100 books like The Great Angel

By Margaret Barker,

Here are 100 books that The Great Angel fans have personally recommended if you like The Great Angel. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Plato and the Creation of the Hebrew Bible

R.G. Price Author Of Deciphering the Gospels: Proves Jesus Never Existed

From my list on the (actual) origins of Christianity and Judaism.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been fascinated by the Bible since my earliest days in Sunday school, coloring pictures of Noah’s Ark. Yet, even as a young child I was very skeptical of the Christian interpretation of biblical stories, seeing that they couldn’t possibly be true. But I’ve always respected the Bible as a literary work and sought to understand its details. In my years of researching the Bible and Christian origins, several works stand out as being particularly important in shaping my understanding of Judaism and Christianity. These are those books.

R.G.'s book list on the (actual) origins of Christianity and Judaism

R.G. Price Why did R.G. love this book?

Along with his other book, Berossus and Genesis, Manetho and Exodus: Hellenistic Histories and the Date of the Pentateuch, Russell Gmirkin puts forward compelling evidence to show that many of the most revered works of Jewish scripture were produced after the conquests of Alexander the Great, hundreds of years later than widely believed. Relationships between the Jewish Torah and the works of Plato have long been acknowledged by scholars, dating back to antiquity. Jews had long claimed that it was Plato who had derived his concepts from their writings, but here Gmirkin shows convincingly that the relationship goes the other way around. This realization has profound implications for our understanding of the origins of Judaism and Christianity.

By Russell E. Gmirkin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Plato and the Creation of the Hebrew Bible as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Plato and the Creation of the Hebrew Bible for the first time compares the ancient law collections of the Ancient Near East, the Greeks and the Pentateuch to determine the legal antecedents for the biblical laws. Following on from his 2006 work, Berossus and Genesis, Manetho and Exodus, Gmirkin takes up his theory that the Pentateuch was written around 270 BCE using Greek sources found at the Great Library of Alexandria, and applies this to an examination of the biblical law codes. A striking number of legal parallels are found between the Pentateuch and Athenian laws, and specifically with those…


Book cover of The Old Enemy: Satan and the Combat Myth

R.G. Price Author Of Deciphering the Gospels: Proves Jesus Never Existed

From my list on the (actual) origins of Christianity and Judaism.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been fascinated by the Bible since my earliest days in Sunday school, coloring pictures of Noah’s Ark. Yet, even as a young child I was very skeptical of the Christian interpretation of biblical stories, seeing that they couldn’t possibly be true. But I’ve always respected the Bible as a literary work and sought to understand its details. In my years of researching the Bible and Christian origins, several works stand out as being particularly important in shaping my understanding of Judaism and Christianity. These are those books.

R.G.'s book list on the (actual) origins of Christianity and Judaism

R.G. Price Why did R.G. love this book?

The key to understanding the development of Judaism and Christianity is understanding how the problem of evil was interpreted in antiquity. There are many books on the subject, but Neil Forsyth’s is my personal favorite. His book is very thorough, covering the topic from ancient polytheistic Mediterranean mythology up through the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Gnostics, and early Christianity. We can see that within religions of Semitic origin, there was fierce debate over whether evil was introduced by God himself, other heavenly beings such as angels or sons of God, by Satan, or by human beings. This led to debate over who the ruler of this world, the “material world,” really was. Was it God? Was it Satan? Was Satan actually God? These questions were of critical importance when Christianity emerged, and Forsyth’s book provides essential context.

By Neil Forsyth,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Old Enemy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The description for this book, The Old Enemy: Satan and the Combat Myth, will be forthcoming.


Book cover of The First Edition of the New Testament

R.G. Price Author Of Deciphering the Gospels: Proves Jesus Never Existed

From my list on the (actual) origins of Christianity and Judaism.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been fascinated by the Bible since my earliest days in Sunday school, coloring pictures of Noah’s Ark. Yet, even as a young child I was very skeptical of the Christian interpretation of biblical stories, seeing that they couldn’t possibly be true. But I’ve always respected the Bible as a literary work and sought to understand its details. In my years of researching the Bible and Christian origins, several works stand out as being particularly important in shaping my understanding of Judaism and Christianity. These are those books.

R.G.'s book list on the (actual) origins of Christianity and Judaism

R.G. Price Why did R.G. love this book?

