Bible Commentary
The Oxford Companion to the Bible
The Oxford Companion to the Bible
Hardcover      ISBN: 0195046455

The Bible has had an immeasurable influence on Western culture, touching on virtually every aspect of our lives. It is one of the great wellsprings of Western religious, ethical, and philosophical traditions. It has been an endless source of inspiration to artists, from classic works such as Michaelangelo's Last Judgment, Handel's Messiah, or Milton's Paradise Lost, to modern works such as Thomas Mann's Joseph and His Brothers or Martin Scorsese's controversial Last Temptation of Christ. For countless generations, it has been a comfort in suffering, a place to reflect on the mysteries of birth, death, and immortality. Its stories and characters are an integral part of the repertoire of every educated adult, forming an enduring bond that spans thousands of years and embraces a vast community of believers and nonbelievers.

The Oxford Companion to the Bible provides an authoritative one-volume reference to the people, places, events, books, institutions, religious belief, and secular influence of the Bible. Written by more than 250 scholars from some 20 nations and embracing a wide variety of perspectives, the Companion offers over seven hundred entries, ranging from brief identifications--who is Dives? where is Pisgah?--to extensive interpretive essays on topics such as the influence of the Bible on music or law.

Ranging far beyond the scope of a traditional Bible dictionary, the Companion features, in addition to its many informative, factual entries, an abundance of interpretive essays. Here are extended entries on religious concepts from immortality, sin, and grace, to baptism, ethics, and the Holy Spirit. The contributors also explore biblical views of modern issues such as homosexuality, marriage, and anti-Semitism, and the impact of the Bible on the secular world (including a four-part article on the Bible's influence on literature).

Of course, the Companion can also serve as a handy reference, the first place to turn to find factual information on the Bible. Readers will find fascinating, informative articles on all the books of the Bible--including the Apocrypha and many other ancient texts, such as the Dead Sea Scrolls, Pseudepigrapha, and the Mishrah. Virtually every figure who walked across the biblical stage is identified here, ranging from Rebekah, Rachel, and Mary, to Joseph, Barabbas, and Jesus. The Companion also offers entries that shed light on daily life in ancient Israel and the earliest Christian communities, with fascinating articles on feasts and festivals, clothing, medicine, units of time, houses, and furniture. Finally, there are twenty-eight pages of full-color maps, providing an accurate, detailed portrait of the biblical world.

A vast compendium of information related to scriptures, here is an ideal complement to the Bible, an essential volume for every home and library, the first place to turn for information on the central book of Western culture.
What Is the Bible?: How an Ancient Library of Poems, Letters, and Stories Can Transform the Way You Think and Feel about Everything
What Is the Bible?
How an Ancient Library of Poems, Letters, and Stories Can Transform the Way You Think and Feel about Everything
Paperback      ISBN: 0062194275

Instant New York Times Bestseller

Rob Bell, the beloved author of Love Wins and What We Talk About When We Talk About God, goes deep into the Bible to show how it is more revelatory, revolutionary, and relevant than we ever imagined--and offers a cogent argument for why we need to look at it in a fresh, new way.

In Love Wins, Rob Bell confronted the troubling questions that many people of faith were afraid to ask about heaven, hell, fate, and faith. Using the same inspired, inquisitive approach, he now turns to our most sacred book, the Bible. What Is the Bible? provides insights and answers that make clear why the Bible is so revered and what makes it truly inspiring and essential to our lives.

Rob takes us deep into actual passages to reveal the humanity behind the Scriptures. You cannot get to the holy without going through the human, Rob tells us. When considering a passage, we shouldn't ask "Why did God say . . .?" To get to the heart of the Bible's meaning, we should be asking: "What's the story that's unfolding here and why did people find it important to tell it? What was it that moved them to record these words? What was happening in the world at that time? What does this passage/story/poem/verse/book tell us about how people understood who they were and who God was at that time?" In asking these questions, Rob goes beyond the one-dimensional question of "is it true?" to reveal the Bible's authentic transformative power.

Rob addresses the concerns of all those who see the Bible as God's Word but are troubled by the ethical dilemmas, errors, and inconsistencies in Scripture. With What Is the Bible?, he recaptures the Good Book's magic and reaffirms its power and inspiration to shape and inspire our lives today.

