Suggested Reading

Books about Israel

Suggested background reading about Israel, Holy Land, Judaism, Christianity,  and biblical archaeology

THE SOURCE, by James Michener. Gives a good feel for the history of Israel, both biblical and modern, with an emphasis on the people of Israel, culture, and struggle to recreate the Jewish homeland. The book centers around the history of the biblical city of Meggido (called Makkor) which was fortified by King Solomon. It’s also the place of Armageddon, final battlefield in the New Testament book of Revelations.
AN ARCHAEOLOGICAL BIOGRAPHY, by Hershel Shanks, published in 1995. Outlines major historical events in Jerusalem through the lens of archaeology. Dated but good.

BIBLICAL ARCHAEOLOGICAL REVIEW, a popular journal of biblical archaeology in Israel and the Mediterranean basin.
O’ JERUSALEM, by Dominique Lapierre & Larry Collins. Captures events and struggles surrounding the creation of modern Israel in 1948, and centering around the battle for Jerusalem, as seen through both Jewish and  Arab eye.

JEWS GOD AND HISTORY, by Max Dimont. Weaves world history, Jewish history, Judaism, Christianity and the Bible, into one fantastic volume. Helps grasp the “big picture”.

TO BE A JEW, by Rabbi Hayim Donin. This guide to Judaism and Jewish observance in contemporary life. The book manages to lay out clearly and concisely the traditional laws and customs of Judaism, and includes an introduction to the history, ethics, and underlying creed of the Jewish faith.

JESUS OF THE GOSPELS, by Arthur Zannoni – excellent. Good popular treatment of modern biblical scholarship on Jesus, his Jewishness and the world he lived in.

DESIRE OF THE EVERLASTING HILLS, by Thomas Cahill, published in 1999. Insightful, easy read. Popularizes some of the scholarship about Jesus and the world he grew up in.
WAY OF THE LORD, by Tom Wright, who addresses the idea of travel as pilgrimage. Highly recommended for persons who are thinking about going to Israel, the Holy Land, or anywhere new.  God has been at work in people.