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Book From Eden to Exile: Unraveling Mysteries of the Bible

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From Eden to Exile: Unraveling Mysteries of the Bible

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | From Eden to Exile: Unraveling Mysteries of the Bible.pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    Eric H. Cline(Author)

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In this provocative yet persuasive book, now in paperback, Eric H. Cline uses the tools of his trade to examine some of the most puzzling mysteries from the Hebrew Bible and, in the process, to narrate the history of ancient Israel. Combining academic with an accessible style that has made him a favorite with readers and students alike, he lays out each mystery, evaluates all available evidence—from established fact to arguable assumption to far-fetched leap of faith—and proposes an explanation that reconciles Scripture, science, and history.

Numerous amateur archaeologists have sought some trace of Noah’s Ark to meet only with failure. But, though no serious scholar would undertake such a literal search, many agree that the Flood was no myth but the cultural memory of a real, catastrophic inundation, retold and reshaped over countless generations. Likewise, some experts suggest that Joshua’s storied victory at Jericho is the distant echo of an earthquake instead of Israel’s sacred trumpets—a fascinating, geologically plausible theory that remains unproven despite the best efforts of scientific research.

Cline places these and other Biblical stories in solid archaeological and historical context and reserves judgment on ideas that cannot yet be confirmed or denied. Along the way, our most informed understanding of ancient Israel comes alive with dramatic but accurate detail in this groundbreaking and entertaining book by one of the rising stars in the field.

Cline, a professor at George Washington University who has written several popular books on biblical studies and archaeology, here turns his attention to some of the most enduring biblical mysteries: Was there really a Garden of Eden, and if so, where was it? What happened to Noah's ark? Did the Israelites really trek through the desert for 40 years? What happened to the 10 lost tribes of Israel? These are topics that can and have filled up numerous books of their own, but what Cline intends here is a quick overview, a brisk trip through some of the great mysteries of biblical history, advancing his own theories about what happened and mentioning alternative opinions.In the final chapter, on the lost tribes, for example, after offering persuasive arguments for his opinion that most of the Jews of the time fled to Judah or intermarried with the Assyrians, who occupied the land, he then says, definitively, These people were never lost. An accessibly written introduction that will likely prompt readers to dig deeper. Cooper, Ilene --This text refers to the Hardcover edition. "Cline’s book is easy to read, as well as being authoritative."—Dallas Morning News

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Book details

  • PDF | 256 pages
  • Eric H. Cline(Author)
  • National Geographic; Reprint edition (June 17, 2008)
  • English
  • 9
  • Christian Books & Bibles

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Review Text

  • By James A Rozhon on September 2, 2014

    Mr. Cline? I'd like to thank you first of all. Your quest for truth, valid data and everything that goes with that is to be commended. For example, I read a one-star review in which the commentator chided you for leaving several of your investigations "open". Personally, I think that acknowledging that a subject has too little real data from which to make a pronouncement is to be commended. All that said, I wish more writers of any historical subject treated them like Mr. Cline does.The book offers seven mysteries that he tackles one chapter at a time. As an aside? The one concerning The Ten Lost Tribes? The way Mr. Cline describes that situation is too precious to spoil here. Look, if you know about that particular mystery, then you'll love the way Mr. Cline finds an answer for it. And be prepared, it isn't wishful thinking in the way so many Biblical mysteries are "solved", but a real life data-supported answer. Like, I said. I won't spoil it, but I think anyone who follows stuff like this will truly appreciate it.In the end, I will probably read one of his other books as well because I like the way he sticks to the data and doesn't allow himself to splatter his own ego all over the subject.Thank you again, Mr. Cline.I'd give it a six if that were possible.

  • By Gary R. Bradski on May 17, 2017

    I really appreciate Cline, an archeologist who takes the data seriously. Though this book is now dated, it surveys an ancient era, the transition out of the Bronze age, and how that is reflected in the Bible. Spoiler alert ... not much is certain, but the end of the Bronze age was a hell of an interesting time and it echoes strongly still in our own age. You can tell Cline is a real fan of this period. I also like how he will speculate about what really happened, but let's you know that "meh, maybe".

