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Walking the Bible

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3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  2,014 ratings  ·  284 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 1975)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Ensiform
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 5 of 5 stars  ·  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
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
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
Michelle
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
Betty
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
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
Matthew
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
Kathy
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
Jim

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
Alarra
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
Jenna Leigh
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
Nicole Jacob
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
Trista
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
Lianne
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
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
Libbydale
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
Kt Thames
Part travelogue, part journal, Feiler takes the reader on a two-year journey through the Holy Land visiting locations from as far afield as Turkey, Egypt, Israel and Jordan. He is essentially tracing biblical sites mentioned in the Pentateuch (the first five books of the Bible). Feiler, an American Jew, attempts through his travels to reconnect to his heritage and to his faith and on a personal level, his journey seems "successful." However, the most interesting part of the book is his conversat ...more
Nick
It would be a shame if Ensiform's review steered potential readers away. I found "Walking the Bible" to be both interesting and entertaining and would strongly recommend this to anyone struggling to understand the dynamics of history, religion, politics, etc. that shaped the writing of the Bible's earlier books. This book truly welcomes you on the journey.

While some of Feiler's investigative journalism may have tinged on childlike wonderment at times, I found it an appropriate supplement to the
...more
Ruth
c2001. My first thought is that there were not enough maps in the book to be able to follow the various trips. There are 2 maps but I seemed to want more as I was reading. This is certainly more than a normal memoir of a journey as there is a lot of religious interpretation and discussions that are included. Only natural, though, considering that this was, at its heart, a personal journey for the author on many levels. The writing is lyrical and the anecdotes about the various people met along t ...more
Jennifer
The author begins this book by clarifying that he is embarking on a historical journey - an attempt to place the stories of the first five books of the bible in their historical and georgraphical context. It is by no means a spiritual journey. He is simply looking for more information about this book that has shaped and impacted so many lives.

However, it becomes a spiritual journey, one that he is transported by and that changes his beliefs of himself and his place in time as he begins to associ
...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
Kristin King
Tying the great stories of the Bible to the land, sights and smells of the places where they occurred is a great endeavor. Bruce Feiler admits that although exact locations are frequently unknown, he did his best to get as close to them as possible, read the stories in Hebrew and see how being there brought greater depth and texture to the scripture. Our family listened to the audiobook, so we missed the illustrated part. Still it was an insightful read that gave us new perspectives on ancient w ...more
Ginia
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.
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
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.
Claudia Jordan
not as insightful as I had hoped
Chris J
This was my first foray into listening to a book on a long drive. I enjoyed listening to Feiler read his own work and now feel it would be strange to listen a book any other way.
This is a fascinating endeavor that I am very glad I listened to. Feiler's telling of the journey itself and his conversations with Christians, Jews and Muslims is first-rate. He is fine writer and has the gift for story-telling. His musings on what it all means to him as a "searcher," on the other hand, are hit-and-mis
...more
Alexis
This may have been the best non-fiction book I have ever read. Now keep in mind I am six years deep into Biblical studies, so my viewpoint is about as ready for this work as it can be. It is a used copy, that is somehow really and truly signed by the author, dedicating it to a fellow traveler.

I began it in hopes of finding material to help me expand my lectures on the Pentateuch that I will be giving this coming fall for 20 weeks; it has given me that and so much more. It has inspired me to try
...more
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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...
Abraham: A Journey to the Heart of Three Faiths The Secrets of Happy Families: Improve Your Mornings, Rethink Family Dinner, Fight Smarter, Go Out and Play, and Much More Learning to Bow: Inside the Heart of Japan The Council of Dads: My Daughters, My Illness, and the Men Who Could Be Me America's Prophet: Moses and the American Story

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