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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:
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.
For many people, the Bible lies at the heart of their faith, an ageless source of inspiration and guidance. On the other side of the spectrum, trained biblical scholars study the Bible using a variety of modern historical and literary approaches. But there is a wide gap be-tween these two groups of readers, a gap that brings negative consequences for both. Without an awareness of historical context, ordinary readers easily slip into a literal interpretation, while scholars sometimes overlook the deeply personal significance the Bible has for people in churches, synagogues, and Bible study groups.
In How to Read the Bible, renowned Harvard Divinity School professor Harvey Cox shows how these different ways of approaching the Bible can be reconciled to the enrichment of all. By discussing a range of biblical books from Genesis to Revelation, he demonstrates how the historical analysis of the Bible, rather than undercutting its spiritual significance, can enhance and deepen it. Drawing on some of the commonly used modes of biblical scholarship, such as archaeology, cultural studies, and literary criticism, Cox opens up a rich, diverse, and contemporary version of scripture, one that wrestles with issues of feminism, war, homosexuality, and race. The result is a Bible that is a timeless but contemporary resource for all.