What does it look like to read the texts we now call the gospels like first- and second-century readers? There is no evidence of anyone regarding the gospel as a book published by an author until the end of the second century. So, put differently, what does it mean to read the gospels "before the book"? For centuries, the ways people discuss the gospels have been shaped by later ideas that have more to do with the printing press and modern notions of the author than ancient writing and reading practices.
This book is written in the conviction that the church is called into being and nourished by the Word of God that comes through Scripture. But how can Scripture offer any specific guidance for hearers lives today? What are modern readers to make of the dragons and slaughtered lambs in the book of Revelation? What are we to make of a man who turns water into wine while comparing himself to bread? Can people today know what the Bible says and means?
Sing out, my soul, the wonder . . .
Mary’s baby has arrived, and she can’t contain her joy! As Joseph sleeps, she examines her newborn’s tiny mouth, his wild hair, his little hands. Yet what’s most wondrous is that this child is not just Mary’s own but a gift that God has shared with everyone.
The Hebrew Bible displays a complicated attitude toward cities. Much of the story tells of a rural, agrarian society, yet those stories were written by people living in urban environments. Moreover, cities frequently appear in a negative light; the Hebrew slaves in the book of Exodus were forced to build cities, and the book of Samuel’s critique of monarchy assumes an urban setting that supports that monarchy.
Today the Quran is used by some to justify war and acts of terrorism, the Torah to deny Palestinians the right to live in the Land of Israel, and the Bible to condemn homosexuality and contraception.
A beautiful, fully updated edition of the popular and beloved New Jerusalem Bible, which has sold over half a million copies.
Biblical scholar Walter Brueggemann has always excelled at making the Bible approachable and engaging. Drawn from a series of public conversations with Brueggemann and his former student and longtime friend Clover Reuter Beal, An On-Going Imagination explores Brueggemann’s most influential biblical-theological concepts and methods: Why should we still bother with the Bible today? What is the purpose of prayer, and what can it do for our lives?