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Mount Sinai: A History of Travellers and Pilgrims

Scholarly book which will appeal to those who like foreign names and many, many facts, but not an easy read 

Mount SinaiMount Sinai: A History of Travellers and Pilgrims
By George Manginis
Haus Publishing
ISBN 978-1-910376-50-8
Reviewed by Pieter J. Lalleman

Manginis describes the identification of a certain mountain on the Sinai Peninsula as Mt. Sinai and the subsequent history of its Christian and Muslim inhabitants and explorers over the centuries. The main text of the book occupies almost 200 pages and is followed by some 100 pages of endnotes, bibliography etc.

This is a scholarly book which will appeal to those who like foreign names and many, many facts. It is certainly not history presented as a page-turner. Dr Manginis was personally involved in research of the area; he then obtained his doctorate with a study of Mount Sinai and the present book is apparently a popular edition of that study. Some attention goes to the question if the present Jabal Musa is indeed the biblical mountain, but the answer remains vague. The book says little about the famous biblical manuscript Codex Sinaiticus.

Despite having some nice and helpful illustrations, this book is not an easy read. One problem is that the information is not always well organised and ordered. The book is roughly chronological but within each chapter the author includes numerous other facts as well. The beautiful illustrations are also almost randomly scattered over the chapters and are not commented upon. Many readers will also be distracted by the fact that Manginis takes account of the views of other scholars in his main text. He also includes quotations by authors of all centuries.

Those interested in 'holy' places and pilgrimage will be fascinated by this well-produced book.

The Revd Dr Pieter J. Lalleman teaches Bible at Spurgeon's College

Baptist Times, 27/01/2017
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