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

3.44  ·  Rating Details ·  261 Ratings  ·  30 Reviews
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,
Hardcover, 319 pages
Published December 31st 2000 by Sourcebooks
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G. Branden
I decided a few years back to start doing something about my lack of Biblical literacy. On the bright side, Greenberg's 101 Myths of the Bible was not such a poor first step that I was turned off from the endeavor. However, it did not make for a terribly auspicious start.

This book's primary enterprise is to illuminate parallels between several dozen Biblical stories and the myths of other ancient societies with whom the ancient Hebrews had contact. Greenberg rests his burden heavily upon the anc
Shaimaa Ali
هدفى من قراءة هذا الكتاب كان التعرف على نسبة التشابه بين القصص الدينية والأساطير القديمة (المصرية ، البابلية..الخ) .. يوجد الكثير من التشابه يكاد يصل الى التطابق فى بعض القصص .. تطابق مريب يكاد لا يُصدق!
عموماً لم يكن هدفى هو التشكيك فى الكتاب المقدس ، فبعض قصص العهدى القديم والجديد متطابقة مع القرآن الكريم ..
استنتاج المؤلف جاء فى بعض الأحيان غريباً أو غير مترابط ، وفى بعض الأحيان يُعتد به .. مثلاً قى قصة كبناء هارون للعجل الذهبى يستنتج المؤلف بعد العديد من المقدمات انه لا يمكن لهارون وجماعته بن
Jan 08, 2014 Nina rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Greenberg draws interesting parallels, but fails to substantiate them. Some of these parallels are so loose that he cannot claim what he so confidently claims without help from secondary sources. Alas, he does not cite any. There is no bibliography (though there is a "Suggested Reading" section), no footnotes, no end notes. There are a lot of assumptions based on comparison of the Bible to Egyptian mythology. Again, this would be a good comparison had the author bothered to back it up. A line fr ...more
David Buckley
May 24, 2010 David Buckley rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion
This is basically a book for browsing in, not a start-to-finish read. It deals essentially with the problem of "doublets" (twin versions of the same story) as they appear in the Bible (or, more precisely, The Torah). These "doublets" have long been known to scholars although theologians and mainstream "religious" types have tended to ignore or gloss over them ... for obvious reasons: Such contradictions are not likely to assuage the anxiety of those who feel the need to believe that the Bible is ...more
Jun 20, 2017 Fcsuper rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lots of well crafted explanations about how the bible took its current form. A good read for someone looking for a viewpoint that the bible is really just a collection of ancient writings by us and not inspired beyond that. The drawback to this book is that is is not well organized in how it is sourced (most sourcing occurs in the text itself with out bibliographic information for follow up).
José M.
241 Pág. Word

Un MAGNIFICO libro sobre las influencias babilónicas pero sobre todo egipcias en los mitos del Antiguo Testamento, el autor realiza un excelente análisis y clasificación de fuentes. Presenta las alteraciones literarias de los escribas hebreos para hacer concordar las antiguas mitologías con sus ideas monoteístas, sobre todo en el Génesis, también cómo las fracturas políticas de los Israelitas modificaban ciertos pasajes llegando a existir dos versiones de un mismo
Like all books in which the author has a point of view and will fight for it to the death (like those declaring that the Holocaust is a myth), this is an interesting read. Like some of the other reviewers said, this book is an excellent one for browsing, or even to use in regular discussions, as the chapters are short and brief (less than a page to a few pages). The author's point of view is that we underestimate the Egyptian influences on the Israelites, and thus, a lot of the stories that we t ...more
Lee Harmon
Mar 21, 2011 Lee Harmon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book wasn’t quite what I expected when I bought it, but I nevertheless enjoyed reading it. In my opinion, you won’t read conclusive evidence that the stories are myths; what you’ll read are possible explanations for 101 of the Bible’s legends, for scholarship has hardly settled upon many of the conclusions Greenberg draws. But he does make you think, and that’s the purpose of my writing as well. An occasional idea for my daily blog post originates from this book; yesterday’s post combines t ...more
Oct 11, 2008 Crawfords444 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: see review outdated
Recommended to Crawfords444 by: daughter
This is an excellent book. In 200 I would have rated it higher. I remember the P and J sources from my 1965 seninary studies. Lately I watch PBS, The History and Discover channels. There, in 2007 are updates and changes to the facts in this book. For example, the plagues of Egypt and crossing of the Reed sea are in a lately viewed program. That the events happened are verified by current scientific explorations not available when this book was written. The location and name of the sea are verrif ...more
Elliott Bignell
Apr 08, 2015 Elliott Bignell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this book to be readable and well-structured, and will quite likely reference it routinely in the future to recall specific points. The book is broken down into the 101 items the title suggests, so each is rather short - usually two to three pages - making it natural to bite it off a myth or two at a time. I have to say, though, that after about 50 points it was becoming hard to recall much of the information; rather than a structured argument one is confronted by a persistent light driz ...more
Jim Razinha
Interesting and likely to spark vigorous discussion, if anyone ever read it. Published in 2000, and found a couple of weeks ago at a HPB, I don't think its readership was wide. Greenberg does a nice job contrasting biblical positions/stories with other ancient stories and in many cases actual history, but he doesn't cite specifics in the text, so,academics might have a problem with his explanations. He does provide a "suggested reading" list at the end,but we don't benefit from his work in being ...more
محمود راضي
Jun 16, 2015 محمود راضي rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: on-religions
أعده واحدًا من أخطر وأهم الكتب التي يمكن أن يتصدى المرء لقراءتها في يوم من الأيام، لكنه ليس كتابًا للجميع على وجه التأكيد، فالكتاب يفند الكثير من حكايات العهد القديم في الكتاب المقدس ويضعها موضع الدراسة والتحليل التاريخي ليتكشف عن هذا الأمر الكثير والكثير من الروابط والعلائق التي جمعت بين قصص العهد القديم وبين ما سبقها من موروثات الحضارات القديمة، وإذا لم يكن لدى القاريء الكثير من الحساسية الدينية حول مناقشة هذه القصص وتحليلها فليقدم على القراءة، وإذا لم يكن فليجتنب القراءة.

