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How To Read The Bible

By James L. Kugel (Author)
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Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 7.5" Width: 5.3" Height: 0.6"
Weight:   0.35 lbs.
Binding  MP3 CD
Release Date   Oct 21, 2008
Publisher   BRILLIANCE AUDIO #858
ISBN  1423365798  
EAN  9781423365792  


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Item Description...
Overview
Scholars from different fields have joined forces to reexamine every aspect of the Hebrew Bible. Their research, carried out in universities and seminaries in Europe and America, has revolutionized our understanding of almost every chapter and verse. But have they killed the Bible in the process? In How to Read the Bible, Harvard professor James Kugel leads the reader chapter by chapter through the "quiet revolution" of recent biblical scholarship, showing time and again how radically the interpretations of today's researchers differ from what people have always thought. The story of Adam and Eve, it turns out, was not originally about the "Fall of Man," but about the move from a primitive, hunter-gatherer society to a settled, agricultural one. As for the stories of Cain and Abel, Abraham and Sarah, and Jacob and Esau, these narratives were not, at their origin, about individual people at all but, rather, explanations of some feature of Israelite society as it existed centuries after these figures were said to have lived. Dinah was never raped -- her story was created by an editor to solve a certain problem in Genesis. In the earliest version of the Exodus story, Moses probably did not divide the Red Sea in half; instead, the Egyptians perished in a storm at sea. Whatever the original Ten Commandments might have been, scholars are quite sure they were different from the ones we have today. What's more, the people long supposed to have written various books of the Bible were not, in the current consensus, their real authors: David did not write the Psalms, Solomon did not write Proverbs or Ecclesiastes; indeed, there is scarcely a book in the Bible that is not the product of different, anonymous authors and editors working in different periods. Such findings pose a serious problem for adherents of traditional, Bible-based faiths. Hiding from the discoveries of modern scholars seems dishonest, but accepting them means undermining much of the Bible's reliability and authority as the word of God. What to do? In his search for a solution, Kugel leads the reader back to a group of ancient biblical interpreters who flourished at the end of the biblical period. Far from naive, these interpreters consciously set out to depart from the original meaning of the Bible's various stories, laws, and prophecies -- and they, Kugel argues, hold the key to solving the dilemma of reading the Bible today. How to Read the Bible is, quite simply, the best, most origina

Publishers Description

In "How to Read the Bible," Harvard professor James Kugel leads the listener through the "quiet revolution" of recent biblical scholarship, showing how radically the interpretations of today's researchers differ from what people have always thought. The story of Adam and Eve, it turns out, was not originally about the "Fall of Man," but about the move from a primitive, hunter-gatherer society to a settled, agricultural one. As for the stories of Cain and Abel, Abraham and Sarah, and Jacob and Esau, they were not about individual people at all but, rather, explanations of Israelite society as it existed centuries after these figures were said to have lived. In the earliest version of the Exodus story, Moses probably did not divide the Red Sea in half; instead, the Egyptians perished in a storm at sea. Whatever the original Ten Commandments might have been, scholars are quite sure they were different from the ones we have today. What's more, the people long supposed to have written various books of the Bible were not their real authors: David did not write the Psalms, Solomon did not write Proverbs.

Such findings pose a problem for adherents of traditional, Bible-based faiths. Hiding from the discoveries of modern scholars seems dishonest, but accepting them means undermining much of the Bible's reliability and authority as the word of God. What to do? In his search for a solution, Kugel leads the listener back to ancient biblical interpreters who flourished at the end of the biblical period. Far from naive, these interpreters consciously set out to depart from the original meaning of the Bible's various stories and prophecies and they, Kugel argues, hold the key to solving the dilemma of reading the Bible today.

"How to Read the Bible" is, quite simply, the best, most original audiobook about the Bible in decades. Clear, often funny, but deeply serious in its purpose, this is a book for Christians and Jews, believers and secularists alike."

Buy How To Read The Bible by James L. Kugel from our Audio Book store - isbn: 9781423365792 & 1423365798

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More About James L. Kugel

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James Kugel is the Starr Professor of Hebrew Literature at Harvard University and Professor of Bible at Bar Ilan University, Israel. He is the author of Poetry and Prophecy, Early Biblical Interpretation and The Idea of Biblical Poetry, the last available from Johns Hopkins. His The Bible as It Was, an introduction to the Torah's ancient interpreters, was published in 1997.