The Year of Living Biblically: One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible
The Year of Living Biblically
One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible
Paperback      ISBN: 0743291484
Now a TV series Living Biblically streaming on CBS All Access

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Know-It-All comes a fascinating and timely exploration of religion and the Bible. A.J. Jacobs chronicles his hilarious and thoughtful year spent obeying―as literally as possible―the tenets of the Bible.

Raised in a secular family but increasingly interested in the relevance of faith in our modern world, A.J. Jacobs decides to dive in headfirst and attempt to obey the Bible as literally as possible for one full year. He vows to follow the Ten Commandments. To be fruitful and multiply. To love his neighbor. But also to obey the hundreds of less publicized rules: to avoid wearing clothes made of mixed fibers; to play a ten-string harp; to stone adulterers.

The resulting spiritual journey is at once funny and profound, reverent and irreverent, personal and universal and will make you see history's most influential book with new eyes.

Jacobs's quest transforms his life even more radically than the year spent reading the entire Encyclopedia Britannica for The Know-It-All. His beard grows so unruly that he is regularly mistaken for a member of ZZ Top. He immerses himself in prayer, tends sheep in the Israeli desert, battles idolatry, and tells the absolute truth in all situations--much to his wife's chagrin.

Throughout the book, Jacobs also embeds himself in a cross-section of communities that take the Bible literally. He tours a Kentucky-based creationist museum and sings hymns with Pennsylvania Amish. He dances with Hasidic Jews in Brooklyn and does Scripture study with Jehovah's Witnesses. He discovers ancient biblical wisdom of startling relevance. And he wrestles with seemingly archaic rules that baffle the twenty-first-century brain.

Jacobs's extraordinary undertaking yields unexpected epiphanies and challenges. A book that will charm readers both secular and religious, The Year of Living Biblically is part Cliff Notes to the Bible, part memoir, and part look into worlds unimaginable. Thou shalt not be able to put it down.
How the Bible Actually Works: In Which I Explain How an Ancient, Ambiguous, and Diverse Book Leads Us to Wisdom Rather Than Answers--And Why That's
How the Bible Actually Works
In Which I Explain How an Ancient, Ambiguous, and Diverse Book Leads Us to Wisdom Rather Than Answers--And Why That's
Paperback      ISBN: 0062686755

Controversial evangelical Bible scholar, popular blogger and podcast host of The Bible for Normal People, and author of The Bible Tells Me So and The Sin of Certainty explains that the Bible is not an instruction manual or rule book but a powerful learning tool that nurtures our spiritual growth by refusing to provide us with easy answers but instead forces us to acquire wisdom.

For many Christians, the Bible is a how-to manual filled with literal truths about belief that must be strictly followed. But the Bible is not static, Peter Enns argues. It does not hold easy answers to the perplexing questions and issues that confront us in our daily lives. Rather, the Bible is a dynamic instrument for study that not only offers an abundance of insights but provokes us to find our own answers to spiritual questions, cultivating God's wisdom within us.

"The Bible becomes a confusing mess when we expect it to function as a rulebook for faith. But when we allow the Bible to determine our expectations, we see that Wisdom, not answers, is the Bible's true subject matter," writes Enns. This distinction, he points out, is important because when we come to the Bible expecting it to be a textbook intended by God to give us unwavering certainty about our faith, we are actually creating problems for ourselves. The Bible, in other words, really isn't the problem; having the wrong expectation is what interferes with our reading.

Rather than considering the Bible as an ancient book weighed down with problems, flaws, and contradictions that must be defended by modern readers, Enns offers a vision of the holy scriptures as an inspired and empowering resource to help us better understand how to live as a person of faith today.

How the Bible Actually Works makes clear that there is no one right way to read the Bible. Moving us beyond the damaging idea that "being right" is the most important measure of faith, Enns's freeing approach to Bible study helps us to instead focus on pursuing enlightenment and building our relationship with God--which is exactly what the Bible was designed to do.

The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith
The Prodigal God
Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith
Paperback      ISBN: 1594484023
The New York Times bestselling author of The Prodigal Prophet uncovers the essential message of Jesus, locked inside his most familiar parable.

Newsweek called renowned minister Timothy Keller "a C.S. Lewis for the twenty-first century" in a feature on his first book, The Reason for God. In that book, he offered a rational explanation of why we should believe in God. Now, in The Prodigal God, Keller takes his trademark intellectual approach to understanding Christianity and uses the parable of the prodigal son to reveal an unexpected message of hope and salvation.

