THE WORLD'S GREATEST STORY: The Epic of the Jewish People in Biblical Times by Joan Comay

THE WORLD'S GREATEST STORY: The Epic of the Jewish People in Biblical Times

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A simple, readable paraphrase of the Bible, generously interspersed with quotations (from the RSV) and commentary. Comay isn't a scholar, but she's done her homework in archaeology, textual criticism, Near Eastern history, etc., and newcomers to biblical studies should find her book stimulating and useful. For theology she follows a moderately conservative policy of taking all accounts of miracles and the supernatural at face value, avoiding both devotional reflection and demythologizing analysis. Her interests in general are ethnic rather than religious, and so her chapter on the Maccabean revolt, for example, runs longer than the chapters on the prophets and the psalms combined. An unsurprising slant, given the fact that Comay is married to a high-ranking Israeli diplomat and has taken an active part in her country's public life. Yet, apart from her bombastic title, she steers scrupulously clear of chauvinism, and makes no mention at all of modern Israel. There are, on the other hand, several careful, conciliatory references to Jesus and Christianity. In fact, Comay's work should appeal to a broad spectrum of both Christian and Jewish readers. It may look, with scores of (mediocre) woodcuts, photographs, maps, and glossy illustrations splashed across its pages, like a predictable coffee table item, but, thanks to the text, it's more than that. A thoughtful, tasteful performance.

Pub Date: Oct. 2nd, 1978
Publisher: Holt, Rinehart & Winston