Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

Buy New
$28.56
Qty:1
  • List Price: $32.00
  • Save: $3.44 (11%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
God's Word in Human Words... has been added to your Cart
Sell yours for a Gift Card
We'll buy it for $6.75
Learn More
Trade in now
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

God's Word in Human Words: An Evangelical Appropriation of Critical Biblical Scholarship Paperback – March 1, 2008

3.7 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

See all 2 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$28.56
$19.88 $19.49

Top 20 lists in Books
Top 20 lists in Books
View the top 20 best sellers of all time, the most reviewed books of all time and some of our editors' favorite picks. Learn more
$28.56 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. In Stock. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

  • God's Word in Human Words: An Evangelical Appropriation of Critical Biblical Scholarship
  • +
  • Primer on Biblical Methods
Total price: $44.51
Buy the selected items together


Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

"Finally, a fresh, creative, carefully nuanced approach to biblical criticism from an evangelical! Sparks skillfully makes his case for a 'believing criticism' by carefully assessing the current available alternatives. His thorough, methodical work stakes out for many thoughtful evangelicals a credible, theologically based, devout place to stand in integrating critical work and faith. I highly recommend it."--Robert L. Hubbard Jr., North Park Theological Seminary

"This important volume provides a bridge between critical scholarship and traditional views on Scripture. In the process of surveying the flash points created by modern critical scholarship, Sparks champions 'practical realism' as an approach that provides a more productive middle ground. Both evangelicals and nonevangelicals will benefit from this very frank discussion of the history and possible future for biblical scholarship."--Victor H. Matthews, Missouri State University

"Sparks issues an irenic invitation to reconcile academic consensus with evangelical conviction in ways that respect and inform both. His plea for his fellow evangelicals to take historical criticism much more seriously features impressive and honest arguments for mainstream critical stances toward Old and New Testament texts, informative tours of fields from hermeneutics to Assyriology to patristic and Reformation theology, and a bold proposal to affirm biblical inerrancy in terms of perfect divine accommodation to human error. May it encourage and shape the fruitful conversation we evangelicals absolutely need to have."--Telford Work, Westmont College

"Sparks asks hard questions. In this volume he provides answers that he believes satisfy intellectually as well as spiritually. His erudition is evident on every page. Of course, not all will agree with his version of 'practical realism' and how it relates to biblical hermeneutics, but few can deny that he has advanced the conversation in a way that is helpful and healthy."--Bill T. Arnold, Asbury Theological Seminary

"Sparks emphatically affirms both the methodology and results of historical and modern biblical criticism and the authority of Scripture. He distinguishes divine inerrancy from the finite and fallible human vessels through whom God chose to reveal God's Word. This is a valuable window into the 'progressive evangelical' approach to the nature of Scripture."--Elaine A. Phillips, Gordon College

About the Author

Kenton L. Sparks (Ph.D., University of North Carolina) is professor of biblical studies and special assistant to the provost at Eastern University. He is author of several books, including Ancient Texts for the Study of the Hebrew Bible.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Image
Looking for the Audiobook Edition?
Tell us that you'd like this title to be produced as an audiobook, and we'll alert our colleagues at Audible.com. If you are the author or rights holder, let Audible help you produce the audiobook: Learn more at ACX.com.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Baker Academic (March 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801027012
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801027017
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,006,157 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Kenton Sparks does his best in this book to convince evangelicals that it's all right to critically study the Bible while holding on to a belief in the Bible's authority and inerrancy. However, it gets more complicated than that. Sparks is out to expose conservative evangelical scholars who use faulty arguments to explain away the findings of more moderate and critical scholars.

Sparks begins by noting that scholars who study ancient Egypt and Assyria don't just accept any inscription they find at face value and call it authentic. They have tests that can reveal the inscription's authenticity. The same is true with the Bible. Sparks goes on to show that scholarly and critical studies of the Scriptures reveal that Moses didn't write the Pentateuch (there were several different traditions combined together over many centuries), the Flood may not have happened as it is written, the Exodus story may not have happened as it is written, the Creation accounts differ and reflect literary art more than they do actual science and history, John and the Synoptic gospels contradict each other at certain points (as do the OT books of Samuel and Chronicles), and Paul didn't write the pastoral epistles.

