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People of the Book?: The Authority of the Bible in Christianity [Paperback]

By John Barton (Author)
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Item description for People of the Book?: The Authority of the Bible in Christianity by John Barton...

Overview
In this book, John Barton offers a positive but critical evaluation of biblical authority. Among other topics, he discusses the canon, the value of the Bible as historical evidence, the Bible's witness to the faith, and the place of Scripture in worship. He shows Christians that critical reading of Scripture is a help rather than a hindrance to their faith and affirms that they are not required to chose between fundamentalism and unbelief.

Publishers Description

In this book, John Barton offers a positive but critical evaluation of biblical authority. Among other topics, he discusses the canon, the value of the Bible as historical evidence, the Bible's witness to the faith, and the place of Scripture in worship. He shows Christians that critical reading of Scripture is a help rather than a hindrance to their faith and affirms that they are not required to chose between fundamentalism and unbelief.

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Item Specifications...


Studio: Westminster John Knox Press
Pages   112
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.49" Width: 5.25" Height: 0.35"
Weight:   0.29 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Apr 19, 1989
Publisher   Westminster John Knox Press
ISBN  0664250661  
ISBN13  9780664250669  


Availability  77 units.
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More About John Barton


Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! John Barton is Oriel and Laing Professor of the Interpretation of Holy Scripture, University of Oxford, and Fellow of Oriel College, Oxford. He is the author of numerous books and articles on biblical texts, and is also the editor of The Cambridge Companion to Biblical Interpretation (1998) and (with John Muddiman) of The Oxford Bible Commentary (2001).

John Barton was born in 1948.

John Barton has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Cambridge Companions to Religion
  2. Old Testament Library
  3. Old Testament Theology
  4. Oxford Bible Commentary
  5. scm classics


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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Commentaries > General
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Criticism & Interpretation > General
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Criticism & Interpretation
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > General


Christian Product Categories
Books > Bible Study > Language Tools



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Reviews - What do customers think about People of the Book?: The Authority of the Bible in Christianity?

How should Christians think of the Bible?   May 28, 2005

"A crisp essay distinguished by wit and remarkable lucidity. This time, however, there is a polemical agenda: Barton rejects fundamentalist doctrines of biblical authority, as well as all proposals that the shaping of the canon has normative hermeneutical status." Richard B. Hays



Authority of the Book:
It was in the most unlikely place, that this book has captured my attention; in the cellar of Marshall Fields department store on State St., Chicago, IL, 15 years ago. There is an Arabic saying; "A book is read through its head Title," which implies that a message of a valid argument is evident in its heading. Barton's essay is a good example in this case. Striken by the contrast of an informed generality with the specificifity of Biblical authority in Christianity, I picked the slim blue paperback from the bookstand, and read through its eight articles, that with a forward and biography describe the book contents:
1. The Bible in the Christian Faith
2. Prophecy and Fulfillment
3. The Question of the Canon
4. The Bible as Evidence
5. The Bible as Theology
6. Salvation by Hermeneutics
7. The Bible in Liturgy
8. The Word of God and Word of Man

Contemporary Issues:
Following on my previous review of "Issues of Life & Death," it was logical to find out why some supporters of life could go all the way to shoot abortion doctors. John Barton initiates his discussion with a statement, "Many who find biblicistic forms of Christianity appealing are also people of strikingly attractive character, with a worm and living faith. That being so, it seems unlikely that the arguments to which they appeal are simply empty. Over the years a suspicion has grown in me that much of the fundamentalists' case is not simply a bad thing, but a good thing gone wrong: they point us towards important truth, but veer away from them themselves at the last moment because a doctrinaire conservatism blinds their eyes."
This is how the able author of "Reading the Old Testament: Method in Biblical Study" following on the 'stimulus provided by the writings of James Barr's works on the bible, its canon and authority and his infamous, 'Beyond Fundamentalism' introduces his own argument. He formulates his debate in two questions:
- What is the relation between our knowledge of God and the Bible which thus mysteriously seems to nourish this knowledge in us?
- How should Christians think of the Bible?

Barton's Thematic Approach:
"Pride of place must go to the conservative belief that the earliest Christians, and indeed Jesus himself, must be the arbiters of any Christian doctrine of Scripture," preludes the author of his concern in the first chapter's essay. He then discusses the idea of prophecy and fulfillment, its most specific example. Then, he concentrates on the authority of the Old Testament for contemporary believers. The canon which shaped the books of the Bible and the tradition alongside are then discussed in relation with 'the basic teachings of Christianity' The remaining chapters deal with consequential issues: The Bible as a book of faith, hermeneutical meaning of Scripture, and the bible in worship.
Dr. Barton sums up his arguments about the Bible as the source of authority for Christian faith in two propositions: It is not primarily the Bible that is the Word of God, but Jesus Christ. Christianity means what the Church believes, since 'Scripture is its own interpreter'
 

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