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!
Excellent as is his entire corpus. He is not a pseudo Unitarian. Jesus is his window. Into GodPublished 2 months ago by Robert A. Beizer
This is a great book for understanding the bible. Spong is a marvelous scholar and puts it all into perspective. Read morePublished 2 months ago by David M. Pittle
i am not much of a religious person but I do believe humans need to accept and love each other. The things that bother me about religion are blind faith, people who think they... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Larry
For those who want to know the truth about the Bible, please read this book. If you just want to be comfortable and put your faith in the world of myths created by those men of... Read morePublished 4 months ago by LORETTA M. HODGES
Bishop Spong at his best. But then he's always at his best, so this book is no exception.Published 4 months ago by Astrocat
Extremely swell written. Probably distressing to literal-minded fundamentalist Christians.Published 4 months ago by sloggo
SPONG is so with it...... have read most of his books. He has read the Bible over 25 times and knows it well. I haven't even read it one time. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Timothy
A lottopic. of material to cover in one book. Well done - the presentation/style made it a good read for a difficultPublished 5 months ago by Thomas Martin
Spong cuts through the tribal layers and finds the core of spirituality.Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer