Reading the Bible Again For the First Time  -     By: Marcus J. Borg
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Reading the Bible Again For the First Time

HarperOne / 2002 / Paperback

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Product Description

This controversial work by Jesus Seminar member Marcus Borg mounts a full-scale attack against biblical literalism, since Borg believes that the events in Scripture are not historical (even the resurrection), but stories that convey information about our relationship with God. Borg also sees little conflict between faith and modern science.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 336
Vendor: HarperOne
Publication Date: 2002
Dimensions: 8 X 5.31 (inches)
ISBN: 0060609192
ISBN-13: 9780060609191
Availability: Usually ships in 24-48 hours.

Publisher's Description

One of the vital challenges facing thoughtful people today is how to read the Bible faithfully without abandoning our sense of truth and history. Reading the Bible Again for the First Time provides a much-needed solution to the problem of how to have a fully authentic yet contemporary understanding of the scriptures. Many mistakenly believe there are no choices other than fundamentalism or simply rejecting the Bible as something that can bring meaning to our lives. Answering this modern dilemma, acclaimed author Marcus Borg reveals how it is possible to reconcile the Bible with both a scientific and critical way of thinking and our deepest spiritual needs, leading to a contemporary yet grounded experience of the sacred texts.

This seminal book shows you how to read the Bible as it should be examined—in an approach the author calls "historical-metaphorical." Borg explores what the Scriptures meant to the ancient communities that produced and lived by them. He then helps us to discover the meaning of these stories, providing the knowledge and perspective to make the wisdom of the Bible an essential part of our modern lives. The author argues that the conventional way of seeing the Bible's origin, authority, and interpretation has become unpersuasive to millions of people in our time, and that we need a fresh way of encountering the Bible that takes the texts seriously but not literally, even as it takes seriously who we have become.

Borg traces his personal spiritual journey, describing for readers how he moved from an unquestioning childhood belief in the biblical stories to a more powerful and dynamic relationship with the Bible as a sacred text brimming with meaning and guidance. Using his own experience as an example, he reveals how the modern crisis of faith is itself rooted in the misinterpretation of sacred texts as historical record and divine dictation, and opens readers to a truer, more abundant perspective.

This unique book invites everyone—whatever one's religious background—to engage the Bible, wrestle with its meaning, explore its mysteries, and understand its relevance. Borg shows us how to encounter the Bible in a fresh way that rejects the limits of simple literalism and opens up rich possibilities for our lives.

Author Bio

Marcus J. Borg is canon theologian at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Portland, Oregon, and was Hundere Distinguished Professor of Religion and Culture at Oregon State University. Described by the New York Times as "a leading figure in his generation of Jesus scholars," he has appeared on NBC's The Today Show and Dateline, ABC's World News, and NPR's Fresh Air. He is the author of the bestselling books Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time, The Heart of Christianity, Reading the Bible Again for the First Time, The God We Never Knew, Jesus, Speaking Christian, and The Evolution of the Word. His blog appears on the Progressive Christian Channel of

Editorial Reviews

“[A]n accessible book, almost entirely devoid of scholarly jargon but filled with scholarly insight.”
“Borg writes passionately about the enduring values of the Bible. The engaging historical details he includes make familiar stories read like new. Whether you read the Bible religiously or rarely, this book is thought-provoking.”
“Borg... has a knack for clarifying difficult theological issues and writing in a pensive style that is extremely accessible to Christian laity and seekers of all stripes. Almost single-handedly, he opened up new avenues of thought for lapsed or nonbelievers interested in re-visioning the Christianity of their childhood.”
“Provides many excellent metaphorical readings of biblical accounts, which unify the Bible’s stories.”
“A highly readable and succinct introduction to biblical criticism.”
“[T]akes the Bible back from the specialists...nothing short of a blessing, even a miracle!”
“Borg’s analysis is profound, challenging and engrossing; it will enable readers to use scripture creatively once again and truly make it a bridge for the divine.”
“This welcome book removes many of the barriers that separate thoughtful people from the wisdom of the Bible.”

Product Reviews

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Displaying items 1-3 of 3
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  1. suziq
    Drumheller, AB Canada
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    This author stirs up new thoughts about the Bible
    May 9, 2012
    Drumheller, AB Canada
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Always seem to be searching for new, different even radical ideas about our history. This book fulfills all of those. Take from it what fits for you and leave the rest behind for another time perhaps.
  2. Roseann Payne
    1 Stars Out Of 5
    November 7, 2009
    Roseann Payne
    This book presents a fascinating read on cultural, traditional and philosophical aspects of Christianity as a human-centered religion, but offers nothing at all on what this 'way' or 'truth' or 'life' is that Borg is upholding - yes he affirms that Jesus is this 'way', conclusive as "the path of transition and transformation from an old way of being to a new way of being',but how is this lived out? It seems to be left up to the individual to determine what this means for the 'way' they live. But I believe God makes it so clear that this way is through salvation, through the death and resurrection of Jesus himself who paid our penalty of death so we could be restored into relationship with God and transformed to be like Christ. This is the centre of Christianity. Its not about the religion or the philosophy or the claims of metaphorical interpretation - I am no expert so I will not go there - but a lot of what Borg says is trivial, useless, and reduces Christianity to a social institution based on subjective experience. There is no use for Jesus in a religion like that, except for providing a feel-good spirituality.To me, there are huge holes in his view on Christology and grace and all it leaves me with is a wishy-washy, watered down "other gospel" that Paul warns against in Galatians. I would perhaps be willing to appreciate his interpretation of Scripture if it was founded on Jesus, on the cross, on God's plan of salvation for humankind, but it is sorely lacking. If you want Jesus, He's gotta be who He says He is, or else everything we base upon Him is meaningless.
  3. Shannon Verbal
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    July 29, 2009
    Shannon Verbal
    This is a philosophy or religion class type of book. It presents two unique views of biblical interpretation; the more methaphorical view vs. the more literal interpretation. It is not a quick read but very deep and thoughtful.
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