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The Bible Makes Sense Paperback – April, 1997

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Editorial Reviews


“This is a splendid little book. I set myself to reading it as a chore . . . and ended up being delighted and challenged and astonished, all at the same time.” — Michael Warren, the Religious Education Association

“Brueggemann is a prophet in his own right, and thus quite well equipped to make sense out of the Bible.” —Richard Rohr
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Walter Brueggemann is Professor of Old Testament at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Georgia. The author of many best-selling books, Professor Brueggemann's lectures and travels have taken him across America as well Europe and Israel. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 125 pages
  • Publisher: Saint Mary's Press; Revised edition (April 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0884893561
  • ISBN-13: 978-0884893561
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,701,183 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Walter Brueggemann is William Marcellus McPheeters Professor of Old Testament Emeritus at Columbia Theological Seminary. He is the world's leading interpreter of the Old Testament and is the author of numerous books, including Westminster John Knox Press best sellers such as Genesis and First and Second Samuel in the Interpretation series, An Introduction to the Old Testament: The Canon and Christian Imagination, and Reverberations of Faith: A Theological Handbook of Old Testament Themes.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Rainbow in the Rubble on October 12, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Brueggemann invites readers to Scripture study as a feast that can transform. He presents the Bible as a memory book that gives us an identity and promises a future. It is never a closed book of past events.
I found the ideas presented in this book life giving. Each chapter closes with reflection questions for discussion and a meditation that connects the points from the chapter to scripture and to life.
It is challenging reading and for best results share the reflections with others.
Most interesting for me was that the Bible is not an answer book but a book that asks questions. In the process of living in those questions our perception of life changes. The Bible is meant to be life changing.
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35 of 38 people found the following review helpful By on February 7, 1999
Format: Paperback
The author outlines three pervasive world views (eg. scientific/material) and persuasively makes the case that Bible study can transform your world view to one supporting life, freedom and newness. This non-denominational, easily-read book will make you take out your Bible and not have it seem like a chore.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By FrKurt Messick HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on February 19, 2004
Format: Paperback
I have been a `fan' of Walter Brueggemann since discovering his great text `Theology of the Old Testament' a few years prior to going to seminary, and then studying the text in detail with the great Gerry Janzen, guru of the Hebrew Scriptures at my seminary. Naturally, when I saw Brueggemann's name on this text, I had to read it. While not his best work in an academically rigourous sense, it is certainly classic Brueggemann in tone and content.
This book, unlike most of his product, is not intended for students and scholars as the primary audience, but rather meant for the general reader of the Bible. I could see this text forming the basis for a discussion series, being designed with reflection pieces and questions at the end of each brief chapter. There are ten chapters in all, organised according to concerns the `typical' reader of the Bible (if such a creature exists) might have.
The first chapter sets the contextual stage - what kind of society are we in? How are we likely to read the Bible, given the kind of world that we live in? Brueggemann addresses the different kinds of models that have arisen in scholarship in the past few generations, and proposes a model grounded in the covenantal structure of the Bible.
Further chapters take this starting point of covenant and respect for the Bible as a collection of narratives and voices for nurturing an appreciation for imaginative history, looking at the Bible as a work of literature in addition to a covenant document, seeing the character of God and Christ and the grace offered from them through conversion into covenantal relationship, and our role as part of the body of Christ and the family of God. All of these naturally follow from Brueggemann's initial foundation.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Timothy Kearney VINE VOICE on November 23, 2005
Format: Paperback
For most Christians, the title of this book THE BIBLE MAKES SENSE may seem like an obvious statement until one sits down to actually read the text. Upon reading the Bible, all sorts of questions can come to mind, especially when we read something that sounds either implausible or makes believing in a just and merciful God based solely on scripture somewhat difficult. The truth of the matter is that the Bible is the most important text in the Judeo-Christian tradition, contains some of the most beautiful stories and passages ever put on paper, and has inspired people for centuries and will continue to do so. While it is one of the most challenging texts to understand, understanding the Bible is essential for nurturing faith.

Noted scripture scholar Walter Brueggemann makes the understanding of scripture a bit easier in his book THE BIBLE MAKES SENSE. Brueggemann invites readers to become insiders when reading scripture. Becoming an insider involves a number of aspects. First it builds on the person's faith. It also encourages basic knowledge about the test understanding it in its historical context as well as appreciating the form of literature being used in the text. While he does not deny the importance of contemporary scholarship, it only comes into the text when it is helpful in understanding the text. He devotes chapters to current issues necessary for understanding scripture, God's role in the Bible, the role of Jesus Christ, and the ways that the Bible is always living and never becomes static.

This book is an excellent introduction for a more serious study of scripture. It is written in an inviting way so that readers who have little or no knowledge of scripture study can understand it but also offers new insight to more experienced readers.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Paul on January 27, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Brueggemann has done excellent work here in orienting the reader of the Bible to the "inside" track. I have used his approach in classes with teenagers interested in, but often confused by, the Bible. When you start at the heart of the text and work through the confusing stuff with the heart in mind, the Bible DOES make sense! Good for the thoughtful layperson as well as the formal student of the Word.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Self-Study on January 17, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book is an outstanding introduction. It's inspiring and offers a fresh perspective on the core of Christian belief. Its paradigm is the historical covenantal approach to Christian belief. It is a better introduction than any book I've read because it does not delve into the intricacies of exegesis or other complex analysis and yet you are aware that there is more you should know. It gives one an intellectual foundation on what it means to be Christian.
Of course it's not an all-encompassing tome - well good, that's not what is needed to start. Its title says most of what it's trying to accomplish. Though the title might seem pedantic, it tersely and unpretentiously expresses its basic thesis, and does not indicate a lack of sophistication on the defense of the thesis.
It would be a great read for a 12-14 yr. old. Yet, I read it when I was 20+ and I thought it was brilliant while concise. After reading it you will read on with a great foundation. I still like to go back and read it. It is a model of conciseness.
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