Re-Claiming the Bible for a Non-Religious World (Google eBook)

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Harper Collins, Nov 8, 2011 - Religion - 432 pages
23 Reviews

For two hundred years, scholars have been analyzing one of the most important books ever written—the Bible—and overturning much of what we once thought we knew. Everyday Christians, however, are not privy to this deeper conversation. It is for these people that renowned bishop and author John Shelby Spong presents Re-Claiming the Bible for a Non-Religious World, a book designed to take readers into the contemporary academic debate about the Bible.

A definitive voice for progressive Christianity, Spong frees readers from a literal view of the Bible. He opens the possibility that some of the characters in the New Testament are imaginary composites or even literary creations—such as Joseph, the earthly father of Jesus; Judas Iscariot; Nicodemus; the Samaritan woman by the well; and Lazarus who was raised from the dead. He presents the Bible as an ever-changing and always growing story. He demonstrates that it is possible to be both a deeply committed Christian and an informed twenty-first-century citizen.

In this thorough, substantive guide, Spong explores the origin and essential meaning of each of the individual books in the Bible, examining the background, the context, the level of authenticity and even the trustworthiness of the messages found there. He explains why these particular books, written between two and three thousand years ago, came to be regarded as authoritative and preserved as sacred; he traces the pathway that biblical religion has traveled as it evolved through the centuries, and he shows how people have misused many of these texts in the service of their prejudices.

Reaching far beyond the familiar Sunday-school stories that have provided the content of most people’s biblical knowledge, Spong’s journey into the heart of the Bible is his attempt to call his readers into their own journeys into the mystery of God. “One does not,” he asserts, “have to twist one’s brain into a first-century pretzel in order to take the Bible seriously in this increasingly non-religious world.”

  

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Again, a very helpful insight. - Goodreads
This, to me, was a very helpful insight. - Goodreads
And what insights he has to share! - Goodreads

Review: Re-Claiming the Bible for a Non-Religious World

User Review  - Andrew Ward - Goodreads

John Shelby Spong is my favorite progressive Christian author. This book is a great overview of the latest biblical scholarship. Want to know what theologians know in a very lay friendly form, this is your book. Read full review

Review: Re-Claiming the Bible for a Non-Religious World

User Review  - Jim - Goodreads

For those who love the church as well as the Bible and its history, this is an important book. Spong is hyper- modern in his approach, and often a bit supercilious, but summarizes modern Biblical ... Read full review

Contents

Preface
Breaking Open the Books of Moses
The Deuteronomic Writers
The Story of Nathan
The Isaiahs I II and III
Ezekiel
Micah
Ruth
The Corinthian Letters
Resurrection According to Paul
Resurrection Through Jewish Eyes
Romans
The Theology of Paul as Revealed in Romans
Who Is Christ for Paul?
The Elder Paul
PostPauline Epistles

LITURGICAL BOOKS AND WISDOM LITERATURE
The Book of Psalms
Wisdom Literature
Lamentations and Esther
The Chronicler Ezra and Nehemiah
INTRODUCING THE CHRISTIAN SCRIPTURES COMMONLY CALLED THE NEW TESTAMENT
A New BeginningAn Old Theme
Dating the Historical Jesus
Dating the New Testament in Relation to the Life of Jesus
The Oral Period
THE FIRST NEW TESTAMENT WRITER
The Witness of Paul
Pauls Secret Thorn
Pauls Early Epistles
THE SYNOPTIC GOSPELS
Exploring Mark
Marks Use of Synagogue Worship Patterns
Marks First Narrative of the Crucifixion
Matthew
Matthews Interpretive Secret
Matthew and the Liturgical Year of the Synagogue
Luke
Lukes Vision of Universalism
Acts
Paul and Early Christians as Viewed Through Acts
Introducing the Johannine Material
The Johannine Epistles and the Book of Revelation
About the Publisher

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About the author (2011)

John Shelby Spong was the Episcopal (Anglican) bishop of Newark for twenty-four years. Since then he has taught at Harvard, Drew, the University of the Pacific, and the Berkeley Graduate Theological Union. Selling over a million copies, his books include The Sins of Scripture, Eternal Life: A New Vision, Jesus for the Non-Religious, Why Christianity Must Change or Die, and his autobiography, Here I Stand. His weekly online column reaches thousands of subscribers all over the world. He lives with his wife, Christine, in Morris Plains, New Jersey.

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