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.
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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.
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.
Renowned religion expert and Harvard Divinity School professor Harvey Cox deepens our experience of the Bible, revealing the three primary ways we read it, why each is important, and how we can integrate these approaches for a richer understanding and appreciation of key texts throughout the Old and New Testaments.
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.
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.
Designed for the pastor and Bible teacher, this series brings together commentary features rarely gathered together in one volume. Written by notable evangelical scholars, each volume in the Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament series treats the literary context and structure of the passage in the original Greek. The series consistently provides the main point, an exegetical outline, verse-by-verse commentary, and theology in application in each section of every commentary. Critical scholarship informs each step but does not dominate the commentary, allowing readers to concentrate on the biblical author's message as it unfolds. While primarily designed for those with a basic knowledge of biblical Greek, all who strive to understand and teach the New Testament will find these books beneficial. The ZECNT series covers the entire New Testament in twenty volumes; Clinton E. Arnold serves as general editor.In this volume, Thomas R. Schreiner offers pastors, students, and teachers a focused resource for reading Galatians. Through the use of graphic representations of translations, succinct summaries of main ideas, exegetical outlines and other features, Schreiner presents Paul's Epistle to the Galatians with precision and accuracy. Because of this series' focus on the textual structure of the scriptures, readers will better understand the literary elements of Galatians, comprehend the author's revolutionary goals, and ultimately discover their vital claims upon the church today.
The Bible for Grown-Ups neither requires, nor rejects, belief. It sets out to help intelligent adults make sense of the Bible -- a book that is too large to swallow whole, yet too important in our history and culture to spit out.
Why do the creation stories in Genesis contradict each other? Did the Exodus really happen? Was King David a historical figure? Why is Matthew's account of the birth of Jesus so different from Luke's? Why was St Paul so rude about St Peter? Every Biblical author wrote for their own time, and their own audience. In short, nothing in the Bible is quite what it seems.
Literary critic Simon Loveday's book- a labor of love that has taken over a decade to write- is a thrilling read, for Christians and anyone else, which will overturn everything you thought you knew about the Good Book.
he problems which Professor Barr examines have been borne in upon him over the years as a teacher of Old Testament to theological students, but more recently by active participation in a variety of international and ecumenical colloquia where the Bible as a whole has been under discussion... As we should expect, he asks us to consider what we mean by words like 'inspiration', 'authority', 'the Word of God', 'revelation', and devotes chapters to the Bible as Literature, the Bible as Information and the Bible in Theology. Dr Barr argues for the possibility of a multiplicity of theologies, but if they are to be Christian and not merely theistic, he claims that they must be based on the Bible as the 'classic model' for understanding God, the world and ourselves, and that they must be founded on the centrality of Jesus and the God who was already known in Israel. This is a timely, stimulating and illuminating book' (The Expository Times).'Professor Barr, well aware of the situation, tackles it with vigour and expertise. .The book has much to offer us all. It is an important contribution to a broader understanding of the nature of the Bible and provides a basis towards which most shades of opinion may confidently tend to converge' (Catholic Herald).