But after all this and more, Sparks still wants to hold to a doctrine of biblical inerrancy, holding that God speaks inerrantly through Scripture while accommodating Himself to all the errors that human beings made when they wrote the Scriptures. In other words, God is inerrant, but the Bible writers were not.

Sparks believes that if we allow for the possibility that large swaths of Scripture are inspired sagas or legends or myths that teach spiritual truth, many of the critical problems scholars face will disappear.
Read more ›
14 Comments 53 of 59 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
In this volume Kenton Sparks invites Evangelicals to reconsider biblical authority according to a paradigm which, rather than undermine critical biblical scholarship, seeks to integrate it. Sparks, an Evangelical himself, speaks directly to an Evangelical readership as he builds an erudite but broad argument for (1) a tendentious Evangelical view of biblical authority and inerrancy, and (2) the futility of Evangelical opposition to the methodologies and conclusions of critical scholarship. God's Word in Human Words is Spark's attempt to correct the former and provide a more constructive alternative to the latter.

Spark's Preface narrates a crisis of faith which may sound familiar to many Evangelical scholars. Through this crisis, Spark's describes the problem which is the impetus for this book. His Introduction describes this problem with a bit more detail and invites the reader to consider the possibility that critical scholarship, the antagonist in his original crisis of faith and the opponent to so much contemporary Evangelical biblical scholarship, is built on a solid foundation and is crucial to the future of that scholarship.

Chapter 1 is a useful sketch of the history of epistemology and hermeneutics. In addition to providing a background for the modern critical approach to the Bible, it lays the foundation for the epistemological position that will inform much of Spark's hermeneutic, namely practical realism. According to this position, a kind of "soft" post-modernism, real knowledge is sufficiently available to the investigator, even if theoretically never absolute. Hermeneutic is a secondary concern of this chapter, but it will receive more attention in later chapters.
Read more ›
5 Comments 11 of 15 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is the most important book on evangelical, critical, biblical scholarship to date. Those who read its distinctive chapters in the pursuit of truth, with one eye on the church and one eye on the academy, will be duly rewarded. Although I do not affirm every argument or inference, and although I had already worked through many of these issues in my postgraduate studies, this book has strengthened my faith in the risen Lord and freed me to be completely honest with the nature of the biblical evidence. For this, I thank God and Professor Sparks.
Comment 4 of 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
When the evangelical movement began not so very long ago, its one, defining doctrine that unified people from diverse ecclesiastical backgrounds was belief in the inerrancy of the Bible. Kenton Sparks, a Bible professor at Eastern University, joins a number of people who for some reason want to retain their evangelical identity and yet deny the Bible's inerrancy. This is not particularly new, since Sparks's book essentially represents the "limited inerrancy" position taken by Jack Rogers and Donald McKim almost 30 years ago (The Authority and Interpretation of the Bible, 1979) with similarities also with James Barr's Fundamentalism (1977) (see pp. 196-99) and James D. G. Dunn's Unity and Diversity in the New Testament (1977; 3d ed. 2006).

Kenton Sparks does not label his own position "limited inerrancy" (more or less an oxymoron), and he updates Rogers and McKim by grounding his own thesis about the Bible's supposed errancy in contemporary postmodern hermeneutical theories which emphasize the roll of the reader in the interpretive process and human fallibility as agents and receptors of communication. God is inerrant, we are told, but he has spoken through human authors who because of their "finitude and fallenness" necessarily produced a flawed biblical text (pp. 243-44). (Sparks does not tell us how we can be certain that God is inerrant. If he were right, one must accept that the biblical authors were possibly in error when they portray God as inerrant.)

The "errors" in the Bible which Sparks confidently posits extends from the geocentric ("phenomenological") perspective of biblical authors to classic problems raised by historical criticism over the last several centuries.
Read more ›
1 Comment 1 of 1 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
God's Word in Human Words: An Evangelical Appropriation of Critical Biblical Scholarship
This item: God's Word in Human Words: An Evangelical Appropriation of Critical Biblical Scholarship
Price: $28.56
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com

Want to discover more products? Check out this page to see more: human spark