When I posted some pictures of my books on a website recently, someone immediately asked whether I'd done any research. I guess it's a pretty valid question —it’s a bit much to expect people just to trust me when I'm only self-published. But it would take forever to list all the books I've used.
Remembering that ten's a really good Biblical number, I decided to make a list of the ten most readily available and pleasantly readable books that I've used. That way I can remember them, and maybe you might enjoy them too. Meanwhile, if you want to see what I made of my research, you can find my Bible books at http://stores.lulu.com/sdeeth. If you click on one you can even preview the first ten pages.
My top ten books for researching Bible stories:
1. Various translations of the Bible, including deuterocanonical and apocryphal books, the Jewish Study Bible Tanakh Translation—invaluable for its insights into culture and interpretation—and a Chronological Study Bible, which makes it much easier to follow the threads of history.
2. Who wrote the Bible by Richard Elliott Friedman, which ties together questions and answers about different versions of the same stories, different emphases and purposes, and the way that the writings of different people and times were collected together.
3. A River out of Eden by Richard Dawkins: While I don’t agree with his religious assumptions, I really appreciated his scientific and mathematical analysis of where and how human beings first lived, and how we might study our ancestry through genes and mutations.
4. Noah’s Flood by William Ryan and Walter Pitman, which describes the research that went into suggesting the Black Sea Valley during global warming as the source of the world’s, and the Bible’s flood stories.
5. The Miracles of Exodus by Colin Humphreys, which ties the Exodus stories to real-world history, geography and geology with incredibly detailed and convincing research.
6. Blood on the Mountain by Richard Andrews, which gives a fascinating picture of the various cultures and religions who trace their roots to the Bible.
7. Abraham by Bruce Feiler for similar reasons, more immediately topical.
8. The Stones Cry Out by Randall Price, which introduced me to the archeological evidence for many Bible stories and their interpretations.
9. Battles of the Bible by Chaim Herzog and Mordechai Gichon, which brought the military issues of Bible times to vivid life.
10. The Illustrated Timeline of Religion by Laura S. Smith, which puts the Bible into a clear historical and cultural context.