Biblical Literalism: A Gentile Heresy – Now Available in Paperback – Order Today!
Now Available in Paperback – Order Today!
In this profound work, bestselling author and the former Episcopal Bishop of Newark John Shelby Spong offers a radical new way to look at the gospels today. Pulling back the layers of misunderstanding created over the centuries by Gentile ignorance of things Jewish, he reveals how a literal reading of the Bible is so far removed from the original intent of the Jewish authors of the gospels that it has become an act of heresy.
Using the Gospel of Matthew as a guide, Spong explores the New Testament’s literary and liturgical roots—its grounding in Jewish culture, symbols, icons, and storytelling tradition—to explain how the events of Jesus’s 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. Spong makes clear that it was only after the church became fully Gentile that readers of the gospels took these to be events of history, thus distorting their essential meaning.
In Biblical Literalism: A Gentile Heresy, Spong annotates the Gospel of Matthew and so provides a blueprint for the Church’s future—one that allows the faithful to live inside the Christian story while still embracing the modern world.
“This exciting book recovers the original meaning behind Matthew’s Gospel with profound implications for the way we look at Jesus and follow him today. Spong is a truth-teller who stands up to the ignorance spawned by a ‘gentile heresy’ that has hijacked the story of Jesus for far too long.”
—Matthew Fox, author of Original Blessing
“Jack Spong confounds biblical literalists by being profoundly biblical. This exciting book is liberating for those looking for a rational and authentic Christian faith that honors its biblical roots and is an essential building block in the search for a new Christianity for a new world.”
—Peter Francis, warden and director of Gladstone’s Library, Wales
“A brilliant challenge to biblical literalism, Bishop Spong reveals the tragic consequences of idolatry of the written word and why it matters today. A timely, important book.”
—Michael Dowd, author of Thank God for Evolution
“After reading Spong’s newest book, it will be difficult to read Matthew or any of the gospels in quite the same way again. He’s done an amazing job of explaining how the book of Matthew was written as weekly liturgies for the Jewish Synagogue year. A wonderful book.”
—Fred C. Plumer, president of ProgressiveChristianity.org
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