In this seminal account, acclaimed historian Karen Armstrong discusses the conception, gestation, life, and afterlife of history’s most powerful book. Armstrong analyzes the social and political situation in which oral history turned into written scripture, how this all-pervasive scripture was collected into one work, and how it became accepted as Christianity’s sacred text, and how its interpretation changed over time. Armstrong’s history of the Bible is a brilliant, captivating book, crucial in an age of declining faith and rising fundamentalism.
without the crutch of religion but I would argue that it is the only way
to achieve true goodness." Disproving Christianity and Other Secular
Writings compiles popular and lesser-known arguments against the
principles established by the Christian canon. Using a phenomenological
approach to build his case based on in-depth study at the University of
California, Santa Barbara McAfee analyzes the Hebrew Scriptures and New
Testament doctrine to build a logical and reasonable case against their
validity. From contradictions between lived and portrayed religions to
factual errors within the texts themselves, no stone is left unturned in
this fully updated and expanded refutation of Christianity.
In this powerful and timely book, one of the most admired and authoritative religious leaders of our time tackles the phenomenon of religious extremism and violence committed in the name of God. If religion is perceived as being part of the problem, Rabbi Sacks argues, then it must also form part of the solution. When religion becomes a zero-sum conceit—that is, my religion is the only right path to God, therefore your religion is by definition wrong—and individuals are motivated by what Rabbi Sacks calls “altruistic evil,” violence between peoples of different beliefs appears to be the only natural outcome.
But through an exploration of the roots of violence and its relationship to religion, and employing groundbreaking biblical analysis and interpretation, Rabbi Sacks shows that religiously inspired violence has as its source misreadings of biblical texts at the heart of all three Abrahamic faiths. By looking anew at the book of Genesis, with its foundational stories of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, Rabbi Sacks offers a radical rereading of many of the Bible’s seminal stories of sibling rivalry: Cain and Abel, Isaac and Ishmael, Jacob and Esau, Joseph and his brothers, Rachel and Leah.
“Abraham himself,” writes Rabbi Sacks, “sought to be a blessing to others regardless of their faith. That idea, ignored for many of the intervening centuries, remains the simplest definition of Abrahamic faith. It is not our task to conquer or convert the world or enforce uniformity of belief. It is our task to be a blessing to the world. The use of religion for political ends is not righteousness but idolatry . . . To invoke God to justify violence against the innocent is not an act of sanctity but of sacrilege.” Here is an eloquent call for people of goodwill from all faiths and none to stand together, confront the religious extremism that threatens to destroy us, and declare: Not in God’s Name.
From the Hardcover edition.
Bishop John Shelby Spong boldly approaches those texts that have been used through history to justify the denigration or persecution of others while carrying with them the implied and imposed authority of the claim that they were the "Word of God." As he exposes and challenges what he calls the "terrible texts of the Bible", laying bare the evil done by these texts in the name of God, he also seeks to redeem these texts, hoping to recover their ultimate depth and purpose. Spong looks specifically at texts used to justify homophobia, anti-Semitism, treating women as second-class humans, corporal punishment, and environmental degradation, but he also delivers a new picture of how Christians can use the Bible today. As Spong battles against the way the Bible has been used throughout history, he provides a new framework, introducing people to a proper way to engage this holy book of the Judeo-Christian tradition.
Praise for the first edition
"Stein's work is both a fine introduction to the task of biblical hermeneutics for the novice and an innovative refresher for the veteran teacher or pastor."--Faith & Mission
The Apocalyptic Imagination by John Collins is one of the most widely praised studies of Jewish apocalyptic literature ever written. And this second edition of Collins's study represents a complete updating and rewriting of the original work. Especially noteworthy is the chapter on the Dead Sea Scrolls, which now takes into account all of the recently published texts. Other chapters discuss apocalypse as a literary genre, explore the phenomenon and function of apocalypticism in the ancient world, study a wide range of individual apocalyptic texts, and examine the apocalyptic character of early Christianity.
• Is it possible Christ did not die on the cross?
• Is it possible Jesus was married, a father, and that his bloodline still exists?
• Is it possible that parchments found in the South of France a century ago reveal one of the best-kept secrets of Christendom?
• Is it possible that these parchments contain the very heart of the mystery of the Holy Grail?
