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Letting the Bible Challenge Us Again,
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This review is from: Global Bible Commentary (Paperback)
The Global Bible Commentary challenges us to step outside ourselves and see the Bible from new perspectives. I've used this book in seminary as assigned reading in New Testament and optional reading in Old Testament. The contributors are bible scholars, and the editor has taken pains to "approximate the geographical, denominational and gender balance of Bible readers around the world today." [xxi] Choosing Bible *readers* shifts emphasis away from the West and towards women, the poor and oppressed in emerging societies. If one thinks context is not relevant to biblical interpretation, then one is likely to be challenged by this book.
The book offers at least one commentary for each book of the Bible plus five general commentaries on Jesus from an African, Asian, Latin, Orthodox, and "Western" perspective. For each commentary, the contributing scholar provides a description of their own life context, a commentary on the text, and a conclusion. The textual commentary usually reflects current scholarship and could complement any bible study.
The context and conclusion often generate surprising insights - for example, one sees how Judges and 1 & 2 Samuel could resonate with African tribal history and generate skepticism towards the rise of the kings, or why South American readers find Ezekial's vision both promising and oppressive. I was fascinated how Indian and Nigerian writers applied Paul's letters to the divided church in Corinth to their church situations today.
For people who take the Bible seriously, the Global Bible Commentary offers new eyes with which to approach familiar texts. We get to re-read and be re-challenged by words we thought we knew.