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Biblical Kingdoms—Book Summaries

    Egypt and Mesopotamia     Old Testament     New Testament

Colored stars indicate texts of special interest or importance.
Red Stars indicate comprehensive histories. Most study questions are based on these texts.
Gold Stars indicate recommended books of exceptional interest and quality.
Green Stars are assigned to high quality, but easy-to-read books for younger readers.
Black Stars indicate that only selected chapters pertain to the subject civilization.

Click on Title Link to add Book to Reading List.         Reading credits indicate book length.

Egypt and Mesopotamia

Peeps at Ancient Egypt   by Jamse Baikie   45 credits
This account of Ancient Egypt is beautifully illustrated, and gives a short but engaging introduction to the fascinating accomplishments of Egypt. The book is written to appeal to middle schools students, so the history and legends of Egypt are told in a story-book manner. Even topics of archeological or scholarly interest are simplified in a way an older grammar student could easily understand.

Peeps at Ancient Assyria   by Jamse Baikie   49 credits
This account of Ancient Syria does an excellent job presenting the story of Ancient Assyria in a manner appealing to middle school students. Much of the history of Assyria is known by archeological excavations as well as Biblical era chronicles, and Baikie does an excellent job of presenting archeological evidence in the context of an "Indiana Jones" style account of the search for artifacts. He also presents stories and mythologies that are appealing to young students, and ties in Assyrian history with that of the Biblical chronicles.

Cyrus the Great   by Jacob Abbott   77 credits
Cyrus the Great was the founder of the Persian Empire, and the story of his life gives great insights into the politics of the empires of central Asia in the sixth century B.C. Highlights of Cyrus's history include his romantic childhood, his conquest of Media with the aid of traitors from his grandfather's court, the story of Croesus--wealthy king of Lydia, the sieges of Tyre and Babylon, the restoration of the Jews, and the ill-fated campaign in Scythia.

Darius the Great   by Jacob Abbott   78 credits
The story of Darius began with Cambyses' ascension to the Persian throne and his subsequent conquest of Egypt. On Cambyses' death, a usurper assumed the throne. Darius dispatched the usurper and was awarded the throne. He then embarked on a series of misadventures including a thwarted excursion to Scythia, crushing a rebellion in Ionia, and two unsuccessful campaigns to conquer Greece, including the famous battle of Marathon.

Stories of the East From Herodotus   by Alfred J. Church   79 credits
This book is based on the "Histories" of Herodotus and relates many stories concerning the Persian empire, including the histories of Croesus, Cyrus the Great, Cambyses, and Darius. Many interesting stories about Egypt, India, Scythia, Babylon, and Tyre are also given. This version preserves most of the detail and style of the original, but is rendered in simpler language. It is so well edited that it provides much of the benefit of reading Herodotus in the original, with only a fraction of the effort.

Old Testament

Nursery Book of Bible Stories   by Amy Steedman   82 credits
This beautifully illustrated book retells many of the most famous stories from the Bible, especially those most appealing to youngsters. It includes twenty-four stories from the Old Testament and twelve stories from the New Testament, each told in the manner of a children's tale. The pictures that accompany these Bible stories are outstanding.

Stories from the Old Testament Told to the Children   by Louey Chisholm   36 credits
This collection of Bible stories, which focus on the early patriarchs and are taken mostly from Genesis and Exodus. The book is part of the Told to the Children series and is relatively short, so that it confines itself to some of the most famous stories of the Old Testament, including those of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph and Moses. The stories are engagingly told and beautifully illustrated.

Heroes of Israel   by Lawton Evans   130 credits
This collection of ninety Bible stories cover the entire Old Testament from Genesis to Nehemiah, and was authored by a master story teller. It recounts the stories from the Bible most suitable for youngsters in beautiful prose. The illustrations are few, but of extraordinary quality.

Story of the Chosen People   by Helene Guerber   100 credits
Guerber's history of the Jewish people tells many familiar stories from the Old Testament, but is not written as a Children's Bible. She recounts the stories of Genesis and Moses in detail, but moves quickly through the histories of Israel and Judea, and uses independent historical sources to describe events of the Babylonian captivity, and exile of the Jews. Her story passes over the life of Christ, but ends with the conquest of Judea by the Romans and the destruction of the Temple.

