Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Asimov's Guide to the Bible: The Old and New Testaments (2 Vol.)” as Want to Read:
Asimov's Guide to the Bible: The Old and New Testaments (2 Vol.)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Asimov's Guide to the Bible: The Old and New Testaments (2 Vol.)

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  972 Ratings  ·  58 Reviews
In "Asimov's Guide to the Bible" the noted author Isaac Asimov explores the historical, geographical, and biographical aspects of the events described in the Old and New Testaments. In doing so Asimov illuminates the Bible's many obscure and mysterious passages, producing a valuable text for anyone interested in religion and history.
Hardcover, 1295 pages
Published December 12th 1981 by Wings (first published 1968)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Asimov's Guide to the Bible, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Asimov's Guide to the Bible

Community Reviews

(showing 1-10)
Rating details
Sort: Default
G. Branden
Jan 06, 2009 rated it it was amazing
What I gained from this book was a level of Biblical literacy that I had been sorely lacking.

As a lifelong atheist with a wholly secular upbringing, I feel I have enjoyed much good fortune relative to those indoctrinated by religion from a young age; on the other hand, many literary and cultural references, and even a few jokes, have passed me by. Since elementary school I have been better versed in Greek, Norse, and Egyptian mythology than I have been in modern religion. Even in a secular socie
Quick and fun, chatty, non-academic--displays unnecessary erudition at times (e.g., at the first mention of any place name, Asimov typically notes anyone and anything of world historical importance connected therewith)--this text is basically the learned scientist's book report after reading seven translations of the Bible, plus a few commentaries & treatises on same.

The primary object of criticism is the geography, history, and linguistics of the biblical text--he does not get involved in d
Dec 26, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I have a sentimental attachment to the book. I found a copy in a city library while living in the Bible Belt. I mentioned it to some heavily christian friends and the book tragically ended up being destroyed in a book burning. It took me over 14 years to find a replacement copy.

It is not anti-religious, even though it was written by Asimov, an atheist. Instead, the book describes the world at the time when the books of the bible were written. It also gives possible scientific or cultural explana
Michael Fishman
Apr 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
If I had to pick books that forever changed the way I look at history, this one would seem like a dark horse. But believe it or not, Yitzchak Izaak Azimov (yes, the sci-fi author) managed to alter the way I look at both history and the bible.

The history is slightly dated--hey, it was written in the 1960s. And Asimov was not an historian by profession. But little do people realize that the author of the Foundation trilogy also wrote many other books; in fact, he has covered in his books just abou
Michael Coats
Oct 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
A great book that helps to explain the historical context in which the events of the Bible play out. When my son and I read the Bible together, we read through this at the same time. Many otherwise confusing passages came clear, and we also learned of some details that are still debated by scholars and theologians. This is worth reading front to back, but is probably most useful as a reference; when questions come up regarding a specific chapter or verse, take the time to see what Asimov has to ...more
Aug 04, 2009 rated it it was amazing
this book does a great job of breaking the bible down, nearly book-for-book, and showing where the nacent christian religion fit in with history. However, this isn't to say that it is a christian book. Rather, it goes through the books and matches what the bible says with what is known from other, more reliable, sources (assyrian, chinese, roman records, etc). You might say it is a secular look at the books of the bible.
A very good analysis of one of the most famous books in history from a rational, secular perspective, taking the time to correct events and fit the ones that existed within a more accurate historical chronology. Some information is slightly out of date due to recent archaeological discoveries, but there is still very much to be learned from here.
Sep 04, 2008 rated it it was ok
While Asimov purported to just be dealing with the factual background of the Bible--and he does provide many interesting, if trivial facts--his point of view is plainly that the Bible (and assumedly all books of faith) are fiction. Given that orientation, it's still a useful resource.
Mar 06, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-the-past
Asimov goes through the entire Bible and provides the best current analysis of where all the material came from and points out inconsitencies and problems with the texts. I found it very enlightening.
The Fizza
Jan 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Isaac Asimov was one of the most prolific writers of his time. Having written, or edited, more than 500 books and an estimated 9,000 published letters and postcards. He has published in nine of the ten major categories of the Dewey Decimal System.

While a professor of biochemistry at Boston University he is primarily remembered for his Science Fiction works, several of which had been adapted for film in recent years.

In 1967 he decided to put the Old and New Testament of the bible into historical
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Who knew? 1 9 Aug 11, 2014 11:24PM  
  • The Harlot by the Side of the Road: Forbidden Tales of the Bible
  • The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Christian Myth
  • The Unauthorized Version: Truth and Fiction in the Bible
  • Losing Faith in Faith: From Preacher to Atheist
  • The Secret Origins Of The Bible
  • The Age of Faith (The Story of Civilization, #4)
  • Whose Bible Is It? A History of the Scriptures Through the Ages
  • The Lost Books of the Bible and the Forgotten Books of Eden
  • Martin's Hundred
  • The Oxford Companion to the Bible
  • The Incredible Shrinking Son of Man: How Reliable is the Gospel Tradition?
  • The Fruit Palace
  • The Bad Popes
  • The Lost Gospel of Judas Iscariot: A New Look at Betrayer and Betrayed
  • The Last Week: What the Gospels Really Teach About Jesus's Final Days in Jerusalem
  • In Search of Paul
  • The Handy Science Answer Book
  • The Anchor Atlas of World History, Vol 1: From the Stone Age to the Eve of the French Revolution
Isaac Asimov was a Russian-born, American author, a professor of biochemistry, and a highly successful writer, best known for his works of science fiction and for his popular science books.

Professor Asimov is generally considered one of the most prolific writers of all time, having written or edited more than 500 books and an estimated 90,000 letters and postcards. He has works published in nine o
More about Isaac Asimov...