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Walking the Bible: A Journey by Land Through the Five Books of Moses
Bruce S. Feiler

0380977753 Retail Price: $26.00
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Format: Hardcover, 416pp.
ISBN: 0380977753
Publisher: William Morrow & Co.
Pub. Date: March 2001

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About the Author
Table of Contents
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From The Publisher:

One part adventure story, one part archaeological detective work, one part spiritual exploration, Walking the Bible vividly recounts an inspiring personal odyssey—by foot, jeep, rowboat, and camel—through the greatest stories ever told.

Feeling a desire to reconnect to the Bible, award-winning author Bruce Feiler set out on a perilous, ten-thousand-mile journey, retracing the Five Books of Moses through the desert. Traveling through three continents, five countries, and four war zones, Feiler is the first person to complete such a historic expedition. He crosses the Red Sea, climbs Mount Sinai, and interviews bedouin and pilgrims alike, as he attempts to answer the question: Is the Bible just an abstraction or is it a living, breathing entity?

Along with renowned archaeologist Avner Goren, Feiler treks through Turkey, Israel, the Palestinian territories, Egypt, the Sinai, and Jordan, visiting the actual places of some of history's most storied events, from the mountain where Noah's ark landed to the site of the legendary burning bush. He visits the desert outpost in Turkey where Abraham first heard the words of God and faces arrest while camping on Mount Nebo in Jordan, where Moses overlooked the Promised Land. In each Place, he scrupulously gathers the latest archaeological research and sits down to read the stories in their natural surroundings. With eloquence and insight, he explores how geography affects the larger narrative of the Bible and ultimately realizes how much these places—and his experience—have affected his own faith.

Both a pulse-pounding adventure and an uplifting spiritual quest, Bruce Feiler's Walking the Bible is a stunning and elevating work of courage, scholarship, and heart. It revisits the inscrutable desert landscape where the world's great religions were born and uncovers fresh answers to the most profound questions of the human spirit.


Determined to connect more deeply with his religious roots, Feiler joined archaeologist Avner Goren in a trek through the Middle East, visiting the sites mentioned in the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Hebrew Bible. Weaving together archaeological evidence, historical theory, orthodox theology, and religious myth, Feiler here explores each of the stories in the Pentateuch whose settings he visited. In addition to trekking, Feiler communed with other pilgrims, Islamic, Judaic, and Christian alike. He consulted local historians and scholars, and he interviewed local residents about their understanding of the various sites' significance. Full of wonder and awe, yet written from a perspective of reasoned inquiry, Walking the Bible delightfully proves that the rational and the mystical can exist side by side, each contributing to the understanding of personal and cultural religious heritage. Feiler's own spiritual journey was strengthened by his inspection of the historical and archaeological evidence relevant to the stories of the Mosaic scriptures, so as to place them firmly into a context that illumines their origins and evolution. Bonnie Johnston Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

"Essential for anyone interested in religion, archaeology, or travel."
Library Journal

"I can hardly express, in these few words, the wonder that Feiler creates in his splendid book. it."
—Stephen J. Dubner, author of Turbulent Souls: A Catholic Son's Return to His Jewish Family

"Why wasn't this book published in time for me to take it with me to Israel before? I won't leave home without it next time."
—Melissa Fay Greene, author of Praying for Sheetrock

"Whatever one believes about the Bible, the book will help one to understand it better."
—Andrew M. Greeley, Professor of Social Science, The University of Chicago

"A stunning account of contemporary religious fervor and an exploration of the human spirit. A riveting journey into history."
—Laurence Bergreen, author of A Voyage to Mars


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About the Author

Bruce Feiler is the New York Times bestselling author of Walking the Bible, Learning to Bow, Looking for Class, and Under the Big Top. A frequent contributor to NPR's All Things Considered, and contributing editor for Gourmet he writes regularly about American music for The New York Times, The New Yorker, and other publications, and recieved international acclaim for his influential cover story in The New Republic, "Gone Country." A native of Savannah, Georgia, Mr. Feiler is a graduate of Yale and Cambridge Universities, and now divides his time between Nashville and New York.

Table of Contents

Introduction: And God Said
Go Forth3
Bk. IGod of Our Fathers
1In the Land of Canaan39
2Take Now Thy Son63
3A Pillow of Stones93
Bk. IIA Coat of Many Colors
1On the Banks of the Nile123
2And They Made Their Lives Bitter147
3A Wall of Water165
Bk. IIIThe Great and Terrible Wilderness
1A Land of Fiery Snakes and Scorpions199
2On Holy Ground227
3The God-Trodden Mountain249
Bk. IVThe Land That Devours Its People
2And the Earth Opened Its Mouth304
3The Land of Milk and Honey328
Bk. VToward the Promised Land
1The Wars of the Lord351
2Half as Old as Time373
3Sunrise in the Palm of the Lord394
And the People Believed
Take These Words

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