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Biblical Literalism: A Gentile Heresy

A Journey into a New Christianity Through the Doorway of Matthew's Gospel
Narrated by: Bob Souer
Length: 10 hrs and 7 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (32 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A man who has consciously and deliberately walked the path of Christ, John Shelby Spong has lived his entire life inside the Christian Church. In this profound and considered work, he offers a radical new way to look at the gospels today as he shows just how deeply Jewish the Christian Gospels are and how much they reflect the Jewish scriptures, history, and patterns of worship.

Pulling back the layers of a long-standing Gentile ignorance, he reveals how the church's literal reading of the Bible is so far removed from these original Jewish authors' intent that it is an act of heresy.

Using the Gospel of Matthew as a guide, Spong explores the Bible's literary and liturgical roots to explain how the events of Jesus' life, including the virgin birth, the miracles, the details of the passion story, and the resurrection and ascension, would have been understood by both the Jewish authors of the various gospels and by the Jewish audiences for which they were originally written.

In Biblical Literalism: A Gentile Heresy, Spong illuminates the gospels as never before and provides a better blueprint for the future than where the church's leaden and heretical reading of the story of Jesus has led us - one that allows the faithful to live inside the Christian story in the modern world.

©2016 John Shelby Spong (P)2018 Tantor

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understanding the jewish thoughts in the Gospels

If you are a Fundamentalist then you'll mark this book with a one star. If you employ your reasoning skills with an open mind to the in-depth studies and work of this Bishop, whose life for 40 years was dedicated to God, you'll see he loves Jesus but he knows what the jewish authors intended in their writings. It's shocking to some but Jesus is built up by Old Testament promises of a jewish Messiah. As Gentiles, we failed terribly in the understanding of the gospels. What this book outlines is backed by scholarly academic researchers. Keeping our faith is a very important human need but we must seek explanations for things we don't fully understand. I have found that if you acquire an easy answer to a biblical question then it is probably false. Try to compare and contrast the explanations cited in this book to other sources in your library- not what you recall from Sunday School or sermons. Even after accomplishing all this, you may find another path for your understanding of God. Bishop Spong provided me with a wonderful understanding of scripture.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Opened My Eyes to the Bible

All my life I have been looking for answers to my questions regarding the Bible. I had always read it literally and not taking into account the Jewish traditions of the Biblical times and that it was written in a way in which the Jews would understand according to their knowledge and traditions. This book is packed with everything I need to understand the book of Matthew and at the same time gain a unique perspective on the Bible in its entirety. I am not a Biblical scholar so I had a little bit of a rough go at first but it paid off to not give up on trying to understand it all. Now I have clear answers and will listen to this book over and over to gain more insight. This book is packed full of knowledge by it’s genius author, and I appreciate him writing this at 84 years old. That’s amazing! He has a lot of Christian love and caring for humanity to work so hard to get this information out to us. I cannot say enough about how this book has helped me. This book is also perfect for Millennials who just don’t quite connect to the literal stories in the Bible. There IS a reason you are skeptical. Now I understand the Bible better on a sane level, and can still be a Christian. At least a more intelligent one Christian. This book is not a casual read but is a great read! The best!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Wonderful book

Another wonderful book by John Shelby Spong. Another book I am recommending to my friends.

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Extreme Liberal

I wish I had known he was liberal. I was completely disappointed by this book.

0 of 4 people found this review helpful

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A NEW TYPE Christianity for sure.

After the Bio of John Shelby Spong, a list of the differences stated goes against every teaching and self-study I have ever heard of. I stopped listening to the book right after that, this author does not agree with the literal interpretation of most if not all of what I understand to be true by faith.

0 of 10 people found this review helpful