Story of the Bible Told for Young and Old   by Jesse Hurlbut   387 credits
Hurlburt's classic retelling of most of the famous stories from the Bible has been a popular favorite, in print continuously since it was first published in 1904. There are numerous versions and all are beautifully illustrated.

Children's Bible - New Testament   by Sherman and Kent   100 credits
This Children's Bible is a true classic, and was a favorite in many American homes for decades. The authors were renowned scholars of biblical literature, and every section of the Bible is rendered with great care to preserve Biblical accuracy while retelling the most important stories in common language. This second volume of the Children's Bible covers the New Testament, from the Birth of Christ, to the Acts of the Apostles, ending with Stories from the Epistles of Paul, James, and John. Perfect for daily reading, family reading, or reference.

Children's Bible - Old Testament   by Sherman and Kent   100 credits
This Children's Bible is a true classic, and was a favorite in many American homes for decades. The authors were renowned scholars of biblical literature, and every section of the Bible is rendered with great care to preserve Biblical accuracy while retelling the most important stories in common language. This first volume contains the most famous stories of the Old Testament, all told in fascinating detail, and broken up into short chapters to make it friendly for young readers. Perfect for daily reading, family reading, or reference.

Hammer   by Alfred J. Church   135 credits
This story is based on the first book of Maccabees from the Old Testament. It is set during the Macedonian occupation of Judea (around 250 B.C.), a very critical period in Jewish history, and tells the story of a young Jewish man who is first attracted to the "modern" Greek way of life, but eventually joins the Maccabee brothers in their desperate revolt against their Macedonian overlords. The conflict between the cosmopolitan and decadent Greek manner of life, and the customs of traditional Judaism is well portrayed .

Jews under Roman Rule   by W. D. Morrison   143 credits
This book focuses on the role of the Jewish states and people during the period of Roman influence. When the Romans first encountered Judaea it was under the influence of the Macedonian empire. The Romans gave the Jewish state a great deal of autonomy, but tried to integrate it into the greater empire, and the Jewish people, largely due to a resurgence of religious vigor, rebelled. The Roman Jewish rebellions continued throughout the first and second centuries, and affected not only the Jews, but also the Christian communities that had sprung from them.

New Testament Era

Book of Saints and Friendly Beasts   by Abbie F. Brown   67 credits
Everyone has heard the Story of St. Francis of Assisi, but there were many other saints who tamed wild beasts, had special relationships with certain animals, and treated all living creatures with kindness. This book tells many of these lesser known stories of saints and their beasts, such as St. Bridget and the wolf and St. Cuthbert and his birds.

When the King Came: Stories from the Four Gospels   by George Hodges   98 credits
Hodges retells the lessons of the gospels as if they were a storybook for young people. He faithfully fallows the biblical account, but recounts the stories with the charm and romance of a fairy tale.

Stories from the Life of Christ Told to the Children   by Janet Kelman   44 credits
These thirty short stories from the New Testament cover the gospels from the birth of Christ to the Ascension. They are beautifully illustrated and written in an appealing manner for grammar school children. Stories from the ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus are told along with a dozen parables.

Saint Christopher and Saint Cuthbert   by Mary Macgregor   22 credits
This beautifully illustrated book tells the charming story of two romantic saints from Christian History. The first tells the tale of Saint Christopher, a giant of a soldier who sought for Christ and eventually bore the weight of the Christ Child's burden. The second tells the story of Cuthbert, the renowned saint of Lindisfarne, to whom dozens of miracles are attributed.

In God's Garden   by Amy Steedman   55 credits
This book features engaging saint stories that were selected to be especially appealing to young children. The inspirational stories of both legendary and historical saints are told with emphasis on the life of faith. Children's Christian heroes include Saints Ursula, Benedict, Christopher, Catherine of Siena, Augustine of Hippo, Augustine of Canterbury, Cecilia, Giles, Nicholas, Faith, Cosmo and Damian, Martin, George, and Francis of Assisi. A dozen illustrated are included.