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Biblical Games: Game Theory and the Hebrew Bible

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BACK IN PRINT with a new preface and a new chapter.

224 pages, Paperback

First published July 1, 1980

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About the author

Steven J. Brams

24 books7 followers

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Displaying 1 - 3 of 3 reviews
Profile Image for J..
1,399 reviews
November 10, 2013
I'm a sucker for really weird books, and what could be weirder than applying game theory to famous biblical stories?

Ultimately, it's a little light on the math and a little heavy on the interpretation, but his interpretations are ever-fascinating. Brams has such an unconventional take on many stories that it's sort of mind-warping sometimes, particularly his theological interpretations. Although I should mention that he's frequently more literal to the story than I am, even growing up evangelical, where literalism is the main methodology. So, in that sense, he's probably being more fair to the written word than I -- with all the previous knowledge floating around in my brain--would be.

My main complaint is that sometimes he ascribes motivations to the characters that I can't make sense of--although it's safe to assume he's given it way more thought than I have. Also, I didn't run through the game matrix to see if my interpretation would make a difference to the outcome, so I guess I shouldn't complain too much. Also, I should complain that a large portion of the book is spent re-telling the stories. If I were writing it, I would just sum things up and assume my reader were familiar with the stories--what people, unfamiliar with biblical stories, would be reading this book?--but this is a stylistic complaint, not a topical or factual one.

Anyway, how often do you run across a book in the "Mathematical Theology" section?
Profile Image for Trey Malone.
171 reviews6 followers
November 15, 2016
As random and unconventional as this book might appear, I have probably mentioned this book more times than any other book I've read about game theory. If you're looking for the extreme mathematics that you would expect in a traditional game theory text, you will be sorely mistaken. But for those of us who just want to think about how the logic of game theory can be applied to gain new insight on classic questions, I cannot recommend this book enough.
Displaying 1 - 3 of 3 reviews

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