ملحوظة: يفضل لمن سيبد
Geoff Glenister
May 23, 2016 Geoff Glenister rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An excellent collection of scholarly conclusions regarding the Biblical stories, their parallels with other myths, and other archaeological evidence. The problem is that this might not be convincing to apologists who come in with an adversarial attitude - the reasons being that this book functions as a bit of a whirlwind tour, and doesn't spend a very long time arguing every point and meticulously pointing out the evidence. Also, it needs footnotes. But for someone who has already realized the f ...more
Mustafa Minem
Jan 18, 2016 Mustafa Minem rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: بحثي
تجديد لهوسي الشخصي بكل مايتعلق بالكتاب المقدس والعهد القديم على وجه التحديد.
نقد وتحليل لقصص العهد القديم.
عرض الكتاب رائع. المترجم استخدم لغة قريبة وبسيطة.
في رأيي الشخصي إن المؤلف مالتزمش بالحيادية في العرض. ورغم التوضيح في تصدير الكتاب إنه فضل عدم التعرض للقصص المهمة جدا في العقيدة اليهودية إلا إنه بمجرد ما بدأ خبط في كل حاجة وتقريبا نفى أصالة المحتوى التوراتي كله.
Jun 18, 2010 John rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, history
The title seems overly provocative, but the ideas presented are interesting. Unfortunately, they are not presented in a scholarly manner. There are no footnotes or citations, merely a "suggested reading" section that isn't even a full bibliography.

There are better books about the origins of the Bible out there.
Alan Swartz
A good book providing a wonderful analysis with religious/mythological parallels. Unfortunately, Greenberg treats the original biblical authors/redactors as unsophisticates stumbling over their attempts at providing a monotheistic context for the sources.
Interesting, but I don't agree with all of the author's conclusions - he forces Egyptian myth onto ancient Hebrew myth and I found that difficult to believe. It seemed the author had an idea in his head and he wanted to find facts to fit that idea.
Tom Hill
Jun 05, 2014 Tom Hill rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This appeared to be an interesting book based on the title but ended up being rather tedious to read. I don't know if it was just the format used or that the explanations all seemed similar. Disappointing.
Kierstin Butler
Aug 12, 2012 Kierstin Butler rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Goo book for thumbing through. Not fun to read start to finish. But fun, and makes for great info in debates!
Courtney Stoker
Extremely interesting and fairly thorough.
Andrew Sharp
Didn't care for the format of the book. Also lots of repetition.
Joshua Booher
Oct 05, 2008 Joshua Booher rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theology, efm-year-1
The book was very interesting. It is not for people who are literalists. At times he went on too long about a concept, but overall it added to my understanding of the bible.
Apr 03, 2010 Kevin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This really should have been called "Myths of the Old Testament". I was just a little disappointed that little of the material in the book came from the New Testament.
Melanie Franklin
Aug 06, 2011 Melanie Franklin rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The so-called "Myths" of the bible are lacking credibility. I don't recommend this book.
Mar 25, 2008 Alicia rated it it was amazing
Very interesting. Using editorial markers he discusses who wrote what parts of the Bible and why. Great counter to other books discussing biblical history.
Feb 05, 2009 Chris rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Garbage, NOT worth the time to read. PERIOD.
Oct 02, 2008 Weavre marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Weavre by: Mandy
Aug 20, 2014 Margret rated it really liked it
Shelves: history, religion
It's a good fantasy and mythical book. Love the reading and it's entertaining. I'm catholic and I don't believe his judgment of the bible, however it was fun to read.
Oct 11, 2009 Anne rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: discarded
just couldn't get into it.
seemed to have too much of a negative tone to it
Graham Frost
Graham Frost rated it liked it
May 14, 2014
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author by this name in the goodreads data base.

Gary Greenberg is the author of several highly-praised books on biblical history, including the popular biblical classic "101 Myths of the Bible: How Ancient Scribes Invented Biblical History." His works have been translated into many languages. His most recent book, "Who Wrote the Gospels? Why New Testament Scho
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