There are times when a book surprises you; you hoped it would be a good read, but you never expected it to be a great read. Walking Through the Bible: A Journey by Land Through the Five Books of Moses, by Bruce Feiler was such a book for me.
Like many Jews and Christians homes, the Bible on Feiler’s bookself was only gathering dust. He felt disconnected from the Bible and from the message and God that it revealed. Feiler decided to reconnect with the Bible through travel. The book is a journal of Feiler’s experiences and impressions as he travels the lands of the Bible. From Noah’s Mt. Ararat, to Abraham’s Ur of the Chaldees to Joseph’s Egypt to Moses’ Mt. Nebo, the book is filled with graphic descriptions of the land and observations on the archeological findings.
The book would be well worth its price simply for its archeological details and for its descriptions of the land and the people. But, the book is more than this. Feiler discovered that the science of archeology supports a great number of the Biblical stories. Not all things are factual, but the stories of the Bible are often based on fact. He met several archeologists and academics who have developed a profound respect for the Bible.
When he began his travels, Feiler was reminded that the Bible happened in a place; the Bible’s roots were in the land. He reflects in his book how significantly the geography of the land has affected the narrative of the Bible. As Feiler walked the land and met the people, he reconnected with the Bible and its stories. The stories became his stories and he invites the reader to allow the stories of the Bible to become his or her stories, also. The message of the Bible spoke to him and the God of the Bible became more real to him. At the end of his journey, Feiler writes that, “The Bible is forever applicable and it is always now … It lives because it never dies.”
This book is not only factual, it is inspirational. By reading this book, I have a greater knowledge and a clearer understanding of the Bible. Though I never experienced the level of disconnection that Feiler did, I certainly gained a renewed respect for the stories of the Bible and an increased interest in the truth they contain.
I heartily recommend this book, with the prayer that it might touch your heart and spirit as it did mine.