According to the authors of this extraordinarily provocative, meticulously researched book, not only are these things possible — they are probably true! so revolutionary, so original, so convincing, that the most faithful Christians will be moved; here is the book that has sparked worldwide controversey.
"Enough to seriously challenge many traditional Christian beliefs, if not alter them."
— Los Angeles Times Book Review
"Like Chariots of the Gods?...the plot has all the elements of an international thriller."
From the Paperback edition.
The Bible is accepted as the holy word of God. However, it’s made up of fanciful legends set down by power-seeking priests eager to inspire awe and fear in their flocks by using supernatural tales to explain away a natural world.
And as Deceptions and Myths of the Bible illustrates, these tales of scriptural tyranny aren’t even original—but rather retold and revised mythologies. The story of Adam and Eve was derived from a Babylonian account. Noah’s dilemma is the exaggerated accumulation of over four hundred years of flood accounts from various ancient civilizations. Even the names of Noah’s sons are hand-me-downs, as was the tale of Isaac’s sacrifice, Solomon’s judgment, and Samson’s pillar act. Moses? Fashioned from the Syrian story of Mises. As for the laws of the Bible, they were patterned after the Babylonian Code of Hammurabi. Revealed here, too, are the 137 similarities between the story of Jesus and the story of the Egyptian god Horus, and nearly twice as many parallels between the story of Christ and the Hindu god Krishna, and many more faith-shaking revelations.
For any reader interested in theology, this is an essential read. For atheists, it’s an irrefutable argument of support; for agnostics, evidence to tip the scale. For the devout, it offers an enlightening, history-based awareness of the derivation of your religion.
Craig L. Blomberg (Denver Seminary) on Matthew
Rikk E. Watts (Regent College) on Mark
David W. Pao (Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) and Eckhard J. Schnabel (Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) on Luke
Andreas J. Köstenberger (Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary) on John
I. Howard Marshall (University of Aberdeen) on Acts
Mark A. Seifrid (Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) on Romans
Roy E. Ciampa (Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary) and Brian S. Rosner (Moore Theological College) on 1 Corinthians
Peter Balla (Károli Gáspár Reformed University, Budapest) on 2 Corinthians
Moisés Silva (author of Philippians in the Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament) on Galatians and Philippians
Frank S. Thielman (Beeson Divinity School) on Ephesians
G. K. Beale (Wheaton College Graduate School) on Colossians
Jeffrey A. D. Weima (Calvin Theological Seminary) on 1 and 2 Thessalonians
Philip H. Towner (United Bible Societies) on 1 and 2 Timothy and Titus
George H. Guthrie (Union University) on Hebrews
D. A. Carson (Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) on the General Epistles
G. K. Beale (Wheaton College Graduate School) and Sean M. McDonough (Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary) on Revelation
“One of the more controversial books of the 20th century.” –UPI
“Enough to seriously challenge many traditional beliefs, if not alter them.” –Los Angeles Book Times Review
Explosive, thought-provoking, fiercely compelling, Holy Blood, Holy Grail breaks bold new ground with its shocking conclusions about the lineage of Christ and the legacy of the Holy Grail. Now this lavishly illustrated
collector’s edition features exclusive new material plus dozens of full-color photographs, drawings, symbols, architecture, and artwork, making it a dazzling feast for the eyes as well as the mind. Based on decades
of research, filled with eye-opening new
evidence and stunning scholarship, this authoritative work uncovers an alternate history as shocking as it is believable–as it dares to ask:
Is the traditional, accepted view of the life of Christ in some way incomplete?
Is it possible Christ did not die on the
Is it possible Jesus was married, a father,
and that his bloodline still exists?
Is it possible that parchments found in the
South of France a century ago reveal one
of the best-kept secrets in Christendom?
Is it possible that these parchments contain
the very heart of the mystery of the Holy
According to the authors of this extraordinarily provocative, meticulously researched book, not only are these things possible–they are probably true. So revolutionary, so original, so convincing, the most faithful Christians will be moved; here is the book that has sparked worldwide controversy, now newly updated and beautifully illustrated for the collector’s shelf.
“Like Chariots of the Gods...The plot has all the elements of an international thriller.” –Newsweek
“Compelling.” –Philadelphia Inquirer
“An astonishing hypothesis.”
From the Hardcover edition.
