Renowned religion expert and Harvard Divinity School professor Harvey Cox deepens our experience of the Bible, revealing the three primary ways we read it, why each is important, and how we can integrate these approaches for a richer understanding and appreciation of key texts throughout the Old and New Testaments.
The Bible is the heart of devotional practice, a source of guidance and inspiration rich with insightful life lessons. On the other side of the spectrum, academics have studied the Bible using scientific analysis to examine its historical significance and meaning. The gap between these readings has resulted in a schism with far-reaching implications: Without historical context, ordinary people are left to interpret the Bible literally, while academic readings overlook the deeply personal connections established in church pews, choir benches, and backyard study groups.
In How To Read the Bible, Cox explores three different lenses commonly used to bring the Bible into focus:
- Literary—as narrative stories of family conflict, stirring heroism, and moral dilemmas;
- History—as classic texts with academic and theological applications;
- Activism—as a source of dialogue and engagement to be shared and applied to our lives.
By bringing these together, Cox shows the Bible in all its rich diversity and meaning and offers us a contemporary activist version that wrestles with issues of feminism, war, homosexuality, and race. The result is a living resource that is perpetually evolving as our understanding changes and deepens from generation to generation.
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About the Author
Harvey Cox is the Hollis Research Professor of Divinity at Harvard University, where he has taught since 1965, both at Harvard Divinity School and in the Harvard Fac- ulty of Arts and Sciences. His classic book The Secular City is widely regarded as one of the twentieth century's most influential books of Protestant theology. He is also the author of The Future of Faith. Cox lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Serpents, Floods, and the Mystery of Evil: The Book of Genesis 19
Chapter 2 Following the Footsteps of Moses: The Book of Exodus 41
Chapter 3 Battles and Burlesques in the Conquest of Canaan The Book of Joshua 65
Chapter 4 Talking Back to God from the Garbage Heap: The Book of Job 79
Chapter 5 Listening to the Voices of the Voiceless: Amos and the Prophets 103
Chapter 6 Getting to the Pinal Four: Gospels, Kept and Discarded 125
Chapter 7 Looking Over the Shoulders of the Writers: Matthew, Mark, and Luke 135
Chapter 8 On the Road with Paul of Tarsus: The Epistles 165
Chapter 9 Surviving a Turbulent Trip: The Book of Revelation 187
Chapter 10 How Do We Read the Bible Today? 215 Conclusion 227
New Testament Time Line 232
Appendix: What Language Did Jesus Speak? 235
For Further Reading 239
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is a great book for those of us already using and praying the bible to become more familiar with the way the bible was organized . Why the books were originally written and for whom they were originally written. Will probably read more books written by Harvey Cox.