Trobisch is a highly respected Net Testament scholar, and his insights are on full display in this short, but important, work. The exact origins of the New Testament have long been shrouded in mystery. Many people think of the New Testament as a collection of independent writings. Here Trobisch provides an important framework for understanding the New Testament as a whole. He reveals many important clues about who, when, how, and why the first edition of the New Testament was created. Trobisch shows the overall unity of the editorial features of the New Testament.

By David Trobisch,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The First Edition of the New Testament as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The First Edition of the New Testament is a groundbreaking book that argues that the New Testament is not the product of a centuries-long process of development. Its history, David Trobisch contends, is the history of a book-an all Greek Christian bible-published as early as the second century C.E. and intended by its editors to be read as a whole. Trobisch claims that this bible achieved wide circulation and formed the basis of all surviving manuscripts
of the New Testament.


Book cover of Mark Canonizer of Paul: A New Look at Intertextuality in Mark's Gospel

R.G. Price Author Of Deciphering the Gospels: Proves Jesus Never Existed

From my list on the (actual) origins of Christianity and Judaism.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been fascinated by the Bible since my earliest days in Sunday school, coloring pictures of Noah’s Ark. Yet, even as a young child I was very skeptical of the Christian interpretation of biblical stories, seeing that they couldn’t possibly be true. But I’ve always respected the Bible as a literary work and sought to understand its details. In my years of researching the Bible and Christian origins, several works stand out as being particularly important in shaping my understanding of Judaism and Christianity. These are those books.

R.G.'s book list on the (actual) origins of Christianity and Judaism

R.G. Price Why did R.G. love this book?

In this book Tom Dykstra provides an extensive background into the scholarship of the Gospel of Mark, explaining how so many people have misunderstood the work for so long and why other interpretations of the Gospel were sidelined. While my book reaches many similar conclusions to Dykstra’s regarding the relationship between the Pauline letters and Gospel of Mark, our approaches are very different and Dykstra provides important scholarly context.  

By Tom Dykstra,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Mark Canonizer of Paul as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“For over 150 years the idea that Mark used the Pauline epistles has been recurring in New Testament research. Now in the work of Tom Dykstra, wide-ranging work and thoughtful, the truth of that idea emerges with a clarity it never had before. The result is to give a fresh sense of the origin and nature of Mark, of all the New Testament books, and of the quest for history.”
– -Thomas Brodie, Director, Dominican Biblical Institute, author of ¬ The Birthing of the New Testament

“Tom Dykstra draws connections between Paul and the Gospel of Mark that are stunning,…


Book cover of Constantine's Sword: The Church and the Jews, A History

Richard E. Rubenstein Author Of When Jesus Became God: The Struggle to Define Christianity During the Last Days of Rome

From my list on Jesus and theological battles of early Christians.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been interested for years in the causes and dynamics of religious violence, since to work towards resolving conflicts involving religious faith, one needs to understand them as more than hair-splitting arguments between opposed schools of fanatics. The door to this project opened wide in Malta, where I spent six months teaching under a brilliant Catholic priest who was also a sociologist and an expert on Christian history. Father Joe steered me toward the books I needed to consult. More important, he understood that faith and reason should not be considered opposites, and that debating fundamental concepts is essential to the moral and spiritual health of a religious organization.

Richard's book list on Jesus and theological battles of early Christians

Richard E. Rubenstein Why did Richard love this book?

In Constantine’s Sword: The Church and the Jews, James Carroll, a former Catholic priest turned journalist and novelist, delivers a powerful indictment of the politicized religion that from the time of Constantine the Great persecuted heretics, non-Romans, and, most of all, Jews. Carroll’s historical account is colorful and accurate, but what this book mostly does is exorcise a demon that plagued the author personally for years: his shared responsibility as a Catholic believer and official for an anti-Semitic tradition that helped generate the Holocaust. This is a stirring job of writing that looks forward to Carroll’s later work as a novelist, including his lovely take on the story of  Abelard and Heloise, The Cloister (Anchor, 2019).     

By James Christopher Carroll,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Constantine's Sword as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A bold and moving book tracing the two-thousand-year course of the Church's battle against Judaism by National Book Award–winning author James Carroll.

