The Sins of Scripture: Exposing the Bible's Texts of Hate to Reveal the God of Love

The Sins of Scripture Exposing the Bible s Texts of Hate to Reveal the God of Love In The Sins of Scripture Bishop John Shelby Spong takes on a thematic exploration of the Bible carefully analyzing those passages that inform some of our key debates like the role of women in the c

  • Title: The Sins of Scripture: Exposing the Bible's Texts of Hate to Reveal the God of Love
  • Author: John Shelby Spong
  • ISBN: 9780060778408
  • Page: 176
  • Format: Paperback
  • In The Sins of Scripture, Bishop John Shelby Spong takes on a thematic exploration of the Bible, carefully analyzing those passages that inform some of our key debates, like the role of women in the church and in society, and homosexuality, to name just two Beyond that he also looks at scriptures that have helped shape culture and history bringing to light the undercurIn The Sins of Scripture, Bishop John Shelby Spong takes on a thematic exploration of the Bible, carefully analyzing those passages that inform some of our key debates, like the role of women in the church and in society, and homosexuality, to name just two Beyond that he also looks at scriptures that have helped shape culture and history bringing to light the undercurrent of anti Semitism he finds in the Gospels, for example The journey is particularly compelling because Bishop Spong believes in and values the good the Bible has brought to many through the ages His goal is not to define the Bible itself as something to be set aside, but instead to honor and value what he loves about it while still labeling what he dramatically calls texts of terror for what they are The true joy of the book is found in Spong s vigorous intellect, which he shines bright in an attempt to catch a reflection of the age, culture and circumstances in which the texts he examines were written Like an archaeologist working with ideas instead of tools, he removes the rocks, brushes away the sediment and reports on what he finds What were the roots and cultural realities behind the Scriptures that define the role of women in the church What were the hopes and fears driving the writers who condemned homosexuality in such stark terms What is the justification behind scriptures recommending the rod of correction or as Bishop Spong simply labels it t he physical abuse of children Whether or not you agree with some of his musings along the way, many of his conclusions are hard to argue with Putting aside the issue of divine origin of the Bible, no one can deny passages have been used in service of very human ends Finally, The Sins of Scriptures can be seen as a careful observer of what those ends have been And when taken on those terms, it makes an interesting read, regardless of one s religious background Ed Dobeas

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    1 thought on “The Sins of Scripture: Exposing the Bible's Texts of Hate to Reveal the God of Love”

    1. The subtitle of this book is Exposing the Bible’s Texts of Hate to Reveal the God of Love. I read this book a few years back, and the reason it came to mind today is because I am feeling overwhelmed by the aggressiveness of anti-Bible crusaders. Unquestionably, there are many passages in the Bible that are not only questionable theology, but downright appalling. Unquestionably, there are “Christians” today who pounce on these texts in order to promote discrimination or oppression. But the [...]

    2. Read this years ago after reading about it in the paper. He "debunks" the Bible as a man-made text full of sexism and obvious untruth.I think he had many errors in both research and logic, but I can respect the man's position to not believe. What I cannot respect is his masquerading as a religious person. He's a bishop and apparently ministers to congregations. His last chapters are about how there is no man in the sky to listen to our prayers; mankind must solve our own problems. Go be an acade [...]

    3. In general, when I read John Shelby Spong, I am tremendously impressed with his grasp of the breadth and depth of the material and his ability to tell the story in such a straightforward, courageous, no-holds-barred fashion as well as in a very accessible style. He speaks my language, so to speak. In fact, he says/writes plainly and boldly what he thinks, and so often my response is "Yes, exactly; why have we Christians been so slowrhaps reluctant see/say the obvious?"The gist of this work is th [...]

    4. This book had some very interesting perspectives on a variety of topics, and I bet it has pissed a lot of people off. I think a lot what Spong has to say is quite valid though.First and foremost is his assertion that the Bible is not, and never has been, the literal word of god. This is a belief I have held for a long time. God did not set pen to paper (or chisel to stone) and write this book. Men wrote this book. Even if we accept the notions that it was written as a result of divine inspiratio [...]

