Strange Brouhaha

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Spong's "The Sins Of Scripture"

Ever been blown out of your chair by a book on religion?

Me either, until now. I'm about halfway through John Shelby Spong's latest book, "The Sins Of Scripture," wherein he takes on the relative handful of verses in the Bible that have been used across the centuries to oppress and vilify, chews them up, and spits them out.

Spong calls for nothing less than...well, it boils down to a new Reformation: set aside the notion that the Bible is the literal "Word of God," set aside old theistic views in favor of more naturalistic ones, come to a new understanding of the true meaning of Scripture. As I said, I'm only halfway through the book, so I'm unable as yet to fully articulate this call, but so far it's compelling.

This is (so far) and incredibly powerful, radical call for the reclamation of the Bible and of religion from the hands of people who would use it to destroy.

(I bought this book because I read a review of it in the NYT which made it sound interesting--but not nearly as interesting as it actually is. I'm going to have to hit the Web to find other reviews of this book; I can't imagine it has been received well in the Catholic and Evangelical communities, which he takes to task regularly. Also, among other things, he repeats and supports the contention that Mary Magdalene was the wife of Jesus, and he advances the new-to-me notion that Paul was a closeted homosexual.)


  • I recommend "The Unvarnished New Testament," a translation of the Gospels by Andy Gaus, and "A Poet's Bible: Rediscovering The Voices of the Original Text," a translation of the Hebrew Bible by David Rosenberg. LOVED THEM LOVED THEM LOVED THEM. Blew me away. Just as much fun for atheists as believers. (Not least because they blow both of those narrow and limiting categories RIGHT out of the water.) We should all pool our money and buy copies and leave them in fundie churches.

    By Blogger Savannah, at 7:47 AM  

  • Seriously, though. Spong?

    By Anonymous david adam edelstein, at 12:50 AM  

  • I know, it sounds like an energy drink or a miracle fabric or a wacky comedy starring Robin Williams. Or maybe it's the sound a rubber ball makes bouncing off a sheet of brass: sponngggggggg.

    By Blogger Robert, at 7:38 AM  

  • An anonymous person recently left a comment on this post about Andy Gaus. I couldn't verify any of the outlandish-sounding content, so I deleted the comment.

    I invite my anonymous friend to point me at some kind of proof. I can restore the comment after that.

    By Blogger Robert, at 12:12 PM  

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