Word of God? Paperback
The Bible After Modern Scholarship
by Keith Ward;
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Word of God?
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Word of God? by Keith Ward was published by SPCK in January 2010 and is our 27253rd best seller. The ISBN for Word of God? is 9780281062119.
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The Word of GodBarry Vendy, via The Good Book Stall
If you, like me, feel alienated from any kind of fundamentalism, Christian or other, you may find this book speaks to you. Keith Ward continues the broadside against Fundamentalism that he discharged in his earlier book What the Bible Really Teaches (2004). He argues that no interpretation of the Bible can claim to be the ‘correct’ one, neither the fundamentalist one nor even his own.
‘Metaphor’ is a key notion in this book, illustrated with reference to creation, the divine sonship of Jesus, atonement, salvation and the kingdom. Among Ward’s ‘rules’ for reading metaphors are that (i) the statements are not literally true, and (ii) they communicate in an indirect, sometimes cryptic way, open to various interpretations.
This means there is great diversity in the Bible. There is also development in many of its ideas. Parts of it are “unduly vindictive and judgmental, when judged in the light of Jesus’ teaching.” Even parts of the New Testament get things wrong. Ward takes morality, the afterlife and justice as examples of this development, devoting one stirring chapter to a ‘Case Study on Retributive and Restorative Justice’. He also coins the memorable phrase, “The positive Gospel of unlimited divine love” adding, “Perhaps the Christian message should be: never adopt a judgmental or vindictive attitude”.
Ward makes it clear that the Bible is not an inerrant book dictated by God, containing wholly accurate accounts of human history and sets of moral instructions. That doesn’t stop him concluding that God can use its very diverse documents, “difficult but rewarding to interpret” as they are, to “evoke a sense of divine presence and purpose, and lead its hearers into a closer conscious relationship with the divine mind and heart of Being”, and that it is, “in a carefully qualified sense”, the word of God.
Read this book! No need to fear or denigrate the work of biblical scholars again!
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Details for Word of God?
|Author / Artist||Keith Ward|
|Publisher||SPCK (January 2010)|
|Number of Pages||160|
|Page last updated||21st October 2017|