99 books like Who Wrote the Bible?

By Richard Elliott Friedman,

Here are 99 books that Who Wrote the Bible? fans have personally recommended if you like Who Wrote the Bible?. 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 How to Read the Bible: A Guide to Scripture, Then and Now

Michael L. Satlow Author Of How the Bible Became Holy

From my list on how to read the Bible.

Why am I passionate about this?

No matter how you read it, the Bible is a strange book. It weaves together beautiful narratives and deadly-dull genealogies; uplifting messages with passages that many today find ethically repulsive. Yet it gained an extraordinary authority, in a predominantly pre-literate society. The question of how this happened has been an intellectual and scholarly preoccupation of mine for decades, and as a professor at Brown University I seek to bring my students and readers into this very foreign world in order to open their eyes to new possibilities in the present.

Michael's book list on how to read the Bible

Michael L. Satlow Why did Michael love this book?

James Kugel, a professor at Harvard and then Bar Ilan University in Israel, has been writing for years on how the Hebrew Bible was read and understood in antiquity. How to Read the Bible will bring you on a remarkable journey through time. Kugel selectively goes through the Hebrew Bible, contrasting how those in antiquity read, understood, and interpreted biblical stories with how modern scholars do. The book is long, and can be read in sections. Kugel’s discussions of both the academic study of the Bible and the way he understands the Bible as both a critic and an Orthodox Jew, are outstanding.

By James L. Kugel,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked How to Read the Bible as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

James Kugel’s essential introduction and companion to the Bible combines modern scholarship with the wisdom of ancient interpreters for the entire Hebrew Bible.

As soon as it appeared, How to Read the Bible was recognized as a masterwork, “awesome, thrilling” (The New York Times), “wonderfully interesting, extremely well presented” (The Washington Post), and “a tour de force...a stunning narrative” (Publishers Weekly). Now, this classic remains the clearest, most inviting and readable guide to the Hebrew Bible around—and a profound meditation on the effect that modern biblical scholarship has had on traditional belief.

Moving chapter by chapter, Harvard professor James Kugel…


Book cover of Adam, Eve, and the Serpent: Sex and Politics in Early Christianity

Dawn Baumann Brunke Author Of Awakening the Ancient Power of Snake: Transformation, Healing, and Enlightenment

From my list on the history, mystery, and healing power of snakes.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an animal communicator and author of many books about our deeper connections with the animal world. A powerful dream featuring an archetypal Snake ignited my curiosity about snakes and inspired me to learn more. I immersed myself into the history, biology, and incredible diversity of snakes as well as their role in art, myth, medicine, and dreams. I also lived with two rescue snakes: a shy ball python named Carl and lively corn snake named Chloe. What I found was not only fascinating but life-changing. This book celebrates the mystery of Snake and the undeniable wisdom and healing that it offers our world.  

Dawn's book list on the history, mystery, and healing power of snakes

Dawn Baumann Brunke Why did Dawn love this book?

A thorough look at the origins of Christianity and how the once powerful role of serpent (along with the goddess) was undermined and cast as a tempter and deceiver.

Pagels details how a rigidly-patriarchal interpretation of Genesis perpetuates the myth of separation and disconnection from spirit, nature, and ourselves. While snakes as animals are not covered in any depth, this book does explore why negative perceptions of snake still figure so prominently in Western collective consciousness. 

By Elaine Pagels,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Adam, Eve, and the Serpent as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A National Book Award winner and New York Times bestselling author deepens and refreshes our view of early Christianity while casting a disturbing light on the evolution of the attitudes passed down to us. 

"Confirms her reputation as both a scholar and a popular interpreter.... Continuously rewarding and illuminating." —The New York Times

How did the early Christians come to believe that sex was inherently sinful? When did the Fall of Adam become synonymous with the fall of humanity? What turned Christianity from a dissident sect that  championed the integrity of the individual and the idea of free will into…


Book cover of The Jewish Study Bible

Michael L. Satlow Author Of How the Bible Became Holy

From my list on how to read the Bible.

Why am I passionate about this?

No matter how you read it, the Bible is a strange book. It weaves together beautiful narratives and deadly-dull genealogies; uplifting messages with passages that many today find ethically repulsive. Yet it gained an extraordinary authority, in a predominantly pre-literate society. The question of how this happened has been an intellectual and scholarly preoccupation of mine for decades, and as a professor at Brown University I seek to bring my students and readers into this very foreign world in order to open their eyes to new possibilities in the present.

