I've read close to 20 books on religion in relation to politics in the past several years, and two books have consistently fallen behind in my stack: this one, and Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why (Plus). Of the two, this one, published in 2000, five years earlier than Misquoting Jesus (but not mentioned at all in the latter) is vastly better organized, more interesting, and more pointed.
I note that the publisher and Amazon do provide the entire table of contents above (101 myths, each listed in the table of contents) and I recommend that the table of contents be considered as helpful to my recommendation that anyone interested in religion and/or virtue buy and read this book.
The author himself captures the highlights in his own preface:
+ Africa and Egypt provided most of the raw material for the Biblical stories, i.e. neighboring cultures, not “God” or even the disciples, provided the original information
+ The stories were part of a long0running propagandaa war between the kingdoms of Judah and Israel
+ The author focuses on contradictions, clear and compelling evidence of Bible myths originating in earthly cultures, and stories that simply cannot be true (e.g. cities claimed destroyed that did not exist)
+ Although explained more ably by “Misquoting Jesus,” the book clearly shows how the Bible is NOT original, nor is it even accurate. It consists of stories whose origins are earthly, rewritten over and over again, and imbued with false authority.
For me, the greatest humor and wisdom came from Israel being firmly rooted in Arab (Egyptian) myths, yet being unable to be it's brother's keeper, instead genociding the Palestinians and stealing Arab water thorugh long underground pipes.
Below are other books I recommend, and two DVDs, one on Gandhi and one on Tibet. I have come to the conclusion that organized religion is inherently a sham, illegitimate and corrupt, but that the values that religion seeks to impact are good in so far as they can be adopted by communities. This is not rocket science–the Golden Rule and the Great Law of Peace actually create prosperity and well-being.
The Complete Conversations with God (Boxed Set)
Gandhi (Widescreen Two-Disc Special Edition)
Tibet – Cry of the Snow Lion
The Left Hand of God: Taking Back Our Country from the Religious Right
God's Politics LP
American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War On America
Dogs of God: Columbus, the Inquisition, and the Defeat of the Moors