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Reading the Bible Again For the First Time: Taking the Bible Seriously But Not Literally Paperback – 2 Jan 2002


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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Collins; Reprint edition (2 Jan. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060609192
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060609191
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 13.3 x 21 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 93,144 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

Takes the Bible back from the specialists…nothing short of a blessing, even a miracle! --Peter J. Gomes, author of The Good Book: Reading the Bible With Heart and Mind

This welcome book removes many of the barriers that separate thoughtful people from the wisdom of the Bible. --Rabbi Harold Kushner, author of When Bad Things Happen to Good People

Provides many excellent metaphorical readings of biblical accounts, which unify the Bible s stories. --Library Journal

About the Author

Marcus J. Borg is Canon Theologian at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Portland, Oregon. He was Hundere Chair of Religion and Culture at Oregon State University until his retirement in 2007. Borg is the author of nineteen books, including the bestselling The Heart of Christianity, Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time, Reading the Bible Again for the First Time, and the novel Putting Away Childish Things. He was an active member of the Jesus Seminar when it focused on the historical Jesus, and he has been chair of the Historical Jesus section of the Society of Biblical Literature.

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The key word in the title of this book-Reading the Bible Again for the First Time-is "again" It points to my central claim. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By K. Webb on 31 Dec. 2009
Format: Paperback
A highly recommended exploration of the Bible and a book we were prescribed on a biblical studies course. Borg would be considered at the cutting edge of accessible biblical studies. He covers the main features of the Old and New Testaments. He is a great writer and very easy to read. He takes an appealing objective attitude towards the writings in the Bible even though he is a devout Christian. He makes the point it is written by people and not by God. A very well structured work, Borg manages to reconcile the objectivity of literature with the reality of faith. He is also very politically correct in his treatment of e.g. women in the Bible. He doesn't cover every angle in a book of this size and don't expect a thorough exploration of the teachings of Jesus. However there are plenty of book references for those wishing to explore further. Borg is a gargantuan mind. I would highly recommend this book to anyone seeking to explore the Bible or their faith.
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46 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Rosemary Brunschwyler on 17 Jun. 2002
Format: Hardcover
Borg repeats some of the opinions he has given in previous books. Most important is that being Christian is not about believing in the Bible or about believing in Christianity. It is instead about having a relationship with the God to whom the Bible points. The Bible itself contains a combination of history and metaphor. Critical thinking allows the reader to integrate the Bible stories into a larger whole. Although the Bible speaks with many voices, a major theme throughout is the conflict between the royal theology of pharaohs, kings and caesars and the prophetic protest against it by Moses, the prophets, Jesus, Paul and John of Patmos.
Borg never fails to provide an uplifting experience for me. It helps that he writes with so much clarity.
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Patrick Doherty on 2 July 2002
Format: Hardcover
READING THE BIBLE AGAIN FOR THE FIRST TIME gives the reader a fresh look at the Scriptures. Borg points out that the gospels make extraordinary claims about Jesus such as that He is one with God and the revelation of God. Jesus lifts the Christian out of death and into life. The Christian, according to Borg, can make such claims without saying that God is known only through Jesus.
Borg states the Bible can teach us that God is not only real, but knowable and He is a God of justice and compassion. Furthermore, our lives can be made whole by living in a conscious relationship with the mystery of the Lord. The latter is the most important benefit we can receive from reading the Bible again with a new outlook.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By calmly on 22 April 2008
Format: Paperback
A gentle presentation of the historical-metaphorical way of reading the Bible: both the Old and New Testaments.

Borg writes about "postcritical naivete" as a way of listening to Bible stories once one can no longer believe they are literally true.

There's much good material about the Old Testament. I especially found the chapter on "Reading the Prophets Again" helpful. As for the New Testament, it was "Reading Paul Again" that has helped me most so far. Borg presents key themes in Paul and speculates how Paul may have reached individuals with his message about Jesus. Borg's discussion of "justification by grace" as being the basis of our relationship to God in the present seemed well said and a good correction to what seems an inappropriate focus on the future.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By S. Cornforth on 28 Jun. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have struggled for a few years to get to grips with the many problems presented by the bible. The classic evangelical approach is that every word is to be taken as literal truth. I did a talk a few years ago about Joshua and the levels of violence were disturbing. I found myself admitting that I had very little to say. Then there are the inconsistencies in the gospels and the frankly unbelievable stories such as Adam and Eve, Jonah and Balaam's ass.

The warning has always been that if you select only those parts of the bible that you like that you water down the whole.

This excellent book by Marcus J Borg addresses those very concerns. He present s the bible in a new way - from the point of the view of those who wrote the various documents and those who would have received them. He places the bible within the world that it came into being, rather than as a guide book to be interpreted as if it was written last week.

So, for example, the gospels might be history - a factual narrative, testimony - statements of the impact of Jesus or metaphor - stories to tell readers what Jesus was like. But Borg does not write this in a way that dilutes the bible. On the contrary he points out that each of these is valid. The underlying truth remains the same.

He writes as an academic but in a way that does not hide his own passion and love for the scriptures.

A great read and highly recommended for anyone seeking the truth behind the most popular book in history.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 5 April 2002
Format: Hardcover
In many ways this book has the feel of a history of social and political protest in the ancient world. Borg's emphasis on what he refers to as 'opposition to systems of domination' is repeated often and he points out in his chapter on Paul that Christianity is the only major religion whose two most influential personalities were put to death by established authority. The clear implication then is that the messages of Jesus and Paul may be very threatening to systems of domination.
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