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What Is the Bible?: How an Ancient Library of Poems, Letters, and Stories Can Transform the Way You Think and Feel About Everything Hardcover – May 16, 2017
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“Rob Bell is at it again. Love him or loathe him, the theological provacateur says it’s time to rethink the Bible.” (Relevant)
“With pastoral prodding, Rob Bell helps us see that scripture is a masterpiece of penetrating subtleties crafted by ancient authors with a transformative vision for humanity. Bell reminds us that the Bible is neither simple nor mundane, but worthy of our full attention.” (Peter Enns, author of The Sin of Certainty and host of The Bible For Normal People podcast)
From the Back Cover
I’ve been reading and studying and exploring and rereading and rethinking and giving sermons from the Bible for twenty-five years, and I find it more compelling and mysterious and interesting and dangerous and convicting and helpful and strange and personal and inspiring and divine and enjoyable than ever.
Some people see the Bible as an outdated book of primitive, barbaric fairy tales that we have moved beyond. And then there are the folks who talk about how important and central and inspired the Bible is but then butcher it with their stilted literalism and stifling interpretations. But you, I want you to read the Bible in a whole new way.
—from What Is the Bible?
In Love Wins, New York Times bestselling author Rob Bell confronted the troubling questions that many people were afraid to ask about heaven, hell, fate, and faith. Using the same inspired, inquisitive approach, he now turns to the most widely read book of all time. What Is the Bible? provides surprising insights and answers about how the Bible actually works as a source of faith and guidance, showcasing a brand-new way of reading this sacred text.
Bell takes us deep into actual passages, revealing not only the humanity behind the scriptures but the revelation that one cannot get to the holy without going through the human. When considering a passage, Bell explains the worst question we can ask of a text (“Why did God . . . ?”) and the best question to ask (“Why did people find this important to write down?”) to get at how scripture can best guide us today. In asking these questions, Bell goes beyond the one-dimensional question of “is it true?” to reveal the Bible’s surprisingly transformative power. What Is the Bible? recaptures this ancient library’s subversive energy and reaffirms its enduring ability to inspire and shape our lives today.
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Top customer reviews
There certainly will be some who will think Bell is questioning the authority of The Bible, or that he is denying any divine inspiration within scripture. I think if you read this book and come away thinking those things, you've missed the point:
"What we have is a fascinating, messy, unpredictable, sometimes breathtakingly beautiful, other times viscerally repulsive collection of stories and poems and letters and accounts and Gospels that reflect the growing conviction that we matter, that everything is connected, and that human history is headed somewhere."
Bell's point is that he wants us to read The Bible in a whole new way, a way that asks more questions, better questions, dangerous questions, even those questions that rise honestly from places of hurt and anger.
Bell's book, "What Is The Bible?" does not answer the question "is it true?". Rather, it encourages us to ask, "what is it saying, then and now?"