Thursday, October 3, 2019

Bruce Feilers Walking the Bible Essay Example for Free

Bruce Feilers Walking the Bible Essay Bruce Feiler gives his readers new perspectives on the background of the events told in the Five Books of Moses, and on the Bible itself. The book is concerned with how the land itself had a deep influence (and still has a deep influence) on the bible and the spiritual culture of the people, and the author attempts to demonstrate how the bible is still relevant today. The book is an attempt to provide a cultural and historical context for the Bible. It is peppered with the authors thoughtful insights on the relationship of the land and its people, and relates the path of (re)discovery of faith as a result of the journey, while also providing a good starting point for anyone desiring to travel through the Middle East. The book, of course, is not an objective, scholarly work, and should not be taken as such. Although scholarly views of the events outlined in the five books and of the land and culture relevant to these events are presented, it is by no means a scientific work, as obvious from the religious theme of the book. Feiler takes the reader on a two-year exploration of the first five books of the Bible, by actually trekking through the land in which the events in the five books occur. The land itself is the focus of the book. He provides his insights on the effects of the land of the people, ancient and modern, and relates the views of the Jews on the relationship between god and the people. He describes the wilderness as instrumental in uniting the ancient Israelites as a people. He describes his experience in the desert, the journey through which Feiler states is the core of the first five books. It is in the desert where he experienced the â€Å"raw human emotion involved in being in a stark place, confronting the limitations of ones upbringing, and trying to forge a new identity in the midst of a difficult, transforming journey. † Feiler did not have a strong motivating purpose at the start of his journey, but he relates the significant change in attitude that the journey brought to himself. His initial intention was merely to be a tourist of sorts, using the Bible as a travel guide to experience and appreciate the land in which the events in the first five books of the Bible occur, but when he starts his journey, he finds out that there is a palpable â€Å"connection† between the land and the people, and he stops seeing the Bible as merely a travel guide. Through his journey he develops insights into himself concerning his faith, particularly on his identity as a Jew. Feiler â€Å"rediscovers† his faith as a result of this journey, and provides some unique perspectives on the five books of Moses. Of course, as it focuses on the land, the book is also a travel memoir, a travel guide of sorts, providing useful tidbits for readers intending to journey there as well. Through his gustatory descriptions of geographical features, he manages to convey his impression of the sacredness of the land. He provides some background on scientific and historical arguments that have concerned the authenticity of the bible, but ultimately demonstrates that such concerns on empirical facts have little bearing on faith. He also outlines the influences of Israels relationships with neighboring lands, particularly Egypt and Mesopotamia, and how the culture of Israel was deeply connected to the land itself. The book focuses on faith, on history, and on travel, all in the context of the first five books of the Hebrew Bible. As a work of literature, it is not outstanding. As a travel memoir, it provides some useful and entertaining facts about the geography and culture of Israel. But the book is mostly focused on the author himself, on his views and insights gained from his journey; the book succeeds ultimately as a spiritual undertaking.

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