Michael's book list on how to read the Bible

Michael L. Satlow Why did Michael love this book?

I’m going to cheat here and put this book together with two others, The Jewish Annotated New Testament and The Jewish Annotated Apocrypha. Each of these three books has the biblical text; explanatory notes that include scholarly perspectives; and a lengthy set of essays by well-noted scholars. All of these parts of the Bible were written (primarily) by and for Jews in antiquity—including much of the New Testament—and these books seek to recover how they were read and functioned in antiquity.

By Adele Berlin (editor), Marc Zvi Brettler (editor),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

First published in 2004, The Jewish Study Bible is a landmark, one-volume resource tailored especially for the needs of students of the Hebrew Bible. It has won acclaim from readers in all religious traditions.

The Jewish Study Bible combines the entire Hebrew Bible-in the celebrated Jewish Publication Society TANAKH Translation-with explanatory notes, introductory materials, and essays by leading biblical scholars on virtually every aspect of the text, the world in which it was written, its interpretation, and its role in Jewish life. The quality of scholarship, easy-to-navigate format, and vibrant supplementary features bring the ancient text to life.

This second…


Book cover of A Guide for the Perplexed

Michael L. Satlow Author Of How the Bible Became Holy

From my list on how to read the Bible.

Why am I passionate about this?

No matter how you read it, the Bible is a strange book. It weaves together beautiful narratives and deadly-dull genealogies; uplifting messages with passages that many today find ethically repulsive. Yet it gained an extraordinary authority, in a predominantly pre-literate society. The question of how this happened has been an intellectual and scholarly preoccupation of mine for decades, and as a professor at Brown University I seek to bring my students and readers into this very foreign world in order to open their eyes to new possibilities in the present.

Michael's book list on how to read the Bible

Michael L. Satlow Why did Michael love this book?

Although this is my fun pick, it is also a serious book that I use in the classroom. There have been countless attempts by modern authors to retell biblical stories. Horn’s book creatively transfers the biblical story of Joseph and his brothers to the modern period, with a feminist twist. This book is engaging and coherent enough that it can be read and enjoyed without any knowledge of the Bible or Jewish history, although such knowledge makes it all the better!

By Dara Horn,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Guide for the Perplexed as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Software prodigy Josie Ashkenazi has invented an application that records everything its users do. When she visits the Library of Alexandria as a tech consultant, she is abducted in Egypt's postrevolutionary chaos with only a copy of the philosopher Maimonides' famous work to anchor her-leaving her jealous sister Judith free to take over her life. A century earlier, Cambridge professor Solomon Schechter arrives in Egypt, hunting for a medieval archive hidden in a Cairo synagogue. Their stories intertwine in this spellbinding novel of how technology changes memory and how memory shapes the soul.


Book cover of The Rational Bible: Exodus

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?

This is the most sensible, persuasive commentary on the Book of Exodus that a contemporary reader could want.

Prager’s pages on the Ten Commandments alone are brilliant and revelatory. But he excels throughout in addressing modern anxieties about a book over 3000 years old and its many insights into human striving. When you’re through with this one, move on to his Genesis!

By Dennis Prager,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

NATIONAL BESTSELLER

"Dennis Prager has put together one of the most stunning commentaries in modern times on the most profound document in human history. It's a must-read that every person, religious and non-religious, should buy and peruse every night before bed. It'll make you think harder, pray more ardently, and understand your civilization better." — Ben Shapiro, host of "The Ben Shapiro Show"

"Dennis Prager’s commentary on Exodus will rank among the greatest modern Torah commentaries. That is how important I think it is. And I am clearly not alone... It might well be on its way to becoming the…


Book cover of The New Oxford Annotated Bible with Apocrypha

Gregory Hill Author Of Zebra Skin Shirt

From my list on that care not a whit about traditional plotting.

Why am I passionate about this?

You know that poem that instructs us to "see a world in a grain of sand?" I've done that, friend. It turns out that the world you see in a closely-examined grain of sand is largely covered with sand, each grain of which contains another world. For reasons that I can't explain (well, the Autism Spectrum Disorder might have something to do with it), I'm compelled to write novels that explore and exploit, obliquely or otherwise, the sub-worlds lurking within the grains of sand that are scattered across the American High Plains. 

