How to Read the Bible
History, Prophecy, Literature - Why Modern Readers Need to Know the Difference, and What it Means for Faith Today
By (author) Steven L. McKenzie
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How to Read the Bible by Steven L. McKenzie
Book DescriptionMore people read the Bible than any other book. Indeed, many try to live their lives according to its words. The question is, do they understand what they're reading? As Steven McKenzie shows in this provocative book, quite often the answer is, "No." McKenzie argues that to comprehend the Bible we must grasp the intentions of the biblical authors themselves-what sort of texts they thought they were writing and how they would have been understood by their intended audience. In short, we must recognize the genres to which these texts belong. McKenzie examines several genres that are typically misunderstood, offering careful readings of specific texts to show how the confusion arises, and how knowing the genre produces a correct reading. The book of Jonah, for example, offers many clues that it is meant as a humorous satire, not a straight-faced historical account of a man who was swallowed by a fish. Likewise, McKenzie explains that the very names "Adam" and "Eve" tell us that these are not historical characters, but figures who symbolize human origins ("Adam" means man, "Eve" is related to the word for life). Similarly, the authors of apocalyptic texts-including the Book of Revelation-were writing allegories of events that were happening in their own time. Not for a moment could they imagine that centuries afterwards, readers would be poring over their works for clues to the date of the Second Coming of Christ, or when and how the world would end. For anyone who takes reading the Bible seriously and who wants to get it right, this book will be both heartening and enlightening.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780195161496
(241mm x 163mm x 21mm)
Imprint: Oxford University Press Inc
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
Publish Date: 1-Aug-2005
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Steven L. McKenzie
Oxford Encyclopedia of Biblical Interpretation, Hardback (December 2013)
The two-volume Oxford Encyclopedia of Biblical Interpretation (OEBI) will fill a crucial need in the field of biblical studies by providing detailed, comprehensive treatments of the latest approaches to and methods for interpretation of the Bible written by expert practitioners.
King David, Paperback (January 2002)» View all books by Steven L. McKenzie
One of the most important and complex characters in the Bible, King David has been the subject of many portraits. Through a close reading of biblical texts, history, and archeological discoveries, this book concludes that David was indeed a real person. It reveals how David's ascent to power resulted from a campaign of terror and assassination.
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Author Biography - Steven L. McKenzie
Steven McKenzie is Professor of Hebrew Bible at Rhodes College, in Memphis, Tennessee. A renowned scholar of the Bible, his previous books include King David: A Biography and To Each Its Own Meaning: An Introduction to Biblical Criticisms and Their Application.
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