James L. Kugel currently resides in the state of Massachusetts. James L. Kugel has an academic affiliation as follows - Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan, Israel.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Mel Foster adds a fine voice seasoned by a long acting career  Jul 16, 2009
Any library strong in Biblical meaning needs the very basic James L. Kugel collection HOW TO READ THE BIBLE: A GUIDE TO SCRIPTURE, THEN AND NOW. Mel Foster adds a fine voice seasoned by a long acting career to this survey of recent biblical scholarship and differences of biblical interpretations between researchers. A fine survey of traditional, Bible-based faith and differences in interpretations that lead to Biblical dilemmas today.
 
Documentary Hypothesis  Jul 9, 2009
This is a textbook of over 800 pages. The Bible is a foundation for the three major religions of the world whose adherents number some 50% of the entire world population. The authors are not well known and most of the text is attributed but not positively identified and many of the words are not entirely clear. The best attraction is the sense of order and law and not only for people but also for animals.

If you assume that the text was written or inspired by a superior intelligence then the task is to try to understand the source. Kugel's book is an excellent source of biblical knowledge. It is certainly worth the effort. At my present pace it will take several years. I have studied the Bible and taught it for a very long time as an avocation. Since my childhood studies in Hebrew the text has been something I never set aside.

 
I'm Satisfied  Jun 14, 2009
This is the best bible oriented book that I have ever read. It answers questions from every angle imageinable and is comprehensive and understandable. I had originally borrowed it from a local library but was so impressed that I knew I wanted it for my personal library. I will want to use it for future reference and refreshment of information forgotten. It almost reads like a novel with exciting new information for every religious sect follower on every page.
 
Perhaps the best one volume compendium on the Bible  Jan 28, 2009
Including the New Testament, the Bible was composed in stages over a period of some fifteen centuries.

As to the Old Testament alone...the Bible covered in this book...there were five main contributing authors along with countless other subsidiary contributing authors.

A careful examination of each source writer reveals nothing less the true origins of the Bible therefore.

In this book, the Orthodox Jewish James Krugel carefully lays back the various strata of the Bible to not only tell the Story but the story behind the Story as well. Significantly, Krugel also includes more recent takes on Biblical stories from both the Christian and Moslem traditions as well.

For those with a serious interest in understanding the Bible, they will find this one volume to be an excellent introductory work.

For those who...after having read this book...choose to pursue further study I would advise the following books:

Bible Myths by Doane

Secret Origins of the Bible by Callahan

101 Myths of the Bible and the Moses Mystery both by Greenberg

The Book of J by Bloom

The Secret Book Inside the Bible, the Bible with Sources Revealed and Torah Commentary all by Friedman

Israel in Egypt by Hoffmeier

The Flood of Moses

Old Testament Documents

And for those interested in covering New Testament matters not otherwise dealt with in this book, please read:

The Q Gospel and A Myth of Innocence both by Mack

The Acts of Jesus and the Sayings of Jesus both by the Jesus Seminar

Who Killed Jesus and Jesus A revolutionary biography by Crossan

And for those interested in continuing to learn more about the Koran and its origins please read:

The Origins of the Koran by Warraq

In each case, learning more about the compositional stages of the documents in question tells us more about the very human ways in which these writings came to be. Inspired to be sure as all visionaries are but human to be sure as all visionaries also happen to be.
 
I was duped into thinking this book is packed with truth  Jan 9, 2009
How could I have been so blind? I never saw what is clearly posted on the back of the MP3-CD: Here's just part of the wording - "The story of Adam and Eve, it turns out, was not originally about the 'Fall of Man.' but about the move from a primitive, hunter-gatherer society to a settled, agricultural one. As for the stories of Cain and Abel, Abraham and Sarah, and Jacob and Esau, they were not about individual people at all but, rather, explanations of Israelite society as it existed centuries after these figures were said to have lived. In the earliest version of the Exodus story, Moses probably did not divide the Red Sea in half; instead, the Egyptians perished in a storm at sea......." If you truly believe in the Hebrew one true God, this book is dangerous! As a Christian, I cannot subject my mind to these untruths.
 

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