Gregory's book list on that care not a whit about traditional plotting

Gregory Hill Why did Gregory love this book?

Another book that takes forever to read, and another book that I haven't yet finished. Why this particular edition? Because, in addition to the fragmentation that is inherent to all versions of The Bible, the NOABWA has footnotes. Enough footnotes to make the previously-mentioned Infinite Jest look like a half-assed high school research paper. Those footnotes ensure that, even when a plot threatens to show itself, the reader will be immediately distracted by a reminder that nobody actually knows how long a cubit is. If a book that hasn't even defined the value of its base units can become a bestseller, then, by gum, I can write a novel in which the concept of time is stretched and folded like the crust of a croissant. And so can you!

By Michael Coogan (editor), Marc Brettler (editor), Carol Newsom (editor) , Pheme Perkins (editor)

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The New Oxford Annotated Bible with Apocrypha as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

For over 50 years students, professors, clergy, and general readers have relied on The New Oxford Annotated Bible as an unparalleled authority in Study Bibles. This fifth edition of the Annotated remains the best way to study and understand the Bible at home or in the classroom. This thoroughly revised and substantially updated edition contains the best scholarship informed by recent discoveries and anchored in the solid Study Bible tradition.

* Introductions and extensive annotations for each book by acknowledged experts in the field provide context and guidance.
* Introductory essays on major groups of biblical writings - Pentateuch, Prophets,…


Book cover of Counted With the Stars

Mesu Andrews Author Of The Pharaoh's Daughter

From my list on Egyptian history intersects with biblical Moses.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a spiritual mutt. Raised with a variegated Christian background (Mom Charismatic, Dad Quaker, Grandparents Wesleyan), I rejected all things biblical and turned to Jack Daniels for Southern Comfort. In college I reconnected with a high school friend who demonstrated God was real by his changed life and showed the Bible’s concrete historical connections in a way I could understand. The words that had so confounded me as a child began to make sense. I dumped Jack Daniels, married that friend, and no longer needed Southern Comfort. Now, through research, study, and a little imagination, I write biblical novels, chug Living Water, and tell Bible stories to eight grandkids. 

Mesu's book list on Egyptian history intersects with biblical Moses

Mesu Andrews Why did Mesu love this book?

I love biblical historical fiction because there are so many ways to write it. Some write about specific biblical characters, while others—like Connilyn Cossette—write about biblical events and then create fictional characters who become swept up in actual historical events. I’m also completely captured by Cossette’s romantic threads. She expertly hooks my heart into a series by choosing a minor character from the first story and making me care deeply for that hero/heroine by page three of the next book. Her irresistible characters and settings embody the dust, heat, and hardships of Egypt, and the tender romances linger in my memory for years.

By Connilyn Cossette,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Counted With the Stars as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A Story of Love, Desperation, and Hope During a Great Biblical Epoch
Sold into slavery by her father and forsaken by the man she was supposed to marry, young Egyptian Kiya must serve a mistress who takes pleasure in her humiliation. When terrifying plagues strike Egypt, Kiya is in the middle of it all.
To save her older brother and escape the bonds of slavery, Kiya flees with the Hebrews during the Great Exodus. She finds herself utterly dependent on a fearsome God she's only just beginning to learn about, and in love with a man who despises her people.…


Book cover of The Shadow Women

Mesu Andrews Author Of The Pharaoh's Daughter

From my list on Egyptian history intersects with biblical Moses.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a spiritual mutt. Raised with a variegated Christian background (Mom Charismatic, Dad Quaker, Grandparents Wesleyan), I rejected all things biblical and turned to Jack Daniels for Southern Comfort. In college I reconnected with a high school friend who demonstrated God was real by his changed life and showed the Bible’s concrete historical connections in a way I could understand. The words that had so confounded me as a child began to make sense. I dumped Jack Daniels, married that friend, and no longer needed Southern Comfort. Now, through research, study, and a little imagination, I write biblical novels, chug Living Water, and tell Bible stories to eight grandkids. 

Mesu's book list on Egyptian history intersects with biblical Moses

Mesu Andrews Why did Mesu love this book?