To do this, the reader will step into the seminary classroom and observe the practical principles-the tricks of the trade-for becoming a more effective student of the Bible. But Yarbrough has made sure that his writing style and general approach will be appealing to both academic students and those involved in lay-level Bible study.
Real life is whacky and in-your-face. Studying Scripture should be too.
Drawing together all the evidence, this timely book explores:The discovery and dating of the scrolls Their relationship to the Hebrew Bible, Apocrypha, and New Testament Their messianic and apocalyptic messages The identity, nature, and theology of the Qumran community The nonbiblical scrolls Controversies surrounding the scrolls
This comprehensive, up-to-date guide is the definitive introduction to all aspects of the scrolls, including their teachings, the community that created them, the world of Judaism, the origins of Christianity, our understanding of Jesus and the New Testament. Featuring photos of the original texts, the sites, and the scholars who deciphered them, and including illustrative passages from the scrolls, The Meaning of the Dead Sea Scrolls presents the most complete and accurate scholarship on the Dead Sea Scrolls available today.
As a leading Scripture scholar who also teaches students and preaches to everyday people, Fr. Daniel Harrington, S.J., has made it his life's mission to answer these and many related questions about the Bible and its relationship to Catholic life. Accessibly written, How Do Catholics Read the Bible? blends biblical scholarship with compelling personal anecdotes to equip readers with the tools they need to more fully engage Scripture and the Catholic tradition. With chapters on how the Catholic canon came to be, what the Church teaches about the Bible, appropriate methods for analyzing Scripture passages, and how to incorporate the Bible into everyday life, this book is ideal for individual or group use in parishes and classrooms. Each chapter concludes with questions for reflection and recommendations for further reading.
Slavoj Žižek has been called "an academic rock star" and "the wild man of theory"; his writing mixes astonishing erudition and references to pop culture in order to dissect current intellectual pieties. In The Puppet and the Dwarf he offers a close reading of today's religious constellation from the viewpoint of Lacanian psychoanalysis. He critically confronts both predominant versions of today's spirituality—New Age gnosticism and deconstructionist-Levinasian Judaism—and then tries to redeem the "materialist" kernel of Christianity. His reading of Christianity is explicitly political, discerning in the Pauline community of believers the first version of a revolutionary collective. Since today even advocates of Enlightenment like Jurgen Habermas acknowledge that a religious vision is needed to ground our ethical and political stance in a "postsecular" age, this book—with a stance that is clearly materialist and at the same time indebted to the core of the Christian legacy—is certain to stir controversy.
The Bible is the heart of devotional practice, a source of guidance and inspiration rich with insightful life lessons. On the other side of the spectrum, academics have studied the Bible using scientific analysis to examine its historical significance and meaning. The gap between these readings has resulted in a schism with far-reaching implications: Without historical context, ordinary people are left to interpret the Bible literally, while academic readings overlook the deeply personal connections established in church pews, choir benches, and backyard study groups.
In How To Read the Bible, Cox explores three different lenses commonly used to bring the Bible into focus:Literary—as narrative stories of family conflict, stirring heroism, and moral dilemmas; History—as classic texts with academic and theological applications; Activism—as a source of dialogue and engagement to be shared and applied to our lives.
By bringing these together, Cox shows the Bible in all its rich diversity and meaning and offers us a contemporary activist version that wrestles with issues of feminism, war, homosexuality, and race. The result is a living resource that is perpetually evolving as our understanding changes and deepens from generation to generation.
With a humble respect for God's Word, Francis Chan and Preston Sprinkle address the deepest questions you have about eternal destiny. They've asked the same questions. Like you, sometimes they just don't want to believe in hell. But as they write, "We cannot afford to be wrong on this issue."
This is not a book about who is saying what. It's a book about what God says. It's not a book about impersonal theological issues. It's a book about people who God loves. It's not a book about arguments, doctrine, or being right. It's a book about the character of God.
Erasing Hell will immerse you in the truth of Scripture as, together with the authors, you find not only the truth but the courage to live it out.
What our modern minds shy away from, however, ancient, medieval, and Reformation commentators dove into. In fact, their writings often display strikingly contemporary interests and sensitivities to the meaning and moral implications of the Bible's difficult narratives. John Thompson here presents nine case studies in the history of exegesis -- including the stories of Hagar and Jephthah's daughter, the imprecatory psalms, and texts that address domestic relations, particularly divorce -- in order to demonstrate the valuable insights into Scripture that we can gain not only from what individual commentators say but from fifteen centuries' cumulative witness to the meaning of Scripture in the life of the church.
