Wall Street Journal

April 15, 2016

Whether or not you are a person of a faith is unlikely to determine your opinion of Chanan Tigay’s extremely enjoyable new book, The Lost Book of Moses: The Hunt For The World’s Oldest Bible. It will delight anyone who finds religion or its history even remotely arresting. At once a mystery and a historical yarn, Mr. Tigay’s book is also a reminder that humor and a real sense of fun can enliven a serious piece of work.”

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Christian Science Monitor

April 22, 2016

A quest of near Biblical proportions … Tigay’s fascination with this obscure mystery is infectious, and his writing is crisp and lively. He is a serious scholarly sleuth who doesn’t take himself too seriously … John Le Carré would be hard pressed to devise such a tantalizing mystery or a more complex leading man.”

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San Francisco Chronicle

April 14, 2016

A rollicking tale all its own, The Lost Book of Moses is a page-turning adventure that will engross proof-seeking readers everywhere.

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Winnipeg Free Press

April 16, 2016

Professor and journalist Chanan Tigay has constructed an equally thrilling and suspenseful true story of lost antiquities and intrepid modern investigations, managing to mine this tale for realistic entertainment more worthy of Indiana Jones than most Raiders sequels… Shapira’s story provides fascinating insights into the fledgling science of archaeology as well as the Middle East of the 19th century — as dangerously unpredictable as today, if somewhat less explosive… This book’s reality puts such fictions as Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code to shame.”

Full review here

Wall Street Journal, Weekly Book Pick

April 15, 2016

A fascinating story … like a modern Indiana Jones story if Indiana Jones were a Jew from San Francisco … I really, really recommend it. [Tigay] is self-deprecating and funny. It’s serious. It’s a really, really fabulous read.”

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Times of Israel

March 30, 2016

Chanan Tigay just wrote a myth-shattering prequel to the epic 1947 discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls.”

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April 11, 2016

The journey … is a fascinating one, about how archaeological finds are viewed and understood, what kinds of artifacts are preserved by what kinds of people, and how investigative journalists work.”

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Christian Science Monitor, 10 Best Books of April

April 21, 2016

Chanan Tigay spins a story so suspenseful and crisply entertaining that it’s hard to remember it isn’t fiction.”

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The Hindu

July 2, 2016

… gripping, suspenseful and humorous”

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The Forward

April 24, 2016

A ‘mad search for the world’s oldest Bible.”

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The Jerusalem Post

April 20, 2016

Tigay knows how to build suspense. The Lost Book of Moses is filled with promising leads … searches in museums, musty attics, caves, and gorges, serendipity, and a surprise ending. Most importantly, the book provides a fascinating portrait of the immensely complex Shapira and the evolving practices of archeology and biblical scholarship in the late 19th century.”

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The Pennsylvania Gazette

June 21, 2016

… an exciting quest indeed … Accompanying [Tigay] to his conclusion is a journey worth taking.”

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Lowell Bergman

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize

With the skill and awareness of a Conan Doyle we are taken on a journey by a master storyteller that turns a historical investigation into a detective yarn that’s a page turner … In [Tigay’s] hands, obsession feeds the excitement. Narrative artistry magnifies it. And like so many investigative stories the answers were hiding all along in plain sight.”

Publishers Weekly

December 14, 2015

Tigay takes us through the story of [Moses Wilhelm] Shapira’s shame, his discovery, and his suicide, tracing each step of this complex and curious story across Europe and through the Middle East. In the end, Tigay offers a dynamic and satisfying account of a strange, remarkable man whose discovery could turn the world of biblical scholarship on its head.”

Adam Hochschild

National Book Award finalist and author of To End All WarsKing Leopold’s Ghost, and Bury the Chains

Who would have thought that this tale of manuscripts, scrolls and notebooks could be such an engrossing one? Chanan Tigay uses his ability to tell a good story, and to evoke the characters at its center, to bring a fascinating piece of history to life.”

Scott Wallace

Author of The Unconquered

Chanan Tigay has written a wonderful book… a gripping adventure … The Lost Book of Moses is masterfully told, shot through with wit and insight and infused with deep knowledge of Biblical scripture. This book will appeal not only to enthusiasts of antiquity and the birth of the Judeo-Christian tradition, but to all who love a well-crafted mystery.”

Jason Roberts

National Book Critics Circle Finalist, A Sense of the World

A enthralling historical mystery in the grand tradition of The Devil in the White City and The Professor and the Madman. Tigay unfolds a compelling narrative of passions, delusions, deceptions and death, an epic of frailties and faith worthy of the Old Testament itself. The Lost Book of Moses marks the auspicious debut of an assured researcher and gifted storyteller.”

Lis Harris

Former staff writer for The New Yorker and author of Holy Days: The World of a Hasidic Family

A wonderfully fluid, rich biography-cum-archeological mystery about an enigmatic, fascinating figure, previously lost to the vapors of time. In his global search for the truth about Moses Shapira’s life and the ur-Bible he hoped would make his fortune, Tigay has sorted through mountains of scholarly material and transformed them into a riveting, lucid narrative.”

Justin St. Germain

Author of Son of a Gun

This book’s plot is straight out of Indiana Jones, and every bit as entertaining …  Chanan Tigay writes with the grand historical perspective of Erik Larson, the addictive storytelling of Simon Winchester, and the penetrating insight of Sebastian Junger. The Lost Book of Moses is an amazing story told by a writer of formidable talent.”

  Matti Friedman

Author of The Aleppo Codex

In The Lost Book of Moses, journalist Chanan Tigay takes a fascinating headfirst dive into the little-known subculture of the ‘Shapiramaniacs’ – a cadre of obsessives pursuing a lost treasure linked to one of the great, elusive, and possibly criminal figures of early biblical archaeology. Years of international detective work have produced a saga of faith and fraud set in the days when it seemed one ceramic shard or scrap of parchment just might change the world.”


Starred Review

“ … an intriguing and wide-ranging tale … arresting … painstakingly reconstructed … touching and informative.”

New York Post

Must-Read Book of the Week

Journalist Tigay hunts down the truth about Moses Shapira, an outlandish 19th century archeologist who claimed he had discovered the oldest bible in the world, killed himself after a rival called him a fraud and left no trace of the elusive artifact. Tigay treks through musty attics and museum storerooms in Europe and Australia attempting to solve the mystery, and the history, of this strange event.