“Seekers of the truth have long questioned the true identity of many mysterious and legendary persons and groups of people introduced in the sacred texts of Judaism and Christianity….This work is offered as a challenge for readers to dig deeper into the stories presented in biblical narratives, and draw less biased conclusions based on a greater assemblage of available facts.” So begins the author’s introduction to the gem, Mysterious People of the Bible: In the Light of History by Stanley J. St. Clair….. I call this book an interactive read. The book is thoroughly researched with all references and sources listed at the end of each chapter. This is a sure guarantee you will soon enough find yourself armed with book, Bible, and computer as you cross-reference and compare passages from the book with corresponding Bible verses while referencing the internet sites from which the author drew his research. This added ability to be able to follow the author’s trail of research as the chapters unfold was a treat for a research enthusiast and geek like me.
More than just curious observations, these chapters are exquisitely researched tales about some of the less prominent but no less fascinating names in the Bible, names to which I had previously paid little attention, unaware of the importance of their stories. Each chapter revealed a new slant on these mysterious people of the Bible. Who was the Witch of Endor and why did King Saul himself risk seeking her advice when to consult a seer was a serious danger? Who was the mysterious Melchizedek, king of Salem, to whom even the patriarch Abraham tithed a tenth of his spoils?
Many new and intriguing questions were raised in some fascinating research on the surprising number of giants of the Bible. What should we make of the giant Og, the king of Bashan, said to be “the last of the Rephaites”? Who were the Rephaites? And then there is that old matter to be addressed as to who was shaking the family tree in the chapter on the Sons of God who married the Daughters of Men before the Flood, and a look at the intriguing and elusive giants, the Nephilim. There, author St. Clair tells us we can find much to learn about them from the Book of Giants, a book tucked in among the Dead Sea Scrolls. Interestingly, this chapter ends with the observations on the shrouded secrecy of Roswell and Area 51. And, yes, it all ties in quite nicely when you delve into the research links and read with new eyes the chronicles of the lives of these truly fascinating people. For many of us, reading certain parts of the Bible without the benefit of interpretation tools and historical background knowledge can lend to many seeming paradoxes and contradictions among events. The author, through his detailed research, poses questions that generate tremendous food for thought for Bible scholars and buffs alike.
The author also gives compelling information that correlates the migration of many key biblical figures to the British Isles, touching on the Hebrides Islands (the name Hebrides is theorized to derive from “Hebrew”) and the research behind the legend of the Stone of Scone, and touches on the research behind the biblical legends that inspired The DaVinci Code. To learn more.....you will have to read the book!
RATING: *****of *****
~~Mariel Barney Hunkeler, the Cat Herder