More than a chronicle of religion, this dark history is the central tragedy of Western civilization. The Church’s failure to protest the Holocaust—the infamous “silence” of Pius XII—is only part of the story: the death camps, Carroll shows, are the culmination of a long, entrenched tradition of anti-Judaism. From Gospel accounts of the death of Jesus on the cross, to Constantine’s transformation of the cross into a sword, to the rise of blood libels, scapegoating, and modern anti-Semitism,…


Book cover of Black Zion: African American Religious Encounters with Judaism

Cheryl Lynn Greenberg Author Of Troubling the Waters: Black-Jewish Relations in the American Century

From my list on Black-Jewish relations.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a professor who teaches and works in the field of African American History. Because I am both white and Jewish, I’ve been repeatedly asked to give talks about relationships between African Americans and white Jewish Americans, and about what “went wrong” to shatter the “grand alliance” of the civil rights movement embodied by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel. I had no answer, but I suspected that none of the stories that we had been told, whether good or bad, were fully true. So I went back to the sources and uncovered a complex and multilayered history. Black and Jewish collaboration was never a given, and underlying tensions and conflicts reflected the broader realities of race and class in the U.S. In the book I explored how these historical and political forces operated, and continue to resonate today.

Cheryl's book list on Black-Jewish relations

Cheryl Lynn Greenberg Why did Cheryl love this book?

Too often “Black-Jewish relations” focuses on Jewish engagement in the Black civil rights struggle, a largely one-sided political narrative. This book broadens that horizon in two ways. First, it focuses on the Black experience and encounter with the other, rather than the Jewish one. Second, it explores the religious dimension that political discussions often ignore – that the Black experience with Jews and Judaism is as much rooted in religion as in politics.

By Yvonne Patricia Chireau (editor), Nathaniel Deutsch (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Black Zion as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Black Zion explores the myriad ways in which African American religions have encountered Jewish traditions, beliefs, and spaces. The collection's unifying argument is that religion is the missing piece of the cultural jigsaw puzzle, that much of the recent turmoil in black-Jewish relations would be better understood, if not alleviated, if the religious roots of those relations were illuminated. Toward that end, the contributors look a number of provocative
topics, including the concept of the Chosen People, the typological identification of blacks with Jews, the actual identification of blacks as Jews, the sacredness of space and symbols, the importance of…


Book cover of A Code of Jewish Ethics, Volume 1

Mark E. Leib Author Of Image Breaker

From my list on Jewish life and ethics.

Why am I passionate about this?

I started studying Judaism as an adult in 1982, and in the 40 or so years that have passed since then I’ve read voraciously on the subject and have discussed it at length with Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform rabbis from Boston to Tampa. I’ve come to see over that time that Judaism’s objective is to shape conscientious, caring human beings who will bring light and compassion to the earth in spite of all the forces that want to keep trouble and insensitivity there. The books that I’ve listed are among the best in communicating the Jewish vision for the planet. I think you’ll learn much from them.

Mark's book list on Jewish life and ethics

Mark E. Leib Why did Mark love this book?

In a conversational and, at times, anecdotal style, Telushkin describes what a compassionate, righteous life might look like.

There are chapters on good manners, charity, forgiveness, and humility along with considerations on anger, envy, hatred, and the instinct of revenge. Telushkin backs up his suggestions with references to Torah, Talmud, and Commentaries, and he includes some delightful stories to illustrate his points.

I can’t imagine a more comfortable guide to living conscientiously.

By Joseph Telushkin,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked A Code of Jewish Ethics, Volume 1 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A Code of Jewish Ethics, Volume 1: You Shall Be Holy is the initial volume of the first major code of Jewish ethics to be written in the English language. It is a monumental work on the vital topic of personal character and integrity by one of the premier Jewish scholars and thinkers of our time.

With the stated purpose of restoring ethics to its central role in Judaism, Rabbi Joseph Telushkin offers hundreds of examples from the Torah, the Talmud, rabbinic commentaries, and contemporary stories to illustrate how ethical teachings can affect our daily behavior. The subjects dealt with…


Book cover of The New Jewish Canon

Kerry M. Olitzky Author Of The Sisters Z

From my list on introducing Jewish ideas to others.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a rabbi, educator, scholar and author who has led congregations, organizations and taught in rabbinical seminaries. As a result, I have always straddled the world of the practitioner and the academician. These books have informed my personal religious practice and outlook, as well as my academic approach to Judaism.

Kerry's book list on introducing Jewish ideas to others

Kerry M. Olitzky Why did Kerry love this book?

