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Scripture Twisting: 20 Ways the Cults Misread the Bible Paperback – November 1, 1980

4.6 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"In this relatively short book, Sire handily addresses the most common issues encountered when interpreting the Bible. While he specifically refers to examples relevant to cults and new religions, the application of Sire's insights extend far beyond those areas. Scripture Twisting remains a great book nearly 30 years after publication. If you're looking for an introduction to hermeneutics that doesn't read like a textbook, I highly recommend Sire's fine book." (Robert Velarde, robertvelarde.blogspot.com, December 12, 2008)

About the Author

James W. Sire (PhD, University of Missouri), formerly a senior editor at InterVarsity Press, is an active speaker and writer. He has taught English, philosophy, theology, and short courses at many universities and seminaries. He continues to be a frequent guest lecturer in the United States and Europe. His InterVarsity Press books and Bible studies include The Universe Next Door (a worldviews textbook), Scripture Twisting, Discipleship of the Mind, Chris Chrisman Goes to College, Why Should Anyone Believe Anything at All?, Habits of the Mind: Intellectual Life as a Christian Calling, Naming the Elephant: Worldview as a Concept, Learning to Pray Through the Psalms, Why Good Arguments Often Fail and A Little Primer on Humble Apologetics.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 177 pages
  • Publisher: IVP Books (November 1, 1980)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0877846111
  • ISBN-13: 978-0877846116
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.4 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #708,571 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Born on a ranch on the rim of the Nebraska Sandhills, James W. Sire has been an officer in the Army, a college professor of English literature, philosophy and theology, the chief editor of InterVarsity Press (a Christian publisher of books for thoughtful readers), a lecturer at over two hundred universities in the U.S., Canada, Eastern and Western Europe and Asia, and the author of twenty books on literature, philosophy and the Christian faith. His book The Universe Next Door, published in 1976 and now in its fifth edition, has sold over 350,000 copies and has been translated into 18 foreign languages. He holds a B.A. in chemistry and English from the University of Nebraska, an M.A. in English from Washington State College (now University) and a Ph.D. in English from the University of Missouri. His memoir is The Rim of the Sandhills (eBook on Kindle and Nook). His most recent book is Echoes of a Voice (Cascade, 2014), an in-depth analysis of signals of transcendence, those sudden, unbidden, unexpected, strange experiences that point to the Presence of a realm beyond the material.


Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Scripture Twisting By James W.Sire is, I think, the single best book on this subject. It is rare to find a book which does more than label and bash cults. This book does much more. It thoughtfully explains the errors of biblical interpretation and standard theological thought that leaders of major cults have had, in order to come to their conclusions about God. It is also very instructive for those of us who may be guilty of "misreading" our own Bibles to prove our own points or underscore our own personal theologies, rather than letting the Bible speak for itself.
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Format: Paperback
This book is quite instructional on how not to make the most common errors in biblical interpretation, but I always thought it should have been respectfully entitled, "Scripture Twisting: Twenty Ways We All Misread The Bible." It's just human nature to want to put all the blame on others, and feel that we are doing things "right." No matter what the others do, we certainly have enough folks in our own congregations (I am not excluded) who have misinterpreted passages even with the best of intentions.
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This is probably the best resource I've seen on understanding how so many can read the same Bible and get entirely different meanings. Sire's clear and understandable writing style make the read enjoyable as well as informative. I give this book the highest recommendation I can to anyone, Christian or otherwise, as a great introduction to how to get at the intended meaning of the Bible.
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Format: Paperback
I first read this book about 15 years ago, and it is one of the most influential Christian books I have ever read. It has provided an insightful guide to decoding and avoiding bad doctrine--both that presented by others and my own. His principles help clarify when I am making errors in my own interpretation of Scripture as well.
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Format: Paperback
It's true - none of us are perfect, and no one has 100% accurate understanding of the Bible. Yet Sire's little book is a great summary of 20 ways the Scripture gets twisted around (intentionally, and unintentionally). I found this a great teaching tool not only regarding cult teachings, but also for understanding errors within mainline denominational Scripture translations and interpretations, as well.
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By A Customer on May 30, 1998
Format: Paperback
Every old or new believer in Christ should have this book in his/her library. James Sire has created a 'classic' with this book. I recommend it to every and anyone- proper Biblical interpretation can keep one off the road to spiritual darkness and Mr. Sire's book provides a good basis for learning proper Biblical interpretation, evaluating the claims of such cults as Mormons, JW's, the Unification church and others who believers in Christ are confronted with in their daily walk.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is true to its title. Not only will it help you to see and will show you how the Scriptures have been twisted, but will also assist you to understand the translation and paraphrasing process of the Scriptures. I believe it is a "must have" for those whose interest in the Bible as the word of God is genuine. It is easy to read, easy to follow and precise in its information. It is printed in a 10 or 11 typesetting which is very easy on the eyes (for those that may have problems with their vision). I could not put it down, and keep it very close for it has a quick reference (Apendix) section that comes in handy.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Recommendation:

Read this book so you can quickly and easily spot the repeated errors of false teachers like Joel Osteen, Joyce Meyer, Beth Moore, and Sarah Young. Not only will you be able to catch their errors, but you will be able to explain to others how these false teachers are misusing the Bible.

Chapters:
1. The Methodology of Misreading: An Introduction
2. World-View Confusion: A Preliminary View
3. The Text of Scripture
4. Scripture as Rhetoric
5. Scripture as Literature
6. Scripture as Evidence
7. Reasoning from Scripture
8. The Authority of the Bible
9. World-View Confusion: The Heart of the Matter
10. The Discipleship of the Word

Detailed Review:

In his preface to the book, James Sire writes:

As Christians and, we trust, good readers of the Bible, we need all the help we can get to be sure we are reading the Scripture accurately, that we are indeed worshiping the one true God. That's why I wrote this book: to help all of us-myself as much as anyone-to become better readers of the Scriptures, more devoted followers of our Lord Jesus Christ, more effective communicators of God's truth to all people. But the book also seeks a special audience-those being led, as are so many today, by false teachers into false doctrines and perhaps eventually into eternal darkness (Sire, p. 8).

While the text and the examples within the book are focused on the cults, the lessons are equally important today within Christianity. People within the church misuse and abuse the Bible in the same manner as the cults. Satan uses the same playbook in both cases.
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