The Bible and the Believer: How to Read the Bible Critically and Religiously

Marc Zvi Brettler, Peter Enns, and Daniel J. Harrington. Oxford Univ., $27.95 (224p) ISBN 978-0-19-986300-6
Three well-known Bible scholars from different religious traditions demystify the historical-critical approach to reading the Bible. Brettler explains the Jewish tradition of ongoing development of biblical interpretation. Enns has the complicated task of shedding light on Protestants' central relationship to Scripture, and he wisely first defines terms so readers can better understand which Protestants he means. Harrington illuminates Catholic attitudes toward the Bible. All offer fairly broad-brush overviews of a subject about which many more words could be expended, but this volume fruitfully unites different faith perspectives in multi-voiced conversation. Each major essay by a contributor includes short responses from the other two writers. Because of its focus and generality, this is a perfect book for Bible Studies 101 in seminaries and also for serious church groups. It shows that engaging one's God-given brain while reading sacred texts does not threaten in any way one's soul-anchored faith. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/29/2012
Release date: 09/01/2012
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