Visit Dr. Thompson's companion website at: http://purl.oclc.org/net/jlt/exegesis so access further features such as a list of commentary literature in English through the year 1700 and sample sermons that model a homiletic use of the history of interpretation.
"This handbook provides readers with a wonderful overview of key issues in and tools for the study of the use of the Old Testament in the New. I expect it to become a standard textbook for courses on the subject and the first book to which newcomers will be directed to help them navigate through these sometimes complex waters."--Roy E. Ciampa, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
In “a book to read and then reread” (Modern Language Review), Meir Sternberg “has accomplished an enormous task, enriching our understanding of the theoretical basis of Biblical narrative and giving us insight into a remarkable number of particular texts.” (Journal of the American Academy of Religion). The result is a “a brilliant work” (Choice) distinguished “both for his comprehensiveness and for the clearly-avowed faith stance from which he understands and interprets the strategies of the biblical narratives.” (Theological Studies). The Poetics of Biblical Narrative shows, in Adele Berlin’s words, “more clearly and emphatically than any book I know, that the Bible is a serious literary work―a text manifesting a highly sophisticated and successful narrative poetics.”
Chapter one examines the core Middle Eastern cultural concepts honor and shame as they are reflected in the stories about Jesus' origins and his behavior in adulthood. Chapter two describes how Jesus grew up to become a typical and successful male in his culture. Chapter three presents Jesus as a Holy Man in his tradition who announces the reign of God especially in parables. Chapter four shows how Jesus sought to establish the reign of God especially in his healing activities and by offering fresh insights into the appearances of the Risen Jesus.
Chapters are Honor and Shame," *How a Mediterranean Boy Becomes a Man, - *Jesus Announces the Reign of God, - *Jesus Seeks to Establish the Reign of God. -
John J. Pilch, PhD, teaches Scripture at Georgetown University as well as at the University of Pretoria. His other The Liturgical Press publications include The Cultural World of the Apostles: The Second Reading, Sunday by Sunday, Year A; The Cultural World of Jesusseries; The Triduum and Easter Sunday: Breaking Open the Scriptures; The Cultural Dictionary of the Bible; Choosing a Bible Translation; Galatians and Romans in The Collegeville Bible Commentary; and articles in The Modern Catholic Encyclopedia, The Collegeville Pastoral Dictionary of Biblical Theology, and The Bible Today."
"[A] suggestive and rich book, written in a clear and witty style." -- Marc Z. Brettler, The Journal of Religion
"Literary commentary at its best." -- Adele Berlin
Bringing a needed scientific approach to biblical archaeology, the contributors construct a new paradigm that reads the Bible critically but sympathetically. Their work covers the full range of subjects relevant to understanding the context of the Bible, including proper approaches to scriptural interpretation, recent archaeological evidence, and new studies of Near Eastern texts and inscriptions.
Contributors: Richard E. Averbeck
Thomas W. Davis
Daniel E. Fleming
William W. Hallo
Richard S. Hess
James K. Hoffmeier
Harry A. Hoffner Jr.
Cynthia L. Miller
John M. Monson
Steven M. Ortiz
Benjamin Edidin Scolnic
Andrew G. Vaughn
David B. Weisberg
K. Lawson Younger Jr.
Randall W. Younker
Try The Collegeville Bible Commentary (CBC) -- a simple and easy guide to reading and understanding the Bible. The Collegeville Bible Commentary series contains time-tested analysis, from a wide variety of authors, that provides a fresh approach for those looking for help in understanding and appreciating the Good News. Individuals and groups (including an established and respected Scripture study program) trust The Collegeville Bible Commentary and its family of resources for its comprehensive, educational, and straightforward presentation. Follows the New American Bible (NAB) translation.
Non-specialist readers, catechists, clergy, and preachers will find The Collegeville Bible Commentary a valuable resource for reflection and prayer with God's Word.
With The Collegeville Bible Handbook you receive a valuable enrichment resource to guide you through the books of the Bible and a ready reference for libraries, high school classroom use, families, and individuals seeking a lively, readable introduction to the Bible. Attractively illustrated with photographs and maps pertinent to the biblical text.