  • By kiore on August 13, 2014

    I was a little surprised to see this book recommended for me by Amazon, but having read the authors other work I decided to give it a try.Far too many 'unraveling the mysteries of the bible' type books belong in the fantasy genre, but in this one the author treats ancient texts as a historian does. The result is surprising and readable and not an "I found Noah's Ark, yes I really did" type book at all. The author is scathing of those who write such things and this book is both a scholarly review of the selected mysteries and a demand to treat ancient texts as ancient texts and to recapture this field from the cranks and charlatans.Don't be put off by the subject and title.

  • By CRL on August 21, 2011

    Cline looks at seven Old Testament stories (Garden of Eden, Noah, Sodom, the Exodus, Battle of Jericho, Ark of the Covenant and the 10 Lost Tribes) that are important but which have posed questions for many Bible readers for a long time. He is a strong proponent of the science of archeology and he follows the directions this discipline takes. Cline takes a very even handed approach to interpretation of the data and acknowledges how other cultural influences affected these stories. He recognizes the amateur contributions to research, but focuses on those efforts that have a strong science basis. That is usually a positive, but in the case of the Exodus, he dismisses too quickly those who have intriguing evidence that the route was through what is today Saudi Arabia.His writing style is easy so each story could be a casual evening read.A warning to those who reside on the conservative side of biblical interpretations---Cline will, on occasion, ask the uncomfortable question: Did this event really happen or was it myth handed down orally, then written down? This does not bother me, but for some readers, it will be considered heresy.

  • By Dr. Marc Axelrod on December 14, 2008

    This book was published by National Geographic, and sure enough, it reads like the text for a National Geographic TV special. Eric Cline is an ancient historian and an archaeologist, and he attempts to unravel seven mysteries of the Hebrew Bible. While it would be a mistake to call Cline a biblical minimalist, he does seem to value secular and archaeological data more than the data found within the Hebrew text itself, a predilection that will color some of his conclusions.He concludes that 1) If the Garden of Eden exists, it is probably in the southern Mesopotamian area, and perhaps at the bottom of the Persian Gulf. 2) He stresses that the Noah's ark story is a Hebrew rewrite of ancient legendary flood stories from other cultures and that the ark is probably lost forever if it ever existed, and that we should be spending an equal amount of energy searching for the arks mentioned in other Ancient Near Eastern legends as well.3) He discusses the stories of Sodom and Gomorrah and concludes they are either lost somewhere under the Dead Sea, or that they existed along the Dead Sea and need to be further excavated. 4) He contends that the Exodus story could not have happened as the Bible portrays it because of its logistical improbabilities (2.5 million people marching through the desert for 40 years would not only be unlikely, they would have left some archaeological remains behind for us to examine). 5) While we do have some evidence of Israel in the land of Canaan as early as 1207 BC and there is some evidence that two of the Canaanite cities were overthrown and taken over by the Israelites, they were probably overthrown by the Sea Peoples, and the Israelites merely took advantage and occupied these towns. 6) The ark of the covenant was probably destroyed by King Nebuchadnezzar in 586 BC, but if it still exists, it's probably buried under the Temple Mount. 7) The ten lost tribes of Israel were never really lost, because the kings of Asyria and Babylon only deported about 10-20% of the people. Others were moved in rom the surrounding areas, and when they intermarried with the Israelites, they formed what we now know as the Samaritan people.Cline is inclined to question the historicity of any Bible story that doesn't have corresponding evidence in the archaeological or historical records. This means that he is invariably more pessimistic about the Hebrew Bible's historicity up to the time of David than he is about the material after the time of David (though he has questions about some of this as well).I am much more optimistic about the historicity of what we have in the Hebrew Bible narratives, and I must also say that Cline is not a biblical theologian/historian per se. But he writes well and he engages the reader throughout. He has discussions in every chapter about modern amateur archaeologists who have made unverifiable claims that they have solved and discovered some of these mysteries. He casually dismisses these claims, but he applauds their zeal. At the same time, he contends that we should only trust research performed by trained and reputable archaeologists and trained historians.This is a very interesting book, and it should probably be read in conjunction with a book like the one edited by a reputable biblical historian, Daniel Block: "Israel: Ancient Kingdom or late Invention."


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