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K. D. Cooper "ecola" (Adelaide, South Australia)
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The Moses Mystery: The Egyptian Origins of the Jewish People
The Moses Mystery: The Egyptian Origins of the Jewish People
by Gary Greenberg
Edition: Paperback
Price: £2.31

4.0 out of 5 stars The Right Title: It is a Mystery, 17 May 2014
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I am a Christian, and an old one. Bible studies have in no way been part of my career. I am not an "atheist" . The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary gives 2 definitions of the word "agnostic". First, it defines the word as "someone who holds the view that nothing can be known of the existence of God or anything beyond material phenomena". Secondly it says: "A person who is uncertain or non-committal about a particular thing".
I believe that humans possess something more than mere intellect. It is the Soul. Because why, no matter where they are, all humans have believed that there is something beyond the mere "knowable"?
Unfortunately the Bible, both the Hebrew section (the "Old Testament") and the New Testament offend our "intellects". We cannot see it as "history"; and our souls need something to support our beliefs. Our souls need our intellects to give credence to our beliefs.
This book, written by a man of the Jewish faith, sets out his version of the origins of the Jewish people. It looks particularly at the Exodus, and the "Patriarchs" (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob). He boldly asserts that what the Bible says about the Patriarchs is "false". And he then proceeds to set out, not based entirely on evidence, but on the impossibility that what the Bible asserts about them could be right.
I can't say that I believe that what he claims is right or wrong. There may be others with an opposing view. But if those authors can be seen as objective, even if, perhaps like Greenberg, they unconsciously and unintentionally see things in a certain way, then that merely highlights the problem we have when we read history, or indeed when we read, or see the presentation of today's "News".
For all that, though, it is an important book.
I would recommend that one should read this together with another of his books "101 Myths of the Bible". Along with these one should also read the works of Israel Finkelstein and Neil Asher Silberman, as well as the works of Bishop John S Spong, who aims to rescue the Bible from a Fundamentalist viewpoint.
I refer you to the Amazon sites for information about them. I purchased practically all of them through its network.
My conclusion: They are all eye-openers and very good reads. But, this is clear: We Will Never Know.
Kenneth Cooper


Hercule Poirot's Christmas (Poirot)
Hercule Poirot's Christmas (Poirot)
by Agatha Christie
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Only one Un-Christie-like flaw, 17 May 2014
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The greatness of this novel are her creations: the pictures she gives us about these characters: Simeon Lee, those of his sons that were born "on the right side of the blanket", and their wives. They are both poignant and convincing. One can easily imagine Simeon's anger that none of those sons had produced any heirs. Also, although she was dead, I had no trouble imagining what Simeon's wife was like; and understand why he rejected her. I could easily imagine, too, how she played on their son David. He was at once, the son least like his father in appearance, but the most like him in his maintaining anger and resentment against his father. And at the end, David was a different man: at peace with himself: not because Simeon was gone, but because he saw his father for what he was.
The flaw, was the murder scene. It was complicated, and it would have required a knowledge of where it was in the house, and what was in it. And from that, the planning. And then, the setting up of the scene itself. Each of those raise their own questions.
I would have loved to have given this novel 5 stars. It is still a great one. It is the work of a genius. And Agatha Christie was that. The most widely read author in the world, both yesterday, today, and no doubt tomorrow.
Kenneth Cooper


David and Solomon: In Search of the Bible's Sacred Kings and the Roots of the Western Tradition: In Search of the Bible's Sacred Kings and the Roots of Western Civilization
David and Solomon: In Search of the Bible's Sacred Kings and the Roots of the Western Tradition: In Search of the Bible's Sacred Kings and the Roots of Western Civilization
by Israel Finkelstein
Edition: Paperback
Price: £16.99

4.0 out of 5 stars The Historicity of The Bible, 13 Feb. 2014
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The authors of this book, Israeli archaeologists, look here at perhaps the two central characters of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament. I had read firstly their other/earlier book 'The Bible Unearthed' which looked at that Bible/Testament as a whole.

Having been been brought up in a vaguely Christian environment - going to church on Sundays, being educated in an Anglican College, I generally accepted that The Bible, both Testaments, was history. But not completely so, of course. I didn't accept that Adam and Eve were our ultimate ancestors, or that Solomon had all those wives and concubines. I didn't take my disbelief further than those and other, individual episodes.

'David and Solomon' is solid reading; but for those readers who want to learn, and, more particularly, understand what the Bible actually is, this book, and the other one, is essential reading.

