The Bible in History: How the Texts Have Shaped the Times

Paperback | November 16, 2006

byDavid W. Kling

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No one can doubt that the Bible has exerted a tremendous influence on Western civilization since the dawn of Christianity. But few of us have considered the precise nature of that influence in particular historical contexts. In this book, David Kling traces the fascinating story of howspecific biblical texts have at different times emerged to be the inspiration of movements that have changed the course of history. By examining eight such pivotal texts, Kling elucidates the ways in which sacred texts continue to shape our lives as well as our history. Among the passages hediscusses are: * "Upon this rock I will build my church" (Matthew 16:18), which inspired the formation of the papacy and has served as its foundation for centuries * "The righteous will live by faith" (Romans 1:17), which caught the imagination of Martin Luther and sparked the Protestant Reformation* "Go to Pharaoh and say to him, 'Thus says the Lord: Let my people go, so that they may worship me'" (Exodus 8:1), which has played an important and diverse role in African American history from early slave spirituals through the modern civil rights movement and beyond * "There is no longer Jew orGreek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus" (Galatians 3:28), which has been adopted by feminists as a rallying cry in the battle for women's ordination Each of the historical episodes he explores--from the beginning ofChristian monasticism to the emergence of Pentecostalism--is evidence of the dynamic interplay between Scripture and the social and cultural context in which it is interpreted. Kling's innovative study of this process shows how sacred texts can give life to social movements, and how powerful socialforces can give new meaning to Scripture.

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No one can doubt that the Bible has exerted a tremendous influence on Western civilization since the dawn of Christianity. But few of us have considered the precise nature of that influence in particular historical contexts. In this book, David Kling traces the fascinating story of howspecific biblical texts have at different times e...

David W. Kling is associate professor in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Miami. He is the author of A Field of Divine Wonders: The New Divinity and Village Revivals in Northwestern Connecticut, 1792-1822 (1993) and co-editor of Jonathan Edwards at Home and Abroad: Historical Memories, Cultural Movements, Globa...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:408 pages, 5.98 × 9.02 × 1.18 inPublished:November 16, 2006Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195310217

ISBN - 13:9780195310214

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"Kling writes so fluently, elegantly, and with such clarity of purpose that readers who are unfamiliar with church history will still find most of the detailed arguments accessible. Similarly, readers who are unfamiliar with scholarly approaches to the Bible will find this an entrancingsurvey of how key texts have been understood differently across time by faithful Christians. Yet the book is based on such a huge amount of scholarship, marshalled so carefully by the author, that theologians, church historians, and specialists in biblical studies will also frequently find valuableinsights here." --John Sullivan, Liverpool Hope University