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The Good Book: Reading the Bible with Mind and Heart Paperback – April 30, 2002
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Top Customer Reviews
The Bible has been used for centuries as an excuse for slavery, for bigotry, for war, for torture, for anti-Semitism, for homophobia, and for misogyny. It has been used as a crutch for those emotionally immature enough to need to feel right and morally superior. The people who would use the Bible in this way--and they continue to flourish and proliferate--will probably have little use for Gomes's impressive volume, and so be it. For the rest of us, however, The Good Book is worthwhile and enriching. It illuminates the Bible for both the veteran churchgoer and the uninitiated. In teaching Sunday school and Confirmation classes for the Episcopal Church and in delivering funeral and wedding sermons, I have drawn on Gomes's book again and again to help convey the Christian message.
Anyone interested in reading the Bible with "mind and heart" will find The Good Book to be a good read.
My wife knows many Jews and got a lot out of the chapter that refuted Biblical arguments for Anti-Semitism, as did I. We especially got a lot out of the chapter on the refutation of Biblical justifications for slavery, as I am white, and our marriage would have been illegal 50 years ago in many states. We found Gomes rebuttal of the sinfulness of homosexuality to be very balanced and informed and were a little surprised when he bravely admits to being gay.
Overall, The Good Book opened our eyes to the fact that the Bible is a great source of understanding God as a peaceful and loving God. We are no longer scared of reading the Bible anymore.
This book helped me see that one does not have to turn the Bible into a religous idol in order to gain spiritual nourishment from it. It also placed into context some of the more confusing laws and holiness codes from the Pentateuch.
In short, Professor Gomes has helped me reclaim much of the good from my Christian heritage.
Gomes' aim with this book seems to have been to help recover the original "voice" of the Bible. His concern, as has been the concern of many before him, is to let the Bible speak for itself rather than through the interlocutors of its many and varied readers. Reclaiming this more authentic voice, he contends, is necessary if we are to rescue the Bible from the hands of those who mistakenly use it to advance their own prejudices and agenda. His particular concern is with those who use the Bible to further circumscribe the freedoms of women, blacks, and homosexuals. But in the course of his defense, he also does a creditable job of rescuing the Bible from others who in one way or another have misunderstood its essential nature. You may not agree with his conclusions, but you will appreciate Rev. Gomes' fresh new look at some familiar passages of Scripture.
Intended for the layman, The Good Book also is worthwhile reading for anyone interested in the Bible and its interpretation.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The Revered Peter J. Gomes was for over 40 years, the Pusey Minister and Harvard University's Memorial Church. Read morePublished 5 months ago by A. Silverstone
I read this book several years ago, but wanted my own copy.Published 9 months ago by Waffle-making Tutu
Gomes' "The Good Book" is a challenging read, although some of his examples are, frankly, dated.Published 9 months ago by Rachel
Love those who have a gift & can put it into words! The book was very educational for me.Published 12 months ago by Angela Gaeddert
Reverend Gomes reflections on the Bible is many things and has many parts. It is essentially divided into three parts: 1) How we relate to it, 2) How it relates to us, and 3) How... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Gregory Alan Wingo
Book Report (Excerpt) on The Good Book, Reading the Bible with Heart and Mind,
By Peter J. Gomes
William Morrow and Company, Inc. Read more
Having done theology for my first degree, I didn’t find anything new in this book. However, it explains, in a popular language, the findings of biblical scholars which many in the... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Mr. D. P. Jay