In the Beginning

By Harry Beckhough
September 2002
Book Guild
ISBN: 1-85776-618-0
240 pages, 5 x 8 3/4"
$38.50 Hardcover


"Can there be anything more provocative than the opening words of the Bible?" asks the author of this intriguing study of the Pentateuch. Backed up by wide reading and scholarship, Beckhough takes a fresh look at Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. Ranging in content from the beginning of the universe to scientific theories, this book strives to find answers to eternal questions. It is now generally agreed that the same unknown author, "J," wrote Pentateuch.

Beckhough explores this shadowy figure and the shift, for political and religious reasons, from the savage God Yahweh of the early books, to the more distant benevolent God of the later books of the Old Testament. The history of early religions is explored and on the way stories of heroic leadership, treachery and stoicism are re-interrupted. In its conclusion, this book turns its focus on the growth of global terrorism born of religious fanaticism.


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