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Read online or Download How to Read the Bible (Full PDF ebook with essay, research paper)
by Harvey Cox

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HarperCollins Publishers
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6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.10(d)



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.


Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
в�… 03/09/2015
When a highly respected scholar and writer such as Cox (The Future of Faith) writes a simply titled book about a complicated text, readers can justifiably wonder how practical and understandable such a work will be. Scholars and students alike will be gratified by this pragmatic but profoundly insightful volume. Beginning with a masterful exposition of the composition of the Pentateuch, and finishing with a careful look at the historical and theological underpinnings of Revelation, Cox lays out a road map for reading and understanding the Bible and exploring its spiritual nature without compromising its literary and historical complexity. Throughout this fine work, the author offers “Study Tips” to guide the reader to a deeper understanding of Scripture; they will facilitate use of the book in study groups. The Bible is a complex, textured volume that can amaze and inspire, but also confuse and perplex. Cox has given readers a great gift—a clear path toward a fuller and richer appreciation for the sacred text. (Apr.)

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