The Book List

This is a list of books with various degrees of recommendation. There are basically three levels: Two stars is recommended. A one star work has good parts and serious problems. A no star work has such serious problems that they outweigh any good parts of the book. The difference between a two star work and a three star work is that a three star work caused a major change in my thinking about some topic.


3 Stars ***

Highly recommended

Roger S. Bagnall, Early Christian Books in Egypt. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2009.

Roger S. Bagnall and Bruce W. Frier, The Demography of Roman Egypt. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994.

Victor L. Brown, Jr., Human Intimacy: Illusion and Reality (Salt Lake City: Parliament Publishers, 1981).

James Burke, Connections. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1978.

Walter Burkert, Ancient Mystery Cults. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1987.

Stephen C. Carlson, The Gospel Hoax: Morton Smith's Invention of Secret Mark. Waco, Texas: Baylor University Press, 2005.
Craig A. Evans, Jesus and His Contemporaries. Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1995.

Garth Fowden, The Egyptian Hermes. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1986.

Gershon Galil, The Lower Stratum Families in the Neo-Assyrian Period. Leiden: E. J. Brill, 2007.

John David Hawkins, Corpus of Hieroglyphic Luwian Inscriptions. Berlin: de Gruyter, 2000.

Chip Heath and Dan Heath, Made to Stick. New York: Random House, 2007.

Karl Jansen-Winckeln, Inschriften der Spätzeit. Teil I: Die 21. Dynastie. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2007.

Dean C. Jessee, The Personal Writings of Joseph Smith. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1984.

J. Dennis Lawrence, A Catalog of Special Plane Curves. New York: Dover, 1972.

Christian Leitz, Die Tempelinschriften der griechisch-römischen Zeit. Münster: Lit Verlag, 2004.

Edward Lipinski, The Aramaeans: Their Ancient History, Culture, Religion. Leuven: Peeters, 2000.

Ramsay MacMullen, The Second Church: Popular Christianity A.D. 200-400. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2009.

Jonathan Marks, Why I am Not a Scientist. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2009.

Hugh W. Nibley, Approaching Zion. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book and Provo, Utah: Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, 1989.

Hugh W. Nibley, The Message of the Joseph Smith Papyri. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1975.

Mark A. Noll, The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind. Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans, 1995.

Peter Novick, That Noble Dream: The "Objectivity Question" and the American Historical Profession. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988.

Annick Payne, Hieroglyphic Luwian. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2004.

Frances Pritchard, Clothing Culture: Dress in Egypt in the First Millennium AD. Manchester: Whitworth Art Gallery, 2006.

Ronald J. Sider, The Scandal of the Evangelical Conscience. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Books, 2005.

Christian Smith, The Sacred Project of American Sociology. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014.

Stephan Wimmer, Palästinisches Hieratisch. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2008.

Karl-Theodor Zauzich, Hieroglyphen mit Geheimis. Mainz am Rhein: Philipp von Zabern, 2015.


2 Stars **

Solid work; recommended

Richard Lloyd Anderson, Understanding Paul (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1983).

Jan Assmann, The Mind of Egypt. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 2003.

Paul Babiak and Robert D. Hare, Snakes in Suits: When Psychopaths Go to Work. New York: HarperBusiness, 2006.

Roger S. Bagnall, Egypt in Late Antiquity. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1993.

Peder Borgen, Bread from Heaven. Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1981.

Daniel Boyarin, The Jewish Gospels: The Story of the Jewish Christ. New York: The New Press, 2012.

Arthur C. Brooks, Gross National Happiness. New York: Basic Books, 2008.

Arthur C. Brooks, Who Really Cares. New York: Basic Books, 2006.

Trevor Bryce, The World of the Neo-Hittite Kingdoms: A Political and Military History. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012.

Walter Burkert, The Orientalizing Revolution: Near Eastern Influence on Greek Culture in the Early Archaic Age. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1992.

