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Thomas Cahill (1940–2022)

Author of How the Irish Saved Civilization

13+ Works 15,193 Members 205 Reviews 30 Favorited

About the Author


Works by Thomas Cahill

Associated Works

The Gospel According to Luke (1909) — Introduction, some editions — 155 copies
Holy Lands: One Place, Three Faiths (2002) — Introduction; Introduction — 125 copies
The Swiftly Tilting Worlds of Madeleine L'Engle (1998) — Contributor — 60 copies


Ancient Greece (61) ancient history (142) art (48) Bible (61) biography (78) Celtic (52) Christianity (226) Church History (92) civilization (148) culture (67) Dark Ages (62) Europe (134) European History (166) Greece (129) Greek History (47) Hinges of History (108) history (2,874) Ireland (698) Irish (178) Irish History (243) Jesus (105) Jewish (68) Jewish History (84) Jews (86) Judaism (261) medieval (207) medieval history (193) Middle Ages (209) non-fiction (971) Old Testament (45) own (58) philosophy (58) read (119) religion (517) Renaissance (46) St. Patrick (46) to-read (483) unread (72) Western Civilization (100) world history (125)

Common Knowledge



Book Title does not match Heretics and Heroes in Bug Collectors (October 2013)


Thomas Cahill writes like a novelist (or a journalist) and makes interesting what many historians and art historians make dry and boring. If you want to know more about the lives of Renaissance artists and Reformation scholars, this is the book you want to read.
BrandyWinn | 11 other reviews | Feb 2, 2024 |
I found very little redeeming about this book and finally abandoned it about 2/3 through.

The author has a very secular understanding of the Bible and Jewish history. He misses half the point, the whole point, and all of the beauty most of the time. His chapters on the life of Jesus were full of mocking untruths and misunderstandings. I get the overall impression that this author calls himself a "Christian" but I'd love to read something like this from an actual whole Bible believer.

Even taking into consideration his odd sense of humor (at one point I wrote in my notes: "it takes a bit to get his humor. I think I’m probably more sensitive than I should be with some of his points.") his very skewed interpretation of the impact of Jesus and the Bible makes this book extremely disappointing. In fact, looking over his biography, this is the perfect example of someone who hears the word, studies the word, (paid good, good money to learn the Hebrew Bible even), but completely misses the message.

I often wondered, "is he actually a respected historian?" (He describes martyrdom as a genre of mythology.) I couldn't get past the screwy interpretations that Paul and the first century church were not encouraging their followers to follow Torah. The author misunderstands, misinterprets, and misrepresents Torah throughout. It takes more than big words and reputation to make a scholar. This one can’t get his own theology straight, saying on one page that 2 Timothy couldn’t possibly have been written by Paul but on the next page encouraging us to imagine Paul “thinking, as he wrote in Second Timothy…”. Ok then.

He relegates Revelation to a silly fun mystery story written by a bored John in exile. He cracks the 666 code for us (oh thank you, wise scholar!) and explains (with a "big duh!!! mentality) that it merely refers to Nero. News flash: 666 using gematria also works for several phrases including the name Barak Obama, Prince Arthur, Thomas Cruise, and "This is a Hoax". When whoever this person is is actually revealed, this passage will be made clear, just as the ones about the delivery of the mark of the beast or the fact that the whole world will look on the dead witnesses were made more understandable once technology caught up and revealed possible scenarios.

The nonsense probably didn't stop there, but that's where I stopped. I can't stomach this "scholarly" misrepresented garbage. I'd encourage potential readers to save time and do their own research. Much of what he talks about is common knowledge of history---this book was more about furthering the enemy's secular agenda disguised as modern day Christianity.
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classyhomemaker | 18 other reviews | Dec 11, 2023 |
I can't say I didn't like this book because who doesn't love to read about the magical, mysterious history of Ireland? However, it's definitely not something I'd read again. The first 60 pages could have easily been summed up in a paragraph or two to set the stage for the story---I should really get a prize for muddling through them as I did.

After that, it seemed the author took turns being very basic (to the point of explaining the proper pronunciation of Celts or being vague for chapters about the enigmatic "Patricus"---gee, wonder who that turned out to be?) and being so tedious that I found myself skipping paragraphs just to stay awake.

Still, as usual, I found some interesting bits. I didn't realize that the Biblical Galatians were the people of Gaul---ancient Celts. Now I'm craving to go back and reread Galatians with that in mind.

There's a book I read in college, Sun Dancing, about Skellig Michael. If anything, this book gave me a desire to go back and read through that again.
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classyhomemaker | 92 other reviews | Dec 11, 2023 |



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