    5. What can I say? I love Spong. There is much to rejoice about - and learn from - a person who earnestly, courageously, seeks to explore his faith without shying away from the ugly truths and inconsistencies in the institutionalised structures and dangerous dogma that lead to so much wrong being done in the name of God.

    6. Early in this book it becomes apparent that the author may not be the “deeply committed Christian” he claims to be, as much as he is a charlatan At page 25, Spong makes the assertion of what constitutes a disciple of Jesus: “We are to build a world inwhich every person can live more fully, love more wastefully and be all that God intends each person to be.” Well, that’s nice: but the reader is ultimately left abandoned with the incredulity of Spong’s following chapters which proceed [...]

    7. I have had this book on my shelf for a number of years, but had only briefly browsed through it on occasion. I had originally purchased it when I was feeling particularly separated from the Church, and, I thought, God. I have since come to terms with the fact that my beliefs do not necessarily reflect the Church I grew up in, and that surprisingly, I feel closer to God because of it. With all of the hub-bub surrounding the monumental Human Rights cases before the Supreme Court this week, I sat d [...]

    8. As a recoverng fundamentalist Christian (I fully understand that one is always "recovering" from any addiction), I decided to read this book I guess to make sure that I was right in my decision years ago to throw over my childhood training - or maybe just to get some reassurance and support - sort of like going to an AA meeting I suppose - to find friends and support to stay on the path towards wholeness, health and freedom. I got all of that from Spong's book.Religious fundamentalism in all of [...]

    9. The author offers his analysis and thoughts on some of what he calls the Bible's "terrible texts" which have been used by too many Christians as justification for judgmental/hateful attitudes and actions. As a Christian who is in a personal battle to separate the essence of beauty in Chritianity from all of the violence and oppression that has come out of these texts, I found it to be a worthwhile read and to offer serious challenges to some of the assumptions and beliefs I carry. I don't share [...]

    10. This is one of the many progressive Christian books I've read by Spong, Borg, Crossin, Armstrong, et. al. Spong doesn't pull any punches and flat out points out the hateful and down-right evil parts of Christian scripture out there and how a modern person can reconsile oneself with it. These scriptures were all written by violent ancient people who really had no real understanding of the world they lived in. When you take the cultural crap out of it, the wisdom teachings can be very instructive. [...]

    11. If you deal with people who like to use the bible to put you in your place, this book is your ammunition for fighting back. It's not hard to catch a bible-quoter in a contradiction, so that's the easiest part of this book. What I appreciate is the repeated argument against the bible as the Word of God and the repeated illustration of how it is simple a collection of stories that reflect the time, place, and authors of it's origin. If more Christians saw the bible as literature, we'd all be bette [...]

    12. A fantastic book. Spong is a great writer and has a great understanding of what Christianity should be. He carefully discusses the uses and abuses to which the Bible has been used for centuries. Anyone who wants to see Christianity mature and shed its discriminating past should read this book. I would recommend this book to anyone who is interesting in seeing Christianity become more than what it it.

    13. This is a great book, one I wish more Christians should read. Spong makes many good arguments as to the Bible and how we interpret it. He does not disparage the Creator in any way. He is only asking people to reexamine a book written by man.

    14. This is a book written by a devout Christian looking to save his religion from doing more harm than good. In doing so he makes many beautiful points, which even a non-Christian like myself can appreciate.

    15. In this book, Reverend Spong does an excellent job of detailing many of the reasons why I have never been able to accept Christianity; many of the verses in the bible that are so often referred to when defending some indefensible bias or political attitude are not merely irrelevant to the modern world, but are actively evil. He does an excellent job of tracing the origins of those verses, and of the bible in general, and explaining the source of the vile spew that is so often referred to as "the [...]

