A Brief History of the Middle East: From Abraham to Arafat by Christopher Catherwood

By Christopher Catherwood

In The short historical past of the center East writer Christopher Catherwood makes an attempt to teach how our complete international is eventually formed through occasions that experience spread out or have their starting place within the center East. Catherwood insists that, except we permit lack of know-how to blind us—which to a definite volume it already has—the center East mustn't ever be seen as ''some unusual position over there.'' 3 of the world's significant prepared religions—Judaism, Christianity, and Islam—all stem from the world, as do defining civilizations from old Egypt to Babylonia. Catherwood examines this storied sector throughout the lens of the current via asking those questions. How did the Palestinian factor come up? Why does Osama bin weighted down harp at the glories of Moorish Spain? Why did Islamic extremism become an alternative choice to Arab socialist nationalism for therefore many? modern-day headlines have transparent ancient motives, and The short historical past of the center East will deliver that idea into concentration.

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The Zealots were highly political, and there were several rebellions against outside rule, culminating in a major revolt from AD 66—70, and the mass Jewish suicide at the fortress of Masada in AD 73. ANCIENT EMPIRES 25 The Sadducees were the official establishment, controlling the Temple and many of the key religious posts on the Sanhédrin, the official Jewish religious body that decided all religious issues. They believed in what we call the Old Testament, but not in what they thought were extraneous beliefs, which in their case included, for example, resurrection from the dead and an afterlife.

It is not surprising that people in the twenty-first century sing them with as much fervour as they were first chanted thousands of years ago. ANCIENT EMPIRES 17 It was David's son Solomon who built the first large-scale temple. He too protected the infant state's borders, but also, the Bible records, allowed a major degree of syncretism — the absorption of elements of local religions or cults — to enter the country. Solomon s son Rehoboam proved to be a tyrant, and the ten northern tribes rebelled, splitting the original kingdom permanently into two in 931 BC.

Needless to say, the overwhelming majority of serious scientists laughed at such nonsense to scorn. However, both Peter James and David Rohl are mainstream archaeologists, and neither of them is linked to any particular religious need to interpret ancient events in a special way. Their New Chronology ideas should at least be taken seriously, as if their chronology is correct, it is certainly good news for those who take the Bible seriously If we stick for safety's sake to a more mainstream chronology, archaeologists suggest around 1420 BC for the exodus of the Jewish people out of Egypt.

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