Karl W. Butzer, Early Hydraulic Civilization in Egypt. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1976.

D. A. Carson, The Intolerance of Tolerance. Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans, 2012.

Sylvie Cauville, L'offrande aux dieux dans le temple égyptien. Leuven: Peeters, 2011.

S. Cauville,  Le Zodiaque d'Osiris. Leuven: Peeters, 1997.

Filip Coppens, The Wabet: Tradition and Innovations in Temples of the Ptolemaic and Roman Period. Prague: Czech Institute of Egyptology Faculty of Arts, Charles University in Prague, 2007.

Lorelei H. Corcoran, Portait Mummies from Roman Egypt. Chicago: Oriental Institute, 1995.

Stephen M. R. Covey and Rebecca R. Merrill, The Speed of Trust. New York: Free Press, 2006.

Kenda Creasy Dean, Almost Christian. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010.

William G. Dever, The Lives of Ordinary People in Ancient Israel. Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans, 2012.

William G. Dever, What Did the Biblical Writers Know and When Did They Know It? Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans, 2001.

Manfred Dietrich, The Babylonian Correspondence of Sargon and Sennacherib. Helsinki: Helsinki University Press, 2003.

Koenraad Donker van Heel, Djekhy & Son: Doing Business in Ancient Egypt. Cairo: The American University in Cairo Press, 2012.

Dietz Otto Edzard,  Sumerian Grammar. Leiden: E. J. Brill, 2003.

F. M. Fales and J. N. Postgate, Imperial Administrative Records, Part I. Helsinki: Helsinki University Press, 1992.

F. M. Fales and J. N. Postgate, Imperial Administrative Records, Part II. Helsinki: Helsinki University Press, 1995.

Lois M. Farag, ed., The Coptic Christian Heritage: History, Faith, and Culture. London: Routledge, 2014.

Andreas Fuchs and Simo Parpola, The Correspondence of Sargon II, Part III. Helsinki: Helsinki University Press, 2001.

Alan H. Gardiner, Egypt of the Pharaohs. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1961.

Markham J. Geller, Evil Demons (Helsinki: The Neo-Assyrian Text Corpus Project, 2007).

Terryl L. Givens, The Book of Mormon: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009.

Nicolas Grimal, An History of Ancient Egypt. Oxford: Blackwell, 1992.

Baruch Halpern, The First Historians: The Hebrew Bible and History. San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1988.

William J. Hamblin and David Rolph Seely, Solomon's Temple: Myth and History. London: Thames and Hudson, 2007.

Chip Heath and Dan Heath, Decisive. New York: Crown Business, 2013.

Chip Heath and Dan Heath, Switch. New York: Broadway Books, 2010.

Wolfgang Heimpel, Letters to the King of Mari. Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns, 2003.

François René Herbin, Padiimenipet fils de Sôter: Histoire d'une famille dans l'Égypte romaine. Paris: Musée du Louvre, 2002.

Friedhelm Hoffmann and Joachim Friedrich Quack, Anthologie der demotischen Literatur. Berlin: Lit Verlag, 2007.

James K. Hoffmeier, Akhenaten and the Origins of Monotheism. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015.

James K. Hoffmeier, The Archaeology of the Bible. Oxford: Lion Hudson, 2008.

Colum Hourihane, Abraham in Medieval Christian, Islamic and Jewish Art. Princeton: Princeton University Press and Penn State University Press, 2013.

Douglas Jacobsen and Rhonda Hustedt Jacobsen, The American University in a Postsecular Age. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008.

Richard Jasnow, A Late Period Hieratic Wisdom Text. Chicago: Oriental Institute, 1992.

Richard Jasnow and Karl-Theodor Zauzich, Conversations in the House of Life. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, 2014.

Janet H. Johnson, Thus Wrote Onchsheshonqy. Chicago: Oriental Institute, 

Ilmari Kärki, Die Königsinschriften der dritten Dynastie von Ur. Helsinki: Finnish Oriental Society, 1986.

