A good book on the Good Book

21 May

Much less combative than Bishop Spong, and more up-to-date in its philosophy of textuality, is Marcus J. Borg, Reading the Bible Again for the First Time: Taking the Bible Seriously But Not Literally (2001). There’s an excerpt at that link.

The key word in the title of this book–Reading the Bible Again for the First Time–is “again.” It points to my central claim. Over the past century an older way of reading the Bible has ceased to be persuasive for millions of people, and thus one of the most imperative needs in our time is a way of reading the Bible anew.

Reading and seeing go together. On the one hand, what we read can affect how we see. On the other hand, and more important for my immediate purpose, how we see affects how we read. What we bring to our reading of a text or document affects how we read it. All of us, whether we use reading glasses or not, read through lenses.

As we enter the twenty-first century, we need a new set of lenses through which to read the Bible. The older set, ground and polished by modernity, no longer works for millions of people. These lenses need to be replaced. The older way of seeing and reading the Bible, which I will soon describe, has made the Bible incredible and irrelevant for vast numbers of people. This is so not only for the millions who have left the church in Europe and North America, but also for many Christians who continue to be active in the life of the church…

Highly recommended. I picked up my copy at the Pauline bookshop in Castlereagh Street Sydney.

Site Meter


Posted by on May 21, 2006 in Faith and philosophy, Reading, Religion



2 responses to “A good book on the Good Book

  1. Shirley

    May 21, 2006 at 9:16 am

    Interesting post…also interesting is the number of books written about reading the Bible. Perhaps if we actually read the bible more, the need for books on how, when, where and why to read the bible would be reduced. I’m speaking also to myself.

    Thanks for the post.



  2. John

    May 27, 2006 at 9:59 am

    Hi, Im from Melbourne. I came across your excellent blog while browsing.

    For a completely different understanding of the Bible, Christianity and Real God (as distinct from the christian god-idea) please check out:





    5. on politics & culture


%d bloggers like this: