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Is the Bible True? : How Modern Debate and Discoveries Affirm the Essence of the Scripture
by Jeffery L. Sheler

"What this book is not: a partisan (Jewish or Christian) account declaring the absolute historical accuracy of the Bible. What it is: a fair-minded exploration of this question of the Bible's historical truth. Author Jeffery Sheler is a journalist (religion correspondent for U.S. News and World Report) who relies extensively on interviews, onsite reports from Israel and Egypt, and a lot of library research. Instead of claiming to offer any startling breakthroughs, the book gives the reader an evenhanded treatment of this immensely controversial text. In a style that is clear and conversational, Scheler walks the reader through key moments in the Hebrew Bible and in the New Testament, exploring the grounds for the historical truth behind such figures as Abraham, Moses, and David, and behind such scriptural accounts as the Flood and the Exodus. Sheler retells the astonishing story of the discovery of the Qumran (Dead Sea) scrolls, and explores their significance for our understanding of first-century Judaism and early Christianity. He also discusses at length the work of the controversial Jesus Seminar scholars. His own conclusions, while not evangelical, are also not deconstructive: "After all of the scholarly scrutiny," he writes, "the Bible emerges affirmed but not unscathed, a credible but complex chronicle of humanity's encounter with God."

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