, or those that are traditionally believed to be the place where certain events took place and he finds his tie to land and his faith are growing deeper and deeper. The reader can’t help but to be carried along by his vivid descriptions and powerful narrative. I found that t ...more
Trista
Nov 18, 2012 Trista rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: judaism
This book really focuses on the reality of bible stories - that they are the local stories of indigenous peoples and their invaders. Something I would say as Westerners we tend to lose sight of. Living, working, dying all in the shadow and vicinities of famous biblical locations like Mt. Sinai gives the people there a very intimate relationship to the stories of Moses, Abraham and Noah in a way I'm not sure as Westerners we can appreciate or understand.

A glorious book that incorporates the spir
...more
Myrna
This is a time-consuming book. I find myself reading scriptures along with it, which is a good thing. I suppose it will take me the rest of the year to finish but I am enjoying it now.
Sarah
Nov 17, 2012 Sarah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have read this book several times now. I am pulled in to his story as it changes from being an attempt to write a travelogue to an immensely personal reconnection with his beliefs.
Matthew
Jun 21, 2013 Matthew rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The author is pretty open throughout the book about his purpose. In the beginning of the project, he was emphatically not on a spiritual quest. His goal was to visit the places mentioned in the first five books of the Hebrew Bible, interview biblical scholars, and spend time with the current-day residents of these biblical locations. As he reflects later in the book, his initial impulse was to test the facts of each story.

But of course as the project continues, the inevitable happens. The Bible
...more
Alarra
Jan 10, 2016 Alarra rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
A reading of the first 5 books of the Bible (the Pentateuch, the Torah) by retracing the path of the Israelites and pilgramage to noted 'holy sites'. Feiler sums up his approach towards the end of the book as: "We asked everybody basically the same question: "What does the Bible mean to you?" And everybody had an answer." (p. 408)

And what he ends up with is part travel book, part religious meditation on faith, and part biblical academia. I really enjoyed this, but I think it depends on your fami
...more
Betty
Sep 03, 2016 Betty rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
reading of the first 5 books of the Bible (the Pentateuch, the Torah) by retracing the path of the Israelites and pilgramage to noted 'holy sites'. Feiler sums up his approach towards the end of the book as: "We asked everybody basically the same question: "What does the Bible mean to you?" And everybody had an answer." (p. 408)

And what he ends up with is part travel book, part religious meditation on faith, and part biblical academia. I really enjoyed this, but I think it depends on your famili
...more
Kathy
Feb 21, 2013 Kathy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: far-away-places
I wasn't sure how much I would like this book, but I ended up loving it. At first I was afraid it was going to be all about searching for physical proofs to the biblical stories which is not that interesting to me. But the author spends very little of his time on questions about physical proof. Most of the book is spent describing the land and the people Feiler meets and reading the bible passages in their settings. I felt like I understood the text much better after seeing how people live in th ...more
Nancy Bandusky
Jul 18, 2013 Nancy Bandusky rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book is slow, repetitive and poorly documented (no footnotes, just some source notes at the end.) The author continually states how he feels a connection to the different areas of land he travels to; this becomes so repetitive that it loses any significance and instead provides support for the view that one reason people can't agree on the exact locations of places is because if they could then people would probably worship the place instead of the Creator - God.