Craig S. Keener, The Historical Jesus of the Gospels. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2009.

Isaac M. Kikawada and Arthur Quinn, Before Abraham Was. San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1985.

Anthony King and Ivor Crewe, The Blunders of our Governments. London: Oneworld Publications, 2013.

K. A. Kitchen, On the Reliability of the Old Testament. Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans, 2006.

Dieter Kurth, The Temple of Edfu: A Guide by an Ancient Egyptian Priest. Cairo: The American University in Cairo Press, 2004.

Giovanni B. Lanfranchi and Simo Parpola, The Correspondence of Sargon II, Part II. Helsinki: Helsinki University Press, 1990.

Alexandra von Lieven, Der Himmel über Esna: Eine Fallstudie zur Religiösen Astronomie in Ägypten. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, 2000.

Miriam Lichtheim, Ancient Egyptian Literature. 3 vols. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1973-80.

AnneMarie Luijendijk, Greetings in the Lord: Early Christians and the Oxyrhynchus Papyri. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 2008.

Mikko Luukko and Greta Van Buylaere, The Political Correspondence of Esarhaddon. Helsinki: University of Helsinki Press, 2002.

Michael Hubbard MacKay and Gerrit J. Drikmaat, From Darkness unto Light: Joseph Smith's Translation and publication of the Book of Mormon. Provo, Utah: The Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 2015.

George M. Marsden, The Outrageous Idea of Christian Scholarship. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997.

George M. Marsden, The Soul of the American University: From Protestant Establishment to Established Nonbelief. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996.

P. Kyle McCarter, Jr., Textual Criticism. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1986.

Marvin Meyer and Richard Smith, Ancient Christian Magic. San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 1994.

Joe Navarro and Marvin Karlins, What Every Body is Saying. New York: HarperCollins, 2008.

Hugh W. Nibley, The Ancient State. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book and Provo, Utah: Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, 1991.

Hugh W. Nibley, An Approach to the Book of Abraham. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book and Provo, Utah: Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, 2009.

Hugh W. Nibley, An Approach to the Book of Mormon. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book and Provo, Utah: Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, 1988.

Hugh W. Nibley, Brother Brigham Challenges the Saints. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book and Provo, Utah: Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, 1994.

Hugh W. Nibley, Enoch the Prophet. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book and Provo, Utah: Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, 1986.

Hugh W. Nibley, Lehi in the Desert/The World of the Jaredites/There Were Jaredites. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book and Provo, Utah: Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, 1988.

Hugh W. Nibley, Mormonism and Early Christianity. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book and Provo, Utah: Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, 1987.

Hugh W. Nibley, Old Testament and Related Studies. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book and Provo, Utah: Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, 1986.

Hugh W. Nibley, The Prophetic Book of Mormon. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book and Provo, Utah: Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, 1989.

Hugh W. Nibley, Since Cumorah. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book and Provo, Utah: Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, 1988.

Hugh W. Nibley, Tinkling Cymbals and Sounding Brass. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book and Provo, Utah: Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, 1991.

Hugh W. Nibley, The World and the Prophets. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book and Provo, Utah: Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, 1987.

Hugh Nibley and Alex Nibley, Sergeant Nibley, Ph.D.: Memories of an Unlikely Screaming Eagle. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2006.

Carl Olson, The Allure of Decadent Thinking. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013.

Ann Paludan, Chronicle of the Chinese Emperors. London: Thames and Hudson, 1998.

Simo Parpola, The Correspondence of Sargon II, Part I: Letters from Assyria and the West. Helsinki: University of Helsinki Press, 1987.

Simo Parpola and Kazuko Watanabe, Neo-Assyrian Treaties and Loyalty Oaths. Helsinki: University of Helsinki Press, 1988.

Annick Payne, Iron Age Hieroglyphic Luwian Inscriptions. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2012.

Lisa D. Pearce and Melinda Lunquist Denton, A Faith of Their Own. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011.

