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Reading The Bible Again for the First Time
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About the Author

Marcus J. Borg (1942-2015) was a pioneering author and teacher whom the New York Times described as "a leading figure in his generation of Jesus scholars." He was the Hundere Distinguished Professor of Religion and Culture at Oregon State University and canon theologian at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Portland, and he appeared on NBC's The Today Show and Dateline, ABC's World News, and NPR's Fresh Air. His books have sold over a million copies, including the bestselling Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time, Reading the Bible Again for the First Time, Jesus, The Heart of Christianity, Evolution of the Word, Speaking Christian, and Convictions.

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Borg (religion, Oregon State Univ.) initially understood the Bible as the authoritative word of God and later saw it through the lens of modern critical thinkers. Now he has moved on to see the Bible with a postmodernist perspective. Reading biblical stories, he finds the truth in events to be the truth of metaphors; in this, he has discovered a path free from "spiritual bondage to the lords of convention and culture." Readings become a "sacramental" and "relational" experience of the presence of God, affirming that, as in the sacrament of communion, the Spirit of God addresses us "in, with, and under" the human words of the Bible. The book provides many excellent metaphorical readings of biblical accounts, which unify the Bible's stories. Borg's thinking and judgments are highly subjective, however, and the themes he chooses to promote are freedom and political correctness. In doing so, he completely ignores the Bible's dominant, redemptive theme that culminates in Jesus Christ. Recommended for large public libraries. George Westerlund, formerly with Providence P.L. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

"A highly readable and succinct introduction to biblical criticism."--Publishers Weekly

The title of this book comes from the author's experience of "unlearning" his literal reading of the Bible from childhood in favor of a "historical-metaphorical" reading derived from his 35 years of studying the Bible as an academic. Borg, an Episcopalian who teaches at Oregon State University, is a member of the Jesus Seminar, author of The God We Never Knew and the counterpoint to evangelical N.T. Wright in The Meaning of Jesus: Two Views. Borg offers a highly readable and succinct introduction to biblical criticism, outlining the kinds of cultural, theological and historical lenses through which people read the Bible and explaining how those readings affect their relation to God. The historical-metaphorical reading that Borg presents includes both the "historical illumination of a text in its ancient context" and a metaphorical approach that "enables us to see and affirm meanings that go beyond the particularity of what the texts meant in their ancient setting." He applies this approach to the Bible in sections, wending his way from the creation stories to Revelation even as he advocates a journey from "precritical naivete" (the acceptance that the Bible is literally true) through "critical thinking" to "postcritical naivete" (accepting again that the Bible is true even if that truth does not depend upon factuality). The book is copiously footnoted without being in the least stodgy, and is open about Borg's own spiritual journey without being didactic or disrespectful of the tradition he has left. (Mar.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

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