The book was a major disappo
...more
Alyssa Lamers
Dec 06, 2015 Alyssa Lamers rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
I'll start with the good: I was really interested in this book. I enjoyed the stories of his journey and the relation of the physical places and experiences to the books of the Bible. I was eager to continue reading throughout the story, which made for an overall good reading experience. The book offered me some food for thought about my own beliefs. Here's the bad: the writing is somewhat difficult to wade through. Fieler employs analogy after analogy and metaphor after metaphor, most of who ha ...more
Nicole Jacob
Oct 27, 2013 Nicole Jacob rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As I have grown up, I have moved away from the Bible. I still have the religion and beliefs in me; but the Bible became more of like a "story" to me than anything else. I had always believed as a child that these places were imaginary and far from existent. Reading Feiler's book reminded me that it really happened; and I have a new found faith for what happened in the Old Testament. Reading his book wasn't like reading another memoir and it wasn't preachy... instead his book read like a true acc ...more
Lianne
Sep 14, 2009 Lianne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bruce Feiler is a well-established author of creative non-fiction. In this adventure, he tries to visit all the places mentioned in the first five books of the Bible--from Genesis to Numbers. With the help of Avner, an archeologist, he travels from the Nile to the land of milk and honey tracing the routes of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Moses to sites corresponding to the ones in those Biblical stories. He also interweaves insights of modern social and political reality in Egypt, the Sinai and Jord ...more
Stefan
May 19, 2008 Stefan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Walking the Bible was an inspiring, readable, thought provoking, and interesting book that used an unorthodox method to cover much of the old testament (the five books of Moses.)Feiler's exploration and journey of many of the key ideas, personalities and places of the first five books of the Bible was extremely enlightening on many points because he combined so many different sources and narrative s into his own personal journey. The vast amount and variety of sources Feiler used combined with h ...more
Michelle
Oct 18, 2014 Michelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very thoughtful, interesting and satisfying book. The author, a secular American Jew, decides he wants to learn more about the Bible and the geography it took place in, so initiates a series of "tours" of pertinent areas with an Israeli archaeologist. They travel to Turkey, Egypt, Israel (duh), the Sinai, Jordan, meeting wide ranges of people along the way---Muslims, Christian monks, bedouins, and other assorted characters. Along the way, his initial skepticism slowly turns to a more spiritual a ...more
Libbydale
Jun 16, 2009 Libbydale rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this about 10 years ago and it's been on my to-buy list ever since. (I don't quickly spend money, period). I picked it up off the New Books shelf at my library, and really loved it. It gives a first hand modern day perspective on the places in the Torah I believe. Feiler is Jewish, but admits that the faith part of his life was never important, but on his "walk" it comes to life a bit. I love that he integrates theownership of all three major faiths to the places he visits and tells the s ...more
Carol
Sep 12, 2016 Carol rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It took a long time to read this whole book, but I am so glad I did. Honestly, since I read some every evening, I do feel as though I can understand those who went and how different life is there, compared to our life in America. More to come . . .
Ginia
Aug 15, 2009 Ginia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I own this one in cassette form, if anyone wants to borrow it. Much of it is interesting; some is quite controversial - from my biased point of view. It was a worthwhile experience, and I listened to it twice.
Claudia Jordan
not as insightful as I had hoped
Cathie
Jan 14, 2017 Cathie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-and-kids
Nicely done. Includes line drawings, photos, and Bible quotes.
103 pp
Marsha Reynolds
Jan 01, 2017 Marsha Reynolds rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't think that one has to necessarily be in a place where something sacred has occurred in order to feel connected to that event, but this book demonstrates that there is a level of reverence and understanding that deepens when such is the case. Distinctive, palpable growth came to Mr. Feiler as he made his unusual trek through the Middle East in search of biblical sites. Joining him in his quest was a refreshing, faith-building journey for me as well. I found myself referring often to the m ...more
Pam
Dec 31, 2016 Pam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyable and informative armchair travel to places I will never be able to go.
Richard Kuhn
Oct 08, 2015 Richard Kuhn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This work is one of the finest I've seen on the geography of the Bible. However, the author offers so much more in this work. Like Charles Swindoll's ABRAHAM, Feiler takes the reader not only on a journey of the physical, but also a road trip into one's spiritual roots. It's a trek most definitely worth taking.

I so enjoy books when imagination or thought is provoked. WALKING THE BIBLE does exactly that. The work's style is a mixture of the new and the old. It does have some of the old narrative
...more
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Goodreads Librari...: wrong original publication date 2 192 Nov 13, 2016 03:00PM  
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BRUCE FEILER is one of America’s most popular voices on family, faith, and survival. He writes the “This Life” column about contemporary families for the Sunday New York Times and is the author of six consecutive New York Times bestsellers, including WALKING THE BIBLE and THE COUNCIL OF DADS. He is the writer/presenter of the PBS series “Walking the Bible” and the forthcoming “Sacred Journeys with ...more
More about Bruce Feiler...

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“Joseph predicted the Exodus, which meant that he knew his descendants would be enslaved by the pharaoh and then freed by God, was the most powerful expression of optimism—and faith—I had ever encountered. It was also, at that moment, an overpowering challenge that I sensed I could no longer continue to avoid. Would I place such credence in a generations-old promise I never actually heard? Could I meet this standard of commitment—to anything? Would I have such faith? Here, at the end of Genesis, was a stirring new prototype of dedication.” 0 likes
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