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How to Read the Bible and Still Be a Christian: Struggling with Divine Violence from Genesis Through Revelation Hardcover – Illustrated, 27 April 2015
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The acclaimed Bible scholar and author of The Historical Jesus and God & Empire—“the greatest New Testament scholar of our generation” (John Shelby Spong) —grapples with Scripture’s two conflicting visions of Jesus and God, one of a loving God, and one of a vengeful God, and explains how Christians can better understand these passages in a way that enriches their faith.
Many portions of the New Testament, introduce a compassionate Jesus who turns the other cheek, loves his enemies, and shows grace to all. But the Jesus we find in Revelation and some portions of the Gospels leads an army of angels bent on earthly destruction. Which is the true revelation of the Messiah—and how can both be in the same Bible
How to Read the Bible and Still be a Christian explores this question and offers guidance for the faithful conflicted over which version of the Lord to worship. John Dominic Crossan reconciles these contrasting views, revealing how different writers of the books of the Bible not only possessed different visions of God but also different purposes for writing. Often these books are explicitly competing against another, opposing vision of God from the Bible itself.
Crossan explains how to navigate this debate and offers what he believes is the best central thread to what the Bible is all about. He challenges Christians to fully participate in this dialogue, thereby shaping their faith by reading deeply, reflectively, and in community with others who share their uncertainty. Only then, he advises, will Christians be able to read and understand the Bible without losing their faith.
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"When studying the Bible, Christians are met with opposing versions for God: one of vengeance and one of compassion. Crossan confronts this conflict and challenges readers to engage in conversations about faith and the historical Jesus."--U.S. Catholic
"Crossan's treatment of the text is nothing short of spectacular, even when I didn't agree with his assertions. With skill, wit, and all the finesse of the intellectual giant that he is, Crossan manages to successfully navigate those troublesome texts and...begins the redemptive process of the text."--The Clarion Journal of Spirituality
From the Back Cover
The Bible introduces us to a loving Jesus who turns the other cheek, loves his enemies, and shows grace to all. But we also meet a warrior Jesus who leads an army of angels bent on earthly destruction. Which is the true Messiah? Should we all follow the nonviolent Jesus of the Sermon on the Mount or the vengeful, sword-wielding Christ of Revelation?
As one of the foremost biblical scholars of our day, John Dominic Crossan re-veals that running throughout the entire Bible--from Genesis to Revelation--are two conflicting revelations of God: one offering a radical, holy vision where every need is provided for and love and grace are extended widely; the other working to domesticate this radical vision by em-phasizing judgment and punishment and by propping up the status quo.
But one thing is clear, argues Crossan: one cannot pretend that the Bible provides a single, unified vision of God or Jesus. If one wants to discover the Bible's best and purest revelation of God, then Christians must measure the Bible by Jesus. And to find the best and purest revelation of Jesus, Crossan concludes, then we must look to the work of scholars who can point us to the teachings of the historical Jesus. Only then will we know how to read the Bible and still be a Christian.
- Publisher : HarperCollins Religious US; Illustrated edition (27 April 2015)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 272 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0062203592
- ISBN-13 : 978-0062203595
- Dimensions : 2.79 x 15.24 x 23.11 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: 512,383 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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