Within that parable Jesus reveals God's prodigal grace toward both the irreligious and the moralistic. This book will challenge both the devout and skeptics to see Christianity in a whole new way.
The Rapture Exposed: The Message of Hope in the Book of Revelation
The Rapture Exposed
The Message of Hope in the Book of Revelation
Paperback      ISBN: 0813343143

The idea of "The Rapture"--the return of Christ to rescue and deliver Christians off the earth--is an extremely popular interpretation of the Bible's Book of Revelation and a jumping-off point for the best-selling "Left Behind" series of books. This interpretation, based on a psychology of fear and destruction, guides the daily acts of thousands if not millions of people worldwide. In The Rapture Exposed, Barbara Rossing argues that this script for the world's future is nothing more than a disingenuous distortion of the Bible. The truth, Rossing argues, is that Revelation offers a vision of God's healing love for the world. The Rapture Exposed reclaims Christianity from fundamentalists' destructive reading of the biblical story and back into God's beloved community.

Reading the Bible Again for the First Time: Taking the Bible Seriously But Not Literally
Reading the Bible Again for the First Time
Taking the Bible Seriously But Not Literally
Paperback      ISBN: 0060609192

Many Christians mistakenly believe that their only choice is either to reconcile themselves to a fundamentalist reading of scripture (a "literal-factual" approach) or to simply reject the Bible as something that could bring meaning and value into their lives. In Reading the Bible Again for the First Time, Marcus Borg shows how instead we can freshly appreciate all the essential elements of the Old and New Testaments--from Genesis to Revelation--in a way that can open up a new world of intelligent faith.

In Reading the Bible Again for the First Time, Borg reveals how it is possible to reconcile a scientific and critical way of thinking with our deepest spiritual needs, leading to an insightful experience of ancient text. This unique book invites every reader--whatever his or her religious background--to engage the Bible, to wrestle with its meaning, to explore its mysteries, and to understand its relevance. Reading the Bible Again for the First Time shows us how to encounter the Bible in a fresh, new way that rejects the limits of simple literalism and opens up the rich possibility of living a life of authentic faith.

Women's Bible Commentary
Women's Bible Commentary
Hardcover      ISBN: 066423707x
The Women's Bible Commentary is a trusted, classic resource for biblical scholarship, written by some of the best feminist scholars in the field today. This twentieth anniversary edition features brand new or thoroughly revised essays to reflect newer thinking in feminist interpretation and hermeneutics. It comprises commentaries on every book of the Bible, including the apocryphal books; essays on the reception history of women in the Bible; and essays on feminist critical method. The contributors raise important questions and explore the implications of how women and other marginalized people are portrayed in biblical texts, looking specifically at gender roles, sexuality, political power, and family life, while challenging long-held assumptions. This commentary brings modern critical methods to bear on the history, sociology, anthropology, and literature of the relevant time periods to illuminate the context of these biblical portrayals and challenges readers to new understandings.


Not by Sight: A Fresh Look at Old Stories of Walking by Faith
Not by Sight
A Fresh Look at Old Stories of Walking by Faith
1st Edition    Paperback      ISBN: 1433535939

Trusting Jesus is hard. It requires following the unseen into an unknown, and believing Jesus's words over and against the threats we see or the fears we feel. Through the imaginative retelling of 35 Bible stories, Not by Sight gives us glimpses of what it means to walk by faith, counsel for how to trust God's promises more than our perceptions, and the way to find rest in the faithfulness of God.

Scripture Twisting
Scripture Twisting
Paperback      ISBN: 0877846111

How often have you encountered some bizarre doctrine only to be stunned to hear a Bible verse quoted to support it? With new religious cults springing up almost daily and old ones growing rapidly, this is more and more common. How are they seemingly able to twist Scripture to mean something orthodox Christians have never believed it to mean in two thousand years? James Sire, author of The Universe Next Door and How to Read Slowly, has isolated twenty separate kinds of reading errors which are characteristically made by cultists as they interpret the Bible. He covers the full range from simple misquotation to complex argumentation which links one slightly eccentric interpretation to another, mixes in a few orthodox readings and ends with a conclusion totally foreign to the biblical world view. Sire also handles twisted translation, overspecification, virtue by association, ignoring the context and other flawed interpretations. A book to help us all become better readers of the Scriptures.