Reading the Bible Again For the First Time: Taking the Bible Seriously But Not Literally (Paperback)
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.
About the Author
MARCUS J. BORG is canon theologian at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Portland, Oregon, and Hundere Distinguished Professor of Religion and Culture, emeritus, at Oregon State University. A Fellow of the Jesus Seminar, Borg has been national chair of the Historical Jesus section of the Society of Biblical Literature and is the author of the bestselling books Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time, The Heart of Christianity, Jesus, and Speaking Christian. Visit Borg online at www.marcusjborg.com.
Praise for Reading the Bible Again For the First Time: Taking the Bible Seriously But Not Literally…
“[A]n accessible book, almost entirely devoid of scholarly jargon but filled with scholarly insight.”
“Borg writes passionately about the enduring values of the Bible. The engaging historical details he includes make familiar stories read like new. Whether you read the Bible religiously or rarely, this book is thought-provoking.”
-Christian Science Monitor
“Borg… has a knack for clarifying difficult theological issues and writing in a pensive style that is extremely accessible to Christian laity and seekers of all stripes. Almost single-handedly, he opened up new avenues of thought for lapsed or nonbelievers interested in re-visioning the Christianity of their childhood.”
-Spirituality and Practice
“Provides many excellent metaphorical readings of biblical accounts, which unify the Bible’s stories.”
“A highly readable and succinct introduction to biblical criticism.”
“[T]akes 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
“Borg’s analysis is profound, challenging and engrossing; it will enable readers to use scripture creatively once again and truly make it a bridge for the divine.”
-Karen Armstrong, author of A History of God
“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