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The First Love Story

Adam, Eve, and Us

flsfinal3dFrom the New York Times bestselling author of Walking the Bible and Abraham comes a revelatory journey across four continents and 4,000 years exploring how Adam and Eve introduced the idea of love into the world, and how they continue to shape our deepest feelings about relationships, family, and togetherness. READ MORE

 

The Secrets of Happy Families

Improve Your Mornings, Rethink Family Dinner, Fight Smarter, Go Out and Play, and Much More

The Secrets of Happy Families book coverBest-selling author and New York Times family columnist Bruce Feiler found himself squeezed between aging parents and rising children. He set out on a three-year journey to find the smartest ideas, cutting-edge research, and novel solutions to make his family happier. READ MORE

 

The Council of Dads

A Story of Family, Friendship & Learning How to Live

The Council of Dads book coverWhen bestselling author Bruce Feiler was diagnosed with a malignant tumor in his leg, he could only imagine all the walks he might not take with his daughters, the ballet recitals he would miss, the art projects left undone, and the aisles he might not walk down. READ MORE

Read Bruce’s cancer diary.

Bruce's latest news

Check this Events List to see if Bruce will be appearing in your town on The First Love Story book tour.

Bruce discusses the Secrets of Happy Families on the latest Digital Dads podcast.

Announcing Bruce’s forthcoming book, The First Love Story, from Penguin Random House

Archive for December, 2009

Christmas Decoded? What the New Discoveries in Nazareth Tell Us About Jesus

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

Just in time for holiday deadlines, Israeli archaeologists announced Monday they had uncovered remains of the first dwelling in the city of Nazareth that can be dated back to the time of Jesus.

Digging not far from Basilica of the Annunciation, where tradition says the angel Gabriel visited Mary, archaeologists found remains of a wall, a hideout, and a water system that appeared to collect water from the roof.

Researcher Yardena Alexandre also found clay and chalk vessels used by Galilean Jews of the time – an indication the home belonged to a simple Jewish family.

The findings indicate Nazareth was probably a small hamlet with about 50 houses populated by poor Jews.

“From the little written evidence available we know that first century Nazareth AD was a small Jewish village located in a valley,” Alexandre said, adding that “until now a few Jesus-era graves were revealed, but never have we unearthed the remains of contemporary residences.”

So what does this new discovery tell us about Jesus?

The answer is not very much. We still have no evidence that Jesus was ever in Nazareth or in Bethlehem, the two towns featured in the Christmas story. In fact, one of Alexandre’s statements is classic archaeological hyperbole fed to a gullible press: “It was likely Jesus and his childhood friends would have known the house.” Oh, really? Based on what?

If anything, this new discovery shows how minor a place Nazareth was and draws new light to a central paradox of the Christmas narrative: Why would a pregnant mother from the Galilee travel as far south as Bethlehem to have a child? The given reason of a census is hardly persuasive. (The most logical answer s that King David is from Bethlehem and since the Hebrew Bible states the messiah should come from the line of David a Bethlehem birth would bring the new baby into David’s home region.)

While this week’s findings tell us little about Jesus, they do highlight a number of often overlooked features of Jesus’ world.

1. Jesus was a Jew, and his life story makes sense only when understood in the context of Jewish ritual. Two of the more striking finds in Nazareth this week were clay and chalk vessels, which were used by Jews at the time to ensure the purity of the food and water kept inside the vessels.

2. The Jesus story was deeply political. The hideout at the Nazareth house, for example, is likely related to the growing tension between Jews and Romans in the late first century B.C.E., a showdown that colors Jesus’ birth story – and especially his death narrative.

3. The Bible is grounded in the history and landscape of the Ancient Near East. The Bible is full of details of time and place that would have resonated deeply to people at the time, but are often lost on us today.

Discoveries like the one in Nazareth titillate the press because they promise something they can’t deliver: If one feature of the Bible is true, the entire thing must be true. The real truth is that even if we found a house in Nazareth with the names Mary and Joseph on the mailbox and a birth announcement of a baby Jesus carved into a wall, we’d still never find proof that God spoke to Mary, conceived a child, and sent forth a messiah into the world.

That’s not a subject for science. That’s a matter of faith.

Read the entire post at Huffington Post.

Moses and the Ten Commandments of Great Leadership

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Martin Luther King would all make the list of great American leaders. But these men, along with more recent presidents from Ronald Reagan to Barack Obama, were all influenced by an even more iconic leader.

His name is Moses.

From the Pilgrims to the founding fathers, the Civil War to the Civil Rights movement, Americans have turned to one biblical prophet because his narrative offers a roadmap of promise and peril.

As we once more face trying times, Americans would once be well-served to consider the leadership lessons of the world’s greatest leader.

Saturday, December 19th, 2009

Listen to my 1-hour interview about Moses on NPR’s Diane Rehm Show.

My Moses Talk: Now Online!

Monday, December 7th, 2009

The Atlanta History Center has posted a video of my talk about AMERICA’S PROPHET. It lasts about an hour.

See My Moses Talk: Now Online!

Monday, December 7th, 2009

The Atlanta History Center has posted a video of my talk about AMERICA’S PROPHET. It lasts about an hour.

AMERICA’S PROPHET on NYT Bestseller List on 12/13!!

Thursday, December 3rd, 2009

I am thrilled to report that we’ve seen an early copy of the New York Times Bestseller List from December 13th and AMERICA’S PROPHET appears. This marks my fourth original work of nonfiction to appear on the bestseller in the last eight years.

Thank you very much for your continued support! We are very moved.