By James L. Kugel
Scholars from varied fields have joined forces to reexamine each point of the Hebrew Bible. Their study, conducted in universities and seminaries in Europe and the US, has revolutionized our figuring out of virtually each bankruptcy and verse. yet have they killed the Bible within the process?
In How to learn the Bible, Harvard professor James Kugel leads the reader bankruptcy by way of bankruptcy throughout the "quiet revolution" of contemporary biblical scholarship, exhibiting many times how substantially the interpretations of modern-day researchers range from what humans have continuously concept. the tale of Adam and Eve, it seems, was once now not initially in regards to the "Fall of Man," yet in regards to the circulate from a primitive, hunter-gatherer society to a settled, agricultural one. As for the tales of Cain and Abel, Abraham and Sarah, and Jacob and Esau, those narratives weren't, at their beginning, approximately person humans in any respect yet, fairly, reasons of a few characteristic of Israelite society because it existed centuries after those figures have been stated to have lived. Dinah was once by no means raped -- her tale used to be created via an editor to resolve a undeniable challenge in Genesis. within the earliest model of the Exodus tale, Moses most likely didn't divide the crimson Sea in part; as an alternative, the Egyptians perished in a typhoon at sea. regardless of the unique Ten Commandments could have been, students are really yes they have been diverse from those we've this present day. what is extra, the folks lengthy alleged to have written quite a few books of the Bible weren't, within the present consensus, their genuine authors: David didn't write the Psalms, Solomon didn't write Proverbs or Ecclesiastes; certainly, there's scarcely a ebook within the Bible that isn't the made of varied, nameless authors and editors operating in several sessions.
Such findings pose a major challenge for adherents of conventional, Bible-based faiths. Hiding from the discoveries of recent students turns out cheating, yet accepting them capacity undermining a lot of the Bible's reliability and authority because the be aware of God. What to do? In his look for an answer, Kugel leads the reader again to a bunch of historic biblical interpreters who flourished on the finish of the biblical interval. faraway from naïve, those interpreters consciously got down to leave from the unique that means of the Bible's a number of tales, legislation, and prophecies -- and so they, Kugel argues, carry the foremost to fixing the challenge of examining the Bible at the present time.
How to learn the Bible is, conveniently, the simplest, most unique booklet in regards to the Bible in a long time. It deals an unflinching, insider's examine the paintings of trendy students, including a sustained attention of what the Bible used to be for many of its historical past -- ahead of the increase of contemporary scholarship. Readable, transparent, usually humorous yet deeply critical in its goal, this can be a e-book for Christians and Jews, believers and secularists alike. It deals not anything lower than an entire new frame of mind approximately sacred Scripture.
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Extra info for How to Read the Bible: A Guide to Scripture, Then and Now
KUGEL The Ladder of Jacob The God of Old: Inside the Lost World of the Bible The Great Poems of the Bible: A Reader’s Companion with New Translations The Bible as It Was Traditions of the Bible On Being a Jew In Potiphar’s House: The Interpretive Life of Biblical Texts Early Biblical Interpretation The Idea of Biblical Poetry: Parallelism and Its History Thank you for purchasing this Free Press eBook. Sign up for our newsletter and receive special offers, access to bonus content, and info on the latest new releases and other great eBooks from Free Press and Simon & Schuster.
You could not pick up an old boulder and ask it about life before the exile; you could not interrogate the trees. It was Israel’s own library of ancient texts that seemed to hold the answers to such questions—records of centuries of historical events as well as the weighty pronouncements of ancient prophets and sages. So different groups, even as they argued with one another as to the proper course to follow, used these ancient writings to bolster their positions. We know this in particular from one biblical book that was composed at that time, the book of Chronicles.
The two questions are actually intertwined and a useful point of introduction to this book, since a full answer to both must begin with a look back to the time of the Bible’s own origins, more than three thousand years earlier. A Tour of the Bible The Hebrew Bible2 is actually not one book, but an anthology. No one can say for sure how old its oldest parts are; this—like so many of the things discussed by Charles Briggs that night—is a matter of dispute between religious traditionalists and modern, university-style scholars.