Daniel C. Peterson, Abraham Divided: An LDS Perspective on the Middle East. Salt Lake City: Aspen Books, 1995.

Joachim Quack, Einführung in die altägyptische Lituraturgeschichte III: Die demotische und gräko-ägyptische Literatur. Münster: Lit Verlag, 2005.

Donald B. Redford, Pharaonic King-Lists, Annals and Day-Books. Missassauga: Benben, 1986.

Mark D. Regnerus, Forbidden Fruit. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007.

Frances Reynolds, The Babylonian Correspondence of Esarhaddon. Helsinki: Helsinki University Press, 2003.

Christopher A, Rollston, Writing and Literacy in the World of Ancient Israel. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2010.

James R. Royse, Scribal Habits in Early Greek New Testament Papyri. Leiden: E. J. Brill, 2008.

Jack M. Sasson, From the Mari Archives: An Anthology of Old Babylonian Letters. Winona Lake, Indiana: Eisenbrauns, 2015.

Ian Shaw, The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000.

Luis Robert Siddall, The Reign of Adad-Nirari III: An Historical and Ideological Analysis of an Assyrian King and His Times. Leiden: E. J. Brill, 2013.

Christian Smith, The Bible Made Impossible: Why Biblicism is Not a Truly Evangelical Reading of Scripture.  Grand Rapids, Michigan: Brazos Press, 2011.

Christian Smith and John C. Cavadini, Building Catholic Higher Education: Unofficial Reflections from the University of Notre Dame. Eugene Oregon: Cascade Books, 2014.

Christian Smith, Kari Christoffersen, Hilary Davidson, and Patricia Snell Herzog, Lost in Transition: The Dark Side of Emerging Adulthood. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011.

Christian Smith and Hilary Davidson, The Paradox of Generosity. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014.

Christian Smith and Melinda Lundquist Denton, Soul Searching: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of American Teenagers. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005.

Christian Smith, Kyle Longest, Jonathan Hill, and Kari Christofferson, Young Catholic America: Emerging Adults In, Out of, and Gone from the Church. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014. 

Christian Smith and Patricia Snell, Souls in Transition: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of Emerging Adults. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009.

John L. Sorenson, Mormon's Codex: An Ancient American Book. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2013.

Anthony J. Spalinger,  Aspects of the Military Documents of the Ancient Egyptians. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1982.

Rodney Stark, The Triumph of Faith. Wilmington, Delaware: ISI Books, 2015.

Ivan Starr, Queries to the Sungod. Helsinki: Helsinki University Press, 1990.

Nigel C. Strudwick, Texts from the Pyramid Age. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2005.

Philippe Talon, The Standard Babylonian Creation Myth: Enūma Eliš. Helsinki: The Neo-Assyrian Text Corpus Project, 2005.

John H. Taylor, Journey Through the Afterlife. London: British Museum, 2010.

B. G. Trigger, B. J. Kemp, D. O'Connor and A. B. Lloyd, Ancient Egypt: A Social History. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983.

John H. Walton, The Lost World of Genesis One: Ancient Cosmology and the Origins Debate. Downer's Grove, Illinois: IVP Academic, 2009.

John W. Welch, ed. Opening the Heavens: Accounts of Divine Manifestations 1820-1844. Provo, Utah: Brigham Young University Press, 2005.

Edward Wente, Letters from Ancient Egypt. Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1990.

Ben Witherington III, The Problem with Evangelical Theology. Waco, Texas: Baylor University Press, 2005.

Yahya ibn Adi, The Reformation of Morals. trans. Sidney H. Griffith. Provo, Utah: Brigham Young University Press, 2002.

Karl-Theodor Zauzich, Hieroglyphen ohne Geheimnis. Mainz am Rhein: Philipp von Zabern, 1980.


1 Star *

Recommended with reservations

Jan Assmann, Of God and Gods: Egypt, Israel, and the Rise of Monotheism. Madison, Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin Press, 2008.

Jan Assmann, The Search for God in Ancient Egypt. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2001.

Craig L. Blomberg, Can We Still Believe the Bible? Grand Rapids, Michigan: Brazos Press, 2014.

Clive R. Boddy,  Corporate Psychopaths: Organisational Destroyers. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011.

William P. Brown, The Seven Pillars of Creation: The Bible, Science, and the Ecology of Wonder. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010.

Richard L. Bushman, Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2005.

Richard F. Carlson and Tremper Longman III, Science, Creation and the Bible. Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Press, 2010.

Willliam G. Dever, Did God Have a Wife? Archaeology and Folk Religion in Ancient Israel. Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans, 2005.

R. O. Faulkner, The Ancient Egyptian Coffin Texts. 3 vols. Warminster: Aris & Phillips, 1973-78.

Richard Elliot Friedman, Who Wrote the Bible? New York: Summit Books, 1987.

Robert N. McCauley, Why Religion is Natural and Science is Not. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011.

Hugh W. Nibley, Abraham in Egypt. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book and Provo, Utah: Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, 2000.

Hugh W. Nibley, Eloquent Witness: Nibley on Himself, Others, and the Temple. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book and Provo, Utah: Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, 2008.

Hugh W. Nibley, Temple and Cosmos. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book and Provo, Utah: Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, 1992.

Hugh W. Nibley and Michael D. Rhodes, One Eternal Round. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book and Provo, Utah: Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, 2010.

Mark A. Noll, Jesus Christ and the Life of the Mind. Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans, 2013.

Donald B. Redford, Egypt, Canaan, and Israel in Ancient Times. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1992.

Robert K. Ritner, The Libyan Anarchy. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2009.

Robert K. Ritner, The Mechanics of Ancient Egyptian Magical Practice. Chicago: Oriental Institute, 1993.

Tammi J. Schneider, An Introduction to Ancient Mesopotamian Religion. Grand Rapids, Michigan: William. B. Eerdmanns, 2011.

Christian Smith, How to Go from Being a Good Evangelical to a Committed Catholic in Ninety-Five Difficult Steps. Eugene, Oregon: Cascade Books, 2011.

Rodney Stark. What Americans Really Believe. Waco, Texas:  Baylor University Press, 2008.

Thomas L. Thompson, The Historicity of the Patriarchal Narratives: The Quest for the Historical Abraham. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: Trinity Press International, 2002.

John H. Walton, Genesis 1 as Ancient Cosmology. Winona Lake, Indiana: Eisenbrauns, 2011.


0 Stars

Not recommended

Richard L. Bushman, Mormonism: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008.

Stephanie Coontz, Marriage, a History. New York: Penguin Books, 2005.

Stephanie Dalley, Esther's Revenge at Susa from Sennacherib to Ahasuerus. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007.

Adam C. English, The Saint Who Would Be Santa Claus: The True Life and Trials of Nicholas of Myra. Waco, Texas:  Baylor University Press, 2012.

James E. Faulconer, The Old Testament Made Harder. Provo, Utah: Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship, 2014.

John Fea, Why Study History? Reflecting on the Importance of the Past. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Academic, 2013.

Barry Kemp, How to Read the Egyptian Book of the Dead. London: Granta Books, 2007.

Jerry Lucas and Del Washburn, Theomatics. New York: Stein and Day, 1977.

Adam S. Miller, Letters to a Young Mormon. Provo, Utah: Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship, 2013.

Richard Mouw, Called to the Life of the Mind: Some Advice for Evangelical Scholars. Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans, 2014.

David M. Rohl, Pharaohs and Kings: A Biblical Quest. New York: Crown Publishers, 1995.

Jan Shipps, Mormonism: The Story of a New Religious Tradition. Urbana, Illinois: University of Illinois Press, 1987.

Morton Smith, Jesus the Magician. San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1978.

Marta Trzebiatowska & Steve Bruce, Why Are Women More Religious than Men? Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012.