The Gifts of the Jews: How a Tribe of Desert Nomads Changed the Way Everyone Thinks and Feels (Google eBook)
The author of the runaway bestseller How the Irish Saved Civilization has done it again. In The Gifts of the Jews Thomas Cahill takes us on another enchanting journey into history, once again recreating a time when the actions of a small band of people had repercussions that are still felt today.
The Gifts of the Jews reveals the critical change that made western civilization possible. Within the matrix of ancient religions and philosophies, life was seen as part of an endless cycle of birth and death; time was like a wheel, spinning ceaselessly. Yet somehow, the ancient Jews began to see time differently. For them, time had a beginning and an end; it was a narrative, whose triumphant conclusion would come in the future. From this insight came a new conception of men and women as individuals with unique destinies--a conception that would inform the Declaration of Independence--and our hopeful belief in progress and the sense that tomorrow can be better than today. As Thomas Cahill narrates this momentous shift, he also explains the real significance of such Biblical figures as Abraham and Sarah, Moses and the Pharaoh, Joshua, Isaiah, and Jeremiah.
Full of compelling stories, insights and humor, The Gifts of the Jews is an irresistible exploration of history as fascinating and fun as How the Irish Saved Civilization.
BONUS MATERIAL: This ebook edition includes an excerpt from Thomas Cahill's Heretics and Heroes.
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A story half-toldUser Review - Christianbook.com
I wasn't sure what I was getting into when I purchased a copy of Thomas Cahill's "The Gifts of the Jews." Having read and enjoyed his "How the Irish Saved Civilization," I was hoping for more than I found in this one. The positive side of the book is that it is very well written and flows in an interesting and entertaining manner. In a style that blends humor with the academic, it relates the story of the Jewish people from pre-Abrahamic days through the end of the Old Testament. It is, in a sense, it is an Old Testament theology presented with a theologically-liberal bias. Cahill captures much of the ethical teaching of the Old Testament while claiming that most of the stories are mythical, thereby missing their true point. Numerous passages are quoted, but very few with references or annotation. I found this to be an annoying weakness to the book. Although he provides much food for thought, the fact that he does not believe the Scriptures to have been inspired (and, therefore, not inerrant) seriously weakens his credibility with evangelical readers. In fact, he takes a pretty harsh slap at those individuals near the end of the book when he writes, "It is no longer possible to believe that every word of the Bible was inspired by God. Fundamentalists still do, but they can keep up self-delusion only by scrupulously avoiding all forms of scientific inquiry." In other words, he believes they are not as smart as he is! Being confronted with such a charge, Cahill puts me in mind of a Bart Ehrman...although I believe I would find Cahill to be a much more interesting dinner companion. The author can be crude at times and is also guilty of assuming what has no basis except in his own thought. But the most serious criticism of the book is his omission of any serious discussion concerning the messianic hope of the Jews, which was realized by those who welcomed the first advent Jesus Christ. Cahill makes no outward claim to being a "Christian," at least in the historic and tr ...
Review: The Gifts Of The Jews (Hinges of History #2)User Review - Kathleen - Goodreads
This is book #2 in the Hinges of History series. In The Gift of the Jews, Cahill argues that the Hebrew people introduced critically important concepts to Western Civilization -- and eventually to the ... Read full review
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