The Bible alone among the literatures of ancient cultures has survived down to the present. Here is a brief, succinct study of how this came to be -- not only because of devoted acceptance of the Bible as the word of the one true God who had entered into a covenant with the people of Israel. The religious significance gave motivation to the preservation of the history, legends, law, biographies, myths that are finding constant ratification by the archaeologists and historians today. This book examines the stories of the Bible -- the books that make up the Old Testament as non-Jews know it, against an historical survey of the text in its various forms, translations and commentaries, against the findings of scholars, theologians, philosophers. Among the ""stories"" retold is the story of Creation, the stories of Rebecca, Jacob, Joseph and Johan, of names and family relationships, of success and failure, of the lessons the stories teach. Controversial -- but provocative reading.