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The Sins of Scripture: Exposing the Bible's Texts of Hate to Reveal the God of Love [Hardcover]

By John Shelby Spong (Author)
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Item Number 161376  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   336
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.13" Width: 6.14" Height: 1.18"
Weight:   1.23 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Apr 30, 2005
Publisher   HarperOne
ISBN  0060762055  
EAN  9780060762056  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Outline ReviewIn the Sins of Scripture, Bishop John Shelby Spong takes on a thematic exploration of the Bible, carefully analyzing those passages that inform some of our key debates, like the role of women in the church and in society, and homosexuality, to name just two. Beyond that he also looks at scriptures that have helped shape culture and history -- bringing to light the undercurrent of anti-Semitism he finds in the Gospels, for example. The journey is particularly compelling because Bishop Spong believes in and values the good the Bible has brought to many through the ages. His goal is not to define the Bible itself as something to be set aside, but instead to honor and value what he loves about it while still labeling what he dramatically calls "texts of terror" for what they are.

The true joy of the book is found in Spong's vigorous intellect, which he shines bright in an attempt to catch a reflection of the age, culture and circumstances in which the texts he examines were written. Like an archaeologist working with ideas instead of tools, he removes the rocks, brushes away the sediment and reports on what he finds. What were the roots and cultural realities behind the Scriptures that define the role of women in the church? What were the hopes and fears driving the writers who condemned homosexuality in such stark terms? What is the justification behind scriptures recommending "the rod of correction" (or as Bishop Spong simply labels it: "[t]he physical abuse of children".)

Whether or not you agree with some of his musings along the way, many of his conclusions are hard to argue with. Putting aside the issue of divine origin of the Bible, no one can deny passages have been used in service of very human ends. Finally, the Sins of Scriptures can be seen as a careful observer of what those ends have been. And when taken on those terms, it makes an interesting read, regardless of one's religious background.--Ed Dobeas

Product Description
In the history of the Western World, the Bible has been a perpetual source of inspiration and guidance for countless Christians. However, this Bible has also left a trail of pain. It is undeniable that the Bible is not always used for good. Sometimes the Bible can seem overtly evil. Sometimes its texts are terrible.

Bishop John Shelby Spong boldly approaches those texts that have been used through history to justify the denigration or persecution of others while carrying with them the implied and imposed authority of the claim that they were the "Word of God." As he exposes and challenges what he calls the "terrible texts of the Bible", laying bare the evil done by these texts in the name of God, he also seeks to redeem these texts, hoping to recover their ultimate depth and purpose. Spong looks specifically at texts used to justify homophobia, anti-Semitism, treating women as second-class humans, corporal punishment, and environmental degradation, but he also delivers a new picture of how Christians can use the Bible today. As Spong battles against the way the Bible has been used throughout history, he provides a new framework, introducing people to a proper way to engage this holy book of the Judeo-Christian tradition.

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More About John Shelby Spong

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! John Shelby Spong was the Episcopal Bishop of Newark before his retirement in 2000. As a visiting lecturer at Harvard and at universities and churches throughout the English-speaking world, he is one of the leading spokespersons for liberal Christianity. His books include Re-Claiming the Bible for a Non-Religious World, Jesus for the Non-Religious, A New Christianity for a New World, Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism, Why Christianity Must Change or Die and his autobiography, Here I Stand. He has initiated landmark discussions of controversies within the church and has become an outspoken advocate for change.

John Shelby Spong currently resides in Newark, in the state of New Jersey. John Shelby Spong was born in 1931.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Sins oF Scripture  Apr 19, 2008
Bishop Spong has a fantastic knowledge of scripture and challenges the reader to think deeply about the verses of scripture that have been used out of context to harm others and cause pain. If a reader believes that every word of scripture is sacred the person may not find this book satisfactory. However if a reader's mind is open and is willing to consider what the scriptures originally written in Hebrew and common Greek may have been mistranslated or copied incorrectly in the many years before the printing press was invented the reader will find new insights. Bishop Spong is able to read the original languages and knows the history of the period in which the Bible was written as well as any other author I have read.
The Sins of Scripture  Apr 9, 2008
A faithfulled and comtemporary exploration of the Bible and how it has been used to meet the needs of man rather than to the glory of God.
Logical Absurdities Abound!  Apr 3, 2008
In this book, Bishop Spong asserts that "Christ did not die for our sins, that is theological nonsense. We are not sinners, just incomplete and insecure people."

The Bible, however, HAS sinned, and the book is devoted to specific passages that are examples, including John 14:7 which is attributed to Jesus.

We might ask ourselves, "who wrote the Bible?" The answers is various people, some of whom we identify as apostles and evangelists of the early church. In writing these passages, they must have sinned, but Spong asserts that we are not sinners. His main thesis is a logical absurdity. Somebody must have sinned, presumably the authors of these biblical passages, but Spong doesn't believe that human beings sin. It is an abusurdity to claim that a book can "sin", since sin can only be attributed to human beings.

Spong's thesis turns Protestant Christianity on its head. Protestant Christianity has always stated that the Bible is inspired by God, and reveals OUR sin and leads us to repentance and faith. Spong turns this central belief upside down and says that we are not sinners, but the Bible has sinned. This thesis makes no logical or theological sense at all and is a refutation of Protestant Christianity. If human beings have misused biblical passages, (which we all can agree to) then this is a confirmation that we are sinners. This is a observable fact that most people would attest to, but is quite different from what Spong is implying; that we have not sinned, but the Bible has!

Bishop Spong's books are rife with logical and theological absurdities such this, and outright refutations of the faith he promised to uphold when he was ordained a priest and then a bishop.
It's Simple  Mar 5, 2008
This guy should be excommunicated! I suppose many Christians read the bible with their pre-conceived notions coloring their reading glasses, but this is blasphemy.
Not for the fungelical  Feb 8, 2008
This is an excellent, thought provoking book. It's not for the faint hearted and not for the fundamentalist. If you are willing to open your mind and accept logic, you will get something out of it. Just be willing to suspend your myth driven beliefs for a while.

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