Who's Who in the Bible: Illustrated Edition (Penguin Reference Books)

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9780140514261: Who's Who in the Bible: Illustrated Edition (Penguin Reference Books)

Containing biographies of more than 450 biblical characters from both the Old and New Testaments and the Apocrypha, this colorful edition describes who the people in the Bible are, what they did, and how they have lived on in the imagination, hearts, and souls of readers throughout the ages. Moreover, the book examines how these biblical personages have endured from generation to generation, inspiring innumerable works of art -- in stone, in glass, on canvas, in music, in prose, and in verse. Who's Who in the Bible is an invaluable reference tool that will enhance our understanding of the most influential book in the history of mankind.

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Review:

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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