Liberating The Gospels: Reading The Bible With Jewish Eyes

Paperback | November 25, 1997

byJohn Shelby Spong

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In this boldest book since Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism, Bishop John Shelby Spong offers a compelling view of the Gospels as thoroughly Jewish tests.Spong powerfully argues that many of the key Gospel accounts of events in the life of Jesus—from the stories of his birth to his physical resurrection—are not literally true. He offers convincing evidence that the Gospels are a collection of Jewish midrashic stories written to convey the significance of Jesus. This remarkable discovery brings us closer to how Jesus was really understood in his day and should be in ours.

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From Our Editors

With a keen eye and years of deliberate investigation, Spong traces the long period of history in which the Gospels were "cut away from their essential Jewishness" and interpreted as if they were primarily gentile books, distorting their meaning with a deeply prejudiced anti-Jewish bias. To remedy both that bias and the continued misin...

From the Publisher

In this boldest book since Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism, Bishop John Shelby Spong offers a compelling view of the Gospels as thoroughly Jewish tests.Spong powerfully argues that many of the key Gospel accounts of events in the life of Jesus—from the stories of his birth to his physical resurrection—are not literally true. He ...

In this boldest book since Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism, Bishop John Shelby Spong offers a compelling view of the Gospels as thoroughly Jewish tests.Spong powerfully argues that many of the key Gospel accounts of events in the life of Jesus—from the stories of his birth to his physical resurrection—are not literally true. He ...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:384 pages, 8 × 5.31 × 0.86 inPublished:November 25, 1997Publisher:HarperCollins

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0060675578

ISBN - 13:9780060675578

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From Our Editors

With a keen eye and years of deliberate investigation, Spong traces the long period of history in which the Gospels were "cut away from their essential Jewishness" and interpreted as if they were primarily gentile books, distorting their meaning with a deeply prejudiced anti-Jewish bias. To remedy both that bias and the continued misinterpretation of the Gospels' message, Spong believes we must recognize the Gospels as the thoroughly Jewish books they are and learn to read them with a clear understanding of the Jewish context, frame of reference, vocabulary, and history that shaped in informed them. By connecting the Gospels to the style of the Jewish midrashic literature of Jesus' era, he shows how the Gospel authors intended their stories to be perceived, not as historic accounts of actual events, but rather as interpretive narratives about the meaning of Jesus, using images and themes from the Hebrew Bible. Some examples of his fascinating arguments and conclusions are the significant events of Jesus' life follow an orderly cycle of Jewish feasts and rites of passage; Judas never existed but was a fictional scapegoat created to shift the blame for Jesus' death from the Romans to the Jews; leading characters of Jewish scripture make cameo appearances in the Gospels; and stories about Jesus, from the infancy narratives to the resurrection, can all be freshly understood as interpretative tales based on key passages in the Old Testament. Like any good detective story, Liberating the Gospels is a riveting account of facts and theories coming together, piece by piece, to form a brilliant, convincing whole. Spong approaches the Gospels with reverence and a determination to restore their meaning, their vivid historical context, and the respect so long eroded between Christians and Jews. The result is a remarkable revisioning of Jesus and the Gospels that brings us closer to how Jesus was really understood in his day and should be in ours

Editorial Reviews

“Bishop Spong’s work is a significant accomplishment.”