Item description for Reading the Bible Again For the First Time: Taking the Bible Seriously But Not Literally by Marcus J. Borg...
Overview Urges readers to embrace both science and faith, using Old and New Testament texts to show how this is possible, and explaining how such stories serve as a vital teaching tool for exploring one's relationship with God and Jesus.
One of the vital challenges facing thoughtful people today is how to read the Bible faithfully without abandoning our sense of truth and history. Reading the Bible Again for the First Time provides a much-needed solution to the problem of how to have a fully authentic yet contemporary understanding of the scriptures. Many mistakenly believe there are no choices other than fundamentalism or simply rejecting the Bible as something that can bring meaning to our lives. Answering this modern dilemma, acclaimed author Marcus Borg reveals how it is possible to reconcile the Bible with both a scientific and critical way of thinking and our deepest spiritual needs, leading to a contemporary yet grounded experience of the sacred texts.
This seminal book shows you how to read the Bible as it should be examined--in an approach the author calls "historical-metaphorical." Borg explores what the Scriptures meant to the ancient communities that produced and lived by them. He then helps us to discover the meaning of these stories, providing the knowledge and perspective to make the wisdom of the Bible an essential part of our modern lives. The author argues that the conventional way of seeing the Bible's origin, authority, and interpretation has become unpersuasive to millions of people in our time, and that we need a fresh way of encountering the Bible that takes the texts seriously but not literally, even as it takes seriously who we have become.
Borg traces his personal spiritual journey, describing for readers how he moved from an unquestioning childhood belief in the biblical stories to a more powerful and dynamic relationship with the Bible as a sacred text brimming with meaning and guidance. Using his own experience as an example, he reveals how the modern crisis of faith is itself rooted in the misinterpretation of sacred texts as historical record and divine dictation, and opens readers to a truer, more abundant perspective.
This unique book invites everyone--whatever one's religious background--to engage the Bible, wrestle with its meaning, explore its mysteries, and understand its relevance. Borg shows us how to encounter the Bible in a fresh way that rejects the limits of simple literalism and opens up rich possibilities for our lives.
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Marcus J. Borg is Canon Theologian at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Portland, Oregon. Internationally known in both academic and church circles as a biblical and Jesus scholar, he was Hundere Chair of Religion and Culture in the Philosophy Department at Oregon State University until his retirement in 2007.
He is the author of nineteen books, including Jesus: A New Vision (1987) and the best-seller Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time (1994); The God We Never Knew (1997); The Meaning of Jesus: Two Visions (1999); Reading the Bible Again for the First Time (2001), and The Heart of Christianity (2003), both best-sellers. His newest books are Jesus: Uncovering the Life, Teachings and Relevance of a Religious Revolutionary (2006), a New York Times Best-Seller; Conversations with Scripture: Mark (2009), and three books co-authored with John Dominic Crossan, The Last Week (2006), The First Christmas (2007), and The First Paul (2009).
His novel, Putting Away Childish Things, was published in April, 2010.
Described by The New York Times as “a leading figure in his generation of Jesus scholars,” he has appeared on NBC’s “Today Show” and “Dateline,” PBS’s “Newshour,” ABC’s “Evening News” and “Prime Time” with Peter Jennings, NPR’s “Fresh Air” with Terry Gross, and several National Geographic programs. A Fellow of the Jesus Seminar, he has been national chair of the Historical Jesus Section of the Society of Biblical Literature and co-chair of its International New Testament Program Committee, and is past president of the Anglican Association of Biblical Scholars.
His work has been translated into eleven languages: German, Dutch, Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Indonesian, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, and French. His doctor’s degree is from Oxford University, and he has lectured widely overseas (England, Scotland, Austria, Germany, Belgium, Hungary, Israel and South Africa) and in North America, including the Chautauqua and Smithsonian Institutions.
Marcus J. Borg currently resides in Portland, in the state of Oregon.
Reviews - What do customers think about Reading the Bible Again For the First Time: Taking the Bible Seriously But Not Literally?
Nice to know what I learned in graduate school is still good. Mar 30, 2007
I studied the Bible in seminary over two decades ago thought I did not go into the ministry. My "Old Testament" professor was a rabbi. This book reinforces what I learned all those years ago. While I do not agree with every conclusion the author draws I do think he is on the right track.
One of the most interesting things Marcus Borg says is that no matter what something in the Bible means now, it had to mean something to the writer at the time. While Revelations may say something to us today, understanding what it says as applying to a society that would not exist for over two thousand years as if it was only a prediction that far in the future makes no sense.
Spiritual Enlightenment Jan 15, 2007
Reading the Bible for The First Time is a wonderful book for anyone seeking a deeper meaning to the scriptures through a historical and metaphorical perspective. I've found it truly enlightening and intellectually stimulating.
For anyone who thinks deeply Dec 22, 2006
This is the book for anyone who has issues with what the Bible says.
Quite good, but not a complete work Sep 24, 2006
This is an eminently sensible and readable book. It is very well written and explains the Bible in a way that does not require resorting to literalism. My only complaint is that the author does not cover the whole Bible. Many books of the Old Testament are skipped; he essentially discusses only the creation stories and Isaiah. In the New Testament, much also is skipped. We never hear of Hebrews or Romans, or the smaller books, for example. However, what he does treat is treated well, Revelation being a very good example. Fundamentalists and literalists need to read this book. Much dissension in Biblical interpretation would vanish. Another topic not discussed is that covered by Bart Ehrman in his book "Misquoting Jesus", in which Ehrman discusses the various types of errors that have crept into the Bible thru copying mistakes and deliberate "corrections". How these affect Biblical interpretation is not discussed by this author. I guess that's Ehrman's territory. More discussion of the other books of the Bible would have earned this book 5 stars.
Idol worship Jul 13, 2006
This book is for those who believe God lives in universe that encompasses us all and seek how the Bible can help us find the truth in living that. Borg challenges the Bible as a divine object. I agree that it is a human construct as response to God. It's time people stop worshipping the printed pages of the Bible and start acting toward each other as God intented and as he showed us through Jesus.