Who's Who in the Bible (Reference Books)

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9780140512120: Who's Who in the Bible (Reference Books)

While providing biographies of over 450 biblical characters in the Old and New Testaments and the Apocrypha, this book lists and locates particular works of art that have contributed to their continuing fame. It also provides comment on, and appraisal of, many of the biblical characters and, in particular, shows how the Bible's stories and personalities have reappeared in literature and art over the last 2000 years.

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In tribute to the Bible's everlasting characters, author Peter Calvocoressi assembled a concise listing of biographies from both the Old and the New Testament. Unlike an encyclopaedia, a "Who's Who" is a select directory, "to which entry has to be gained by fame or favour", according to Calvocoressi. As a result, each character can be linked to a pivotal story in the Bible. The 450 listings range from short paragraphs (such as Bartholomew's brief mention as one of the 12 apostles) to two-page essays, such as the one devoted to Mark. Speaking of this "evangelist and saint", the author writes, "Mark alone records the presence at Jesus' arrest of a young man in a white cloth who followed Jesus when all others fled but was attacked and forced to flee naked". Was this Mark, Calvocoressi wonders? "If so, he has inserted himself modestly in his own work like the artists ... in Italian Renaissance pictures or Alfred Hitchcock who does likewise in his films". It is this kind of observation that makes Calvocoressi's directory so inviting as well as informative. -- Gail Hudson

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