The authors have shown, in both of these books, that many of the stories in the OT, (The Exodus, for example), were written several centuries after the alleged events. After all, they were written by humans.

The important thing is, although these two books question the historicity of the Old Testament, they should not shatter ones faith. That goes beyond written words.

One of the reviewers recommending the book on its back cover is John Shelby Spong. He has written a number of books also on the historicity of the Bible, and in some of them, looks at the New Testament, 'Born of a Woman', looking at the Virgin Birth', for example. I would recommend, for those people who want to take their studies further, to scroll down the Amazon page listing his books.

David Cooper


The Jerusalem Puzzle
The Jerusalem Puzzle
by Laurence O'Bryan
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

3.0 out of 5 stars A bit of a letdown, 13 Aug. 2013
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This review is from: The Jerusalem Puzzle (Paperback)
I don't know whether it will be fair to publish this review, because I read it, and 'The Istanbul Puzzle' in the shadow of the Simon Toyne trilogy - 'Sanctus', 'The Key' and 'The Tower' - all of which were closer to being page-turners.

I can say, though it is easy to read and I can't say anything negative about it.


A Journal of the Plague Year (Dover Thrift Editions)
A Journal of the Plague Year (Dover Thrift Editions)
by Daniel Defoe
Edition: Paperback
Price: £2.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A grim narrative, 13 Aug. 2013
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I only knew of the Plague through my school studies. I bought the book to see if I could an idea of what it must have been like to live through it.

It takes the form of a narrative of someone apparently living in London at the time. What makes it effective is the almost unrelenting coldness of that narrative. It could almost be an official report. And, on having read it and thought about it, that it was the best way to do it.


Horse Beaded Bookmark
Horse Beaded Bookmark
by Peter Pauper Press
Edition: Misc. Supplies
Price: £1.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just what I wanted, 13 Aug. 2013
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I gave this, and the other bookmarks, the top ratings, because they are what I wanted. I read several books at a time - on different subjects, as well as novels (my book purchases from Amazon show that). - and so I need good bookmarks. Until now I have been using bus tickets.

Also, the image of the horse 'in flight' is marvelous. It shows dramatically what a beautiful animal it is.


Christmas at Downton Abbey (2011) [Blu-ray] [Region Free]
Christmas at Downton Abbey (2011) [Blu-ray] [Region Free]
Dvd ~ Hugh Bonneville
Offered by ____THE_BEST_ON_DVD____
Price: £6.52

5.0 out of 5 stars Another masterpiece, 24 May 2013
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To write about this in isolation to the other series surrounding it is not possible; because it is part of the overall story, with nearly all of its characters known to us.

But what I will say, most firmly. to those that might be thinking of buying it, that they should also buy the first two series as well. It will not mean much in isolation. And if, like me you buy series 3, you should find no flagging. It still maintains its 5-star quality.

But with a warning. It ends in the most heart-wrenching way. So, maybe wait until series 4 appears.


Game of Thrones - Season 1-2 Complete [Blu-ray] [2013] [Region Free]
Game of Thrones - Season 1-2 Complete [Blu-ray] [2013] [Region Free]
Dvd ~ Sean Bean
Price: £52.01

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good. But with a proviso, 24 May 2013
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It's always difficult to relate and assess a film which is based on a book; but any attempt to do so, with the giant saga coming from the mind of George R. R. Martin will only invite disappointment, if one is relying on its faithfulness to the saga's content alone.

The strength of the film version here is the acting; particularly with regard, for example, the portrayal of the evil Littlefinger.

As I said, given that proviso, the season 1-2, is gripping to watch;


The World of Blandings: (Blandings Castle)
The World of Blandings: (Blandings Castle)
by P.G. Wodehouse
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.96

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wodehouse is a master., 24 May 2013
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I originally only knew his Jeeves books, which themselves rate 5 stars; and this series carries on the gentle laugh at the upper levels of English society. In the former it needed the steadiness of Jeeves to sort out the messes his master and those around him got into; but in the latter, the hilarious incompetency shown in attempts of the Efficient Baxter, to do the same is one of the great features of the book.


Wolf Beaded Bookmark
Wolf Beaded Bookmark
by Peter Pauper Press
Edition: Misc. Supplies
Price: £1.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Adequately serves its purpose, 24 May 2013
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My comment above says it all. As a fan of the "Game of Thrones" saga, with the positive importance given to wolves there. it acts as an appropriate reminder, that wolves are more than wild dogs.


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