Surpassing Wonder by Donald Harman Akenson
The Invention of the Bible and the Talmuds

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With wit, elegance, and clarity, Surpassing Wonder illuminates the ancient Hebrew scriptures, the Christian "New Testament", and the Talmuds of the Rabbis by showing who wrote them, under what circumstances, and why they were given the shape they have. These works constitute the very core of our cultural consciousness and in every century have been hidden from us -- first by priests, then by fundamentalists, and now by narrow scholars.Here, with biting irreverence for prejudice and pretension, Donald Akenson renews our sense of awe before these sacred works by encountering them head-on, by setting them in their historical and political context -- and by daring to speculate that there was one author-editor of the Hebrew scriptures, and one for the Christian New Testament, and that the inventor of the Hebrew scriptures should be credited with constructing the very foundations of Western culture. He simultaneously restores their spiritual power through a just appreciation of the authors' achievement and provides a brilliant expose of how theologians and biblical scholars abuse historical reasoning and evidence in their treatment of the sacred texts.Using images that range from Winnie-the-Pooh to tractor mechanics, this world-renowned historian creates for us a radical reformation of the sacred texts as he breathes new life into our religions and helps us understand, and revere, the heritage that flows from Jerusalem.

About Donald Harman Akenson

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Donald Harman Akenson is Professor of History at Queen's University, Kingston (Canada), and Beamish Professor of Irish Studies at the University of Liverpool, England. A senior editor at McGill-Queen's University Press, he is an award-winning author of numerous books on a wide range of topics, including Surpassing Wonder: The Invention of the Bible and the Talmuds.
Published September 1, 1998 by Mcgill Queens Univ Pr. 658 pages
Genres: History, Religion & Spirituality, Education & Reference. Non-fiction

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Venturing as an amateur into biblical and Judaic studies, historian Akenson (Queen’s University, Ontario) constructs a brilliant integrative theory of continuities and parallels between Hebrew scripture, the New Testament, and rabbinic Judaism.

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Akenson describes his book as a long love letter to the Tanakh, the ""New Testament"" and the Talmuds.

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