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.”
Spong presents some realism into the Bible without destroying its sacredness.
I read this when it first came out and, once again, marveled at Bishop Spong's knowledge and interpretation of the historical foundations of each book of the Bible.
A very interesting book, one which everyone should read who has a problem with what the Bible has to say, and how it says it!
Spong cuts through the tribal layers and finds the core of spirituality.Published 9 days ago by Amazon Customer
John Shelby Spong is the best thing that's happened to Christianity in years. Let's leave the mythology and superstition behind and begin appreciating the great culture and... Read morePublished 19 days ago by prime customer
Bishop John Shelby Spong is an extremely intellegent man who although he has and still disturbs many fundamental Christians who need to believe the Bible is infallible, has tried... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Shaman
If one desires to disprove the Holiness of the Holy Bible; to undermine much of the essence of the Bible and to some degree the Jewish Torah; or to help others rationalize their... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Layman Follower
After years of reading the bible and finding it less than satisfying, reading Bishop Spong was like turning on a million watt bulb of revelation. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Marsetta Ray