- Hardcover: 264 pages
- Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers (September 16, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0742562530
- ISBN-13: 978-0742562530
- Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 0.9 x 9.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #650,852 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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What the Bible Really Tells Us: The Essential Guide to Biblical Literacy Hardcover – September 16, 2011
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T.J. Wray's What the Bible Really Tells Us provides the general public and undergraduates in Bible and Religion courses everywhere with a step by step introductory level text in the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament that is perfect for the present crop of readers. Her wry sense of humor and years of teaching expertise come through and the book also untangles some of the most vexing problems of theology, ethics, and society in an easily readable style. A great addition to a personal or institutional library!
---Richard Freund, director, Maurice Greenberg Center for Judaic Studies, University of Hartford.
T. J. Wray has done it again! With a remarkable blend of biblical knowledge, human insight, and literary skill, she has hit a '10' on the scale in interpreting the Bible for people who have great interest yet relatively little knowledge. How can anyone forget what the Bible has to say about our future, money, sex, the world in which we live, what is fair, and our relationship with God? Perhaps no one but What the Bible Really Tells Us comes to remind us about realities that we dare not forget.
---Raymond F. Collins, visiting scholar, Brown University
Honed from years of excellent teaching, TJ Wray's clarifying guide to biblical literacy is both witty and profound. Now, her readers get the benefit of her compelling classroom instruction and will love her as much as those students do!
---Robin M. Jensen, Luce Chancellor’s Professor of the History of Christian Art and Worship, Vanderbilt University
TJ Wray's What the Bible Really Tells Us is a fascinating, trip through all the basics of Biblical scholarship. Wray writes in an engaging accessible style that is perfect for the average reader who knows something about the Bible but little about the mysteries of what Bible scholars have uncovered in their work over the past two centuries. Wray makes the critical, academic, study of the Scriptures an enlightening but always enjoyable journey. She pulls the readers in from the first chapter and never lets them go with practical stories and examples but plenty of solid content. This book is perfect for the average reader as well as ideal for basic courses in the Bible at the college level.
---James A. Tabor, chair, Department of Religious Studies, University of North Carolina, Charlotte; author of The Jesus Dynasty
What the Bible Really Tells Us: The Essential Guide to Biblical Literacy.
Wray, T. J. (Author)
Oct 2011. 220 p. Rowman & Littlefield, hardcover, $24.95. (9780742562530).
The Bible is one of a few works that is best read with an introduction or guide at hand. Wray’s book is an engaging and excellent example of just such an aid. The collection of texts we now call the Bible was written over the course of many centuries, by different authors, in different languages, and under differing social and political circumstances. Understanding the times and places from whence these texts came is key to understanding what they mean. Wray devotes a couple of introductory chapters to the biblical world and the tools and methods scholars use in their exegetical work. But her intention is to get people reading the Bible, not to offer an academic, verse-by-verse commentary. Subsequent chapters, therefore, explore what the Bible says about such issues as wealth, heaven, hell, sex, and the environment, dispelling many commonly held assumptions and pointing out where disagreements in interpretation lie along the way. Wray succeeds in sharing the wisdom of the Bible by making it accessible, interesting, and fun.
About the Author
T. J. Wray is associate professor of religious studies at Salve Regina University and author of several books, including Surviving the Death of a Sibling and Good Girls, Bad Girls. She lives in Newport, Rhode Island.
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Top customer reviews
Dr Wray had me from the beginning. Try this. Take the link to "first pages" for Wray's book and take the Sixty-Second Super-Easy Bible Quiz. Do that and you will want to continue reading. The book is easy to read and very informative. Wray writes about key issues that are as important to us today as when they were first addressed over 2,000 years ago: pain and suffering, heaven and hell, wealth and riches, the environment.
This is one wonderful book that you will want to read through quickly and then come back to from time to time. You should keep this by your bible as a reference. And the next time someone comes on TV and tells you what you ought to believe you will be better prepared to think through their logic or lack thereof and know with much more certainty what you believe.
Add TJ Wray to the list of authors like Spong, Borg, Crossan and Amy-Jill Levine. For those who want an intelligent, well written guide to our Holy Scriptures I highly recommend this book.
After the pop quiz opening, I expected the book to be a Bible Introduction course, and I worried that perhaps it wouldn't hold my interest. I was wrong. It's true, Wray writes down to the level of readers who know little or nothing about the Bible, but her writing is insightful and fun. Wray "seeks to address the real and urgent problem of contemporary biblical illiteracy," not by teaching us everything that's in the Bible, but by stimulating a curiosity about it, so that we'll read it for ourselves.
So this book is not a Bible overview. It is instead, after a short Bible Basics lead-in, an insightful discussion of seven critical issues that we should all find vital to our philosophy of life and spiritual well-being. Precisely the sort of instruction we expect to find by turning to our Bibles--yet most of us hold an erroneous assumption about what the Bible really says. These seven topics are:
 Why do we suffer?
 Heaven and hell
 What the Bible says about wealth and riches
 Sexuality and gender
 Biblical law and justice
 The Bible and the environment
 Prayer and worship
All seven proved to be great reading! Made me want to sign up for her class.