    16. This is a very good book which highlights Bible passages that have been used to support and encourage the evils of sexism, violence and anti-semitism. There is a very good chapter which presents the development of Holy Scripture from the Yahwist, Elohist, Deuteronomic and Priestly sources which were adopted at various times in Jewish history. In another chapter, Bishop Spong writes of the evolution of Christian Scripture. He further writes that "the doctrines, dogmas and creeds of our tribal rel [...]

    17. I always enjoy Bishop Spong's approach to Christianity, the Bible, religion, and spirituality. This book is no exception. First he goes through the various "clobber passages" that are commonly used to condemn people, showing in all cases that such clobbering isn't "biblical" or "Christian" at all. Then he traces, quickly but clearly, the development of the Bible itself: how the various parts of it came to be written, combined, and canonized; and how it came to be seen and wielded as the "(s)Word [...]

    18. I see where he was going with his points but he made all christians sound crazy and it almost sounded like he was not Christian anymore. I think he might be generalizing too much when in reality he might be talking more specifically about one certain denomination. I wouldn't say most christians feel the way he was explaining to be sinful. I also feel his opinion at the end of each chapter was a little extreme.

    19. The “Word of God” commanded the original residents of the earth to “be fruitful and multiply”, as a way of populating the newly created earth. Now, that command is still being promoted by certain religious groups. Certain denominations are opposing the use of birth control. All of this despite the potential disaster to the earth from overpopulation. The “Word of God” has been quoted to support this. The Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church today refuse to ordain wome [...]

    20. This book provides a highly thought-provoking and incisive criticism of how certain passages in the Bible have and continue to be cited by many as justifying "sins" such as the oppression of women, homosexuals and non-believers.On top of this, towards the end, the author of this book also sketches out his vision of a Christianity which will be much more inclusive, tolerant and progressive.While I, as a free thinker, am highly supportive of what has been put forth in this book, I cannot help but [...]

    21. I much preferred this book to another of Spong's I read a few months ago, even though this one also contains some of the same irritating prose qualities as the other one, like long lists of rhetorical questions and overused exclamation points. I found that stuff much easier to look over in this book, though, perhaps because the chapters are so focused and short. Many of them pack quite a punch, and really get at the heart of what is wrong with fundamentalist/mainline Christianity today and how i [...]

    22. A good book with a thesis that should be the subject of more authors' attention. Spong enjoins us to approach the Bible as an epic written by men and to seek within this epic those aspects of the Christian faith that are genuine eternal truths: kindess, love, the other, God as the force of nature (not as a doting parent), etc. I appreciated that breath of fresh air and honesty with himself and facts. However, his arguments about particular "sins of scripture" are not rock solid, and I interprete [...]

    23. I've read many Spong books, and they all tend to overlap quite a bit. I wish that he'd space his books out a bit more so that he isn't repeating himself so much. This book was novel mostly in the organization. He looks at several ways in which biblical texts have been used to exclude, kills, and hate, and he demonstrates how even though these texts *are* in the bible, it is possible to refute them while still remaining a Christian. Some of the things he says are rather outlandish. In the chapter [...]

    24. This book was a difficult start for me, but I found it to be one of the best books I've read in the last couple of years. This book examines some of the passages from the Bible that have been used to justify certain positions and attitudes that are hurtful towards particular groups of people. I thought that this book had the most compelling argument that the passages regarding homosexuality as a sin are not the word of God. I especially liked the concluding chapters that talk about how the Bible [...]

    25. this book got me going to church again (as an episcopalian). a long time ago i went to church as a southern baptist and it was just bad (except for one time when my friend jessica and i had a laughing fit over a sermon about dorcas, cause we were immature and her name was dorcas) so i stopped going. but then one day i saw tavis smiley interviewing the rev. spong and i thought, 'oh golly, look how smart and not a biggot he is, i think i'll give these episcopalians a try.' so i did and i've been v [...]

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