As a result of vast outpouring of important Jewish writing over the last century, it is difficult to navigate what is important and what should be included in the mainstream of Jewish life.

This is a curated collection of some of the most important writing and documentation of the period. I found it personally helpful to know what I should be reading and what I should be aware of. It also provides a helpful blueprint for those of us who are educators—what should be teaching in the years ahead to raise literate Jews of this generation, as well as those of other faith communities who may be interested in the trajectory of Jewish intellectual and religious life of this period.

By Yehuda Kurtzer (editor), Claire E. Sufrin (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The New Jewish Canon as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries have been a period of mass production and proliferation of Jewish ideas, and have witnessed major changes in Jewish life and stimulated major debates. The New Jewish Canon offers a conceptual roadmap to make sense of such rapid change. With over eighty excerpts from key primary source texts and insightful corresponding essays by leading scholars, on topics of history and memory, Jewish politics and the public square, religion and religiosity, and identities and communities, The New Jewish Canon promises to start conversations from the seminar room to the dinner table. The New Jewish…


Book cover of Love, Pray, Listen: Parenting Your Wayward Adult Kids with Joy

Dorothy Littell Greco Author Of Marriage in the Middle: Embracing Midlife Surprises, Challenges, and Joys

From my list on helping you to thrive in midlife.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've been writing and providing pastor care for more than thirty years now. Since turning sixty, I have noticed that aging well is not a given. Many people seem to grow increasingly bitter, resentful, and hard. If we want to become more empathetic, grateful, and loving, we have to keep growing and do our spiritual and relational work. We also need trustworthy guides to help us find our way. I hope to be a wise, compassionate guide for my readers.

Dorothy's book list on helping you to thrive in midlife

Dorothy Littell Greco Why did Dorothy love this book?

If you are a parent and your children are over the age of eighteen, you know that your relationship with them shifts radically as they become adults. If you’ve raised your children to be independent thinkers, guess what? They will think and act independently, sometimes making choices that cause pain and confusion. Mary does a terrific job of helping parents remain grounded in their faith as they figure out how to love and support their sons and daughters in this new season. Her love for and knowledge of Scripture is very evident throughout. (Note: I would not have included the word “Wayward” in the title. Mary does not focus on adult kids who have made poor choices, but rather ones whose lives look different than what we might have imagined.)

By Mary DeMuth,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Love, Pray, Listen as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Love, Pray, Listen offers empathy and grounded biblical wisdom to help parents thrive, no matter what path their adult kids take."--PASTOR STEVE STROOPE

Wisdom and Hope for Parents of Grown-Ups

As a parent, your role changes drastically after your kids grow up. You fear heartache and strained relationships when your children choose difficult--even seemingly wrong--paths.

Love, Pray, Listen is the gracious, practical resource you need for navigating the rocky terrain of parenting grown-ups. In this book, mom and author Mary DeMuth answers questions like:

* What do I do when my kids make choices that don't align with my values?…


Book cover of Living Buddha, Living Christ

Timber Hawkeye Author Of Buddhist Boot Camp

From my list on mindfulness, inner peace, and serenity.

Why am I passionate about this?

Having studied what people believe (and why we believe what we do), it’s important to question the origin of our opinions, who gave them to us, and most importantly, why we are still carrying them today. I’m drawn to books that make you think rather than telling you what to think. 

Timber's book list on mindfulness, inner peace, and serenity

Timber Hawkeye Why did Timber love this book?

There is a misconception that reading Buddhist scripture would somehow steer the reader away from God, but given the chance, it does exactly the opposite, actually strengthening the reader's existing faith (whatever it may be). Many of the people who attend my public talks, discussions, and Q&A’s, jokingly refer to themselves as “Recovering Catholics” in search of deeper meaning, and this book beautifully bridges the gap between traditions, highlighting how compatible the two practices can be with one another.  

By Thich Nhat Hanh,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Living Buddha, Living Christ as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Thich Nhat Hanh is a holy man, for he is humble and devout. He is a scholar of immense intellectual capacity. His ideas for peace if applied, would build a monument of ecumenism, to world brotherhood, to humanity.' Martin Luther King, Jr.

Budda and Jesus Christ, perhaps the two most pivotal figures in the history of humankind, each left behind a legacy of teachings and practices that have shaped the lives of billions of people over the course of two millennia. If they were to meet on the road today, what would each think of the other's spiritual views and…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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