When I started writing biblical historical fiction in the early 2000s, I found only one or two novels about Moses. Shadow Women was especially helpful because it spanned Moses’s whole life, which meant it also encompassed the biblical narrative from Exodus to Deuteronomy. It was like Cliff Notes for four Books of the Bible! As my writing friendships have expanded over the past two decades, I’ve come to know Angela Hunt personally and discovered that she holds a PhD in Biblical Studies, which gives me even more confidence in the historical and biblical accuracy of her many biblical novels. She continues to be one of my favorite authors. 

By Angela Hunt,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From Library Journal

The three main women in Moses's life narrate his dramatic story from their perspectives. Miryam, his seven-year-old sister, and Merytamon, his 14-year-old adoptive mother, cover his early years as an Egyptian prince. Nine-year-old Zipporah, his future wife, tells of Moses' time with her father, a priest, and their family. After God reveals himself to Moses, Miryam recounts the liberation of the Jewish people and their escape from Egypt, and Zipporah and Miryam recall the years in the wilderness. The animosity and jealousy Miryam feels for both Merytomon and Zipporah flood the narrative, poisoning their happiness, but Moses…


Book cover of Miriam

Stephanie Landsem Author Of The Tomb: A Novel of Martha

From my list on bringing women of the Bible to life.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a writer who has traveled the world in real life and traveled through time in my research and imagination. In the past dozen years, I’ve researched historical women of the Bible for my own novels and have come to realize that women of the ancient world were much like women of today. Biblical women had dreams and fell in love. They worried about their children, politics, and the world around them. They wished for security and happiness just as we do. I have a special regard for historical fiction that brings these ancient women to life—honoring their lives and their struggles.

Stephanie's book list on bringing women of the Bible to life

Stephanie Landsem Why did Stephanie love this book?

I loved Miriam—one of many of Mesu Andrew’s novels of Old Testament women—because this aged woman brings a fresh perspective to the well-known story of the Exodus from Egypt. Her lived experience from slavery to freedom—and from despair to hopeas she searches for the God of her brother, Moses, is both familiar and utterly new. Mesu Andrews weaves a beautiful tapestry of a story that breathes new and fascinating life into a familiar story.

By Mesu Andrews,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Hebrews call me prophetess, the Egyptians a seer.
But I am neither. I am simply a watcher of Israel
and the messenger of El Shaddai.
When He speaks to me in dreams, I interpret. When He whispers a melody, I sing.

At eighty-six, Miriam had devoted her entire life to loving El Shaddai and serving His people as both midwife and messenger. Yet when her brother Moses returns to Egypt from exile, he brings a disruptive message. God has a new name – Yahweh – and has declared a radical deliverance for the Israelites.
 
 Miriam and her beloved family…


Book cover of The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt

Mesu Andrews Author Of The Pharaoh's Daughter

From my list on Egyptian history intersects with biblical Moses.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a spiritual mutt. Raised with a variegated Christian background (Mom Charismatic, Dad Quaker, Grandparents Wesleyan), I rejected all things biblical and turned to Jack Daniels for Southern Comfort. In college I reconnected with a high school friend who demonstrated God was real by his changed life and showed the Bible’s concrete historical connections in a way I could understand. The words that had so confounded me as a child began to make sense. I dumped Jack Daniels, married that friend, and no longer needed Southern Comfort. Now, through research, study, and a little imagination, I write biblical novels, chug Living Water, and tell Bible stories to eight grandkids. 

Mesu's book list on Egyptian history intersects with biblical Moses

Mesu Andrews Why did Mesu love this book?

I always start my research at a library. I find the shelves on Egyptian history, grab a stack of books, plop down on the floor, and read until I can’t feel my legs. There’s never a shortage of Egyptology resources, but why must the scholars always disagree? Only by reading widely can I find a golden thread of agreement across the many sources. Oftentimes, a particular scholar will emerge as the leading expert on a particular time period and appear in a majority of quoted material and/or bibliographies. The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt was both easy to understand and included interesting details while also following the consensus of the best New Kingdom scholars.

By Ian Shaw,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The essays and illustrations in this history portray the emergence and development of the distinctive civilization of the ancient Egyptians, from their prehistoric origins to their incorporation into the Roman Empire, covering the period from around 7000 BCE to 311. The authors outline the principal sequence of political events, including detailed examinations of the three so-called "intermediate periods" which were previously regarded as "dark ages" and are only now beginning to be better understood. Against the backdrop of the rise and fall of ruling dynasties, this book also examines cultural and social patterns, including stylistic developments in art and literature.…


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