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Book Review: The Letter and the Scroll, What Archaelogy Tells Us About The Bible by Robin Currie and Stephen G. Hyslop

Link for the book @ Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/Letter-Scroll-Archaeology-Tells-About/dp/1426205147
Hardback $28.00
Not available on Kindle

Published by National Geographic November 2009/245 pages
Non-Fiction/Bible History/Biblical Archeology

Link for book @ publisher:
http://shop.nationalgeographic.com/ngs/product/books/culture%2C-history-and-religion/culture-and-religion/the-letter-and-the-scroll
and to see more about book:
http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/channel/mysteries-of-the-bible-scroll

If you clicked on the above link for the book at Amazon you can read the reviews that were written. The reviews are not good. I appears mistakes were made in some of the photographs. As for me, since I can not read Hebrew or Greek, I would not be able to tell if the script is upside down or not. My review of this book will be based on my own opinion with what knowledge I do have.

I was interested in this book and borrowed it from the library because I've been looking for more information on the history of the Bible. Specifically the manuscripts, codex's, papyrus that was used to write the various translations of the Bible. I'm finding it difficult to find these books, especially from our public library.

In the later part of this book, The Letter and the Scroll, there is information about and wonderful large photographs of the oldest known fragment of the New Testament. The fragment is 3 1/2 inches high and less than 3 inches wide. The reading is in Greek and from John's Gospel chapter 18 verses 31-33 on one side and verses 37-38 on the other side. The fragment was bought in about 1920 in an Egyptian market, but it was 14 years later that a student translated it. It is believed to have been written in the last part of the 1st Century C.E.
Picture below is of this fragment.

In one of the final pages of the book is information about the earliest Christian Church which was discovered in Megiddo. This Church was a worship place for believer's, including those from a nearby Roman camp. Remember this was before Constantine legalized Christianity. At this time believer's met in peoples homes. Archaeologist's believe this ruin was the first Church building. Megiddo is in northern Israel. Written on the mosaic floor of this early Church is the names of four women, I find this astonishing that it would be names of women that are imprinted in this wonder! Also, an inscription was found with the words, Jesus Christ (this is the oldest inscription found with His name).
Photograph below is of the mosaic tile. Notice the fish, ichthys--the early symbol of Christ.

The Letter and the Scroll begins at the beginning of the Bible with the Old Testament character Abraham, moving through with the stories of Moses, David, Israel and Judah, the Babylonians and Persians, Romans, and to the New Testament. 

I enjoyed this book!
I was fascinated with the photographs and with the information that I gleaned from the earliest of manuscripts. I learned more information about the Babylonians and Persians--which I knew very little before.
This book is not huge on information, it is small, for a lay person such as myself.
If indeed mistakes were made, I hope they will be corrected.
I am still on the hunt for more books on the earliest of Biblical manuscripts. I just made a phone call to a nearby university, I hope they will be able to help.

Blissful Reading!
Annette

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