This book examines the theology and ethics of land use, especially the practices of modern industrialized agriculture, in light of critical biblical exegesis. Nine interrelated essays explore the biblical writers' pervasive concern for the care of arable land against the background of the geography, social structures, and religious thought of ancient Israel. This approach consistently brings out neglected aspects of texts, both poetry and prose, that are central to Jewish and Christian traditions. Rather than seeking solutions from the past, Davis creates a conversation between ancient texts and contemporary agrarian writers; thus she provides a fresh perspective from which to view the destructive practices and assumptions that now dominate the global food economy. The biblical exegesis is wide-ranging and sophisticated; the language is literate and accessible to a broad audience.
This book examines the theology and ethics of land use, especially the practices of modern industrialized agriculture, in light of critical biblical exegesis. Nine interrelated essays explore the biblical writers' pervasive concern for the care of arable land against the background of the geography, social structures, and religious thought of ancient Israel. This approach consistently brings out neglected aspects of texts, both poetry and prose, that are central to Jewish and Christian traditions. Rather than seeking solutions from the past, Davis creates a conversation between ancient texts and contemporary agrarian writers; thus she provides a fresh perspective from which to view the destructive practices and assumptions that now dominate the global food economy. The biblical exegesis is wide-ranging and sophisticated; the language is literate and accessible to a broad audience.
Fretheim presents here the Old Testament view of the Creator God, the created world, and our role in creation. Beginning with "The Beginning," he demonstrates that creation is open-ended and connected. Then, from every part of the Old Testament, Fretheim explores the fullness and richness of Israel's thought regarding creation: from the dynamic created order to human sin, from judgment and environmental devastation to salvation, redemption, and a new creation.
This is a book about getting, and staying, involved with God what it takes, what it costs, what it looks and feels like, why anyone would want to do it anyway. It is at the same time a book about reading the Old Testament as a source of Good News and guidance for our life with God. The key piece of Good News that the Old Testament communicates over and over again is that God is involved with us, deeply and irrevocably so. from the Introduction With sound scholarship and her own vivid translations from the Hebrew, Old Testament professor Ellen Davis teaches us a spiritually engaged method of reading scripture. Beginning with the psalms, whose frank prayers can be a model for our own, Davis reflects on the stories of the patriarchs and the pastoral wisdom of the book of Job, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Songs in helping us cultivate those habits of the heart that lead to a rich relationship with God."
In this annotated and illustrated translation of the book of Ruth, Ellen Davis and Margaret Adams Parker demonstrate how translation and art can be complementary forms of biblical interpretation. The three components of the book - translation, notes, and images - explore the story of Ruth as one of suffering and loss redeemed by steadfast faithfulness. The translation is loyal to the original; the notes reflect on Ruth's story, literary form, lexical choices, and theological meaning; and the woodcuts provide a stimulating running narrative.
In this thoughtful study, respected Old Testament scholar Patricia K. Tull explores the Scriptures for guidance on today's ecological crisis. Tull looks to the Bible for what it can tell us about our relationships, not just to the earth itself, but also to plant and animal life, to each other, to descendants who will inherit the planet from us, and to our Creator. She offers candid discussions on many current ecological problems that humans contribute to, such as the overuse of energy resources like gas and electricity, consumerism, food production systems--including land use and factory farming--and toxic waste. Each chapter concludes with discussion questions and a practical exercise, making it ideal for both group and individual study. This important book provides a biblical basis for thinking about our world differently and prompts us to consider changing our own actions. Visit inhabitingeden.org for links to additional resources and information.
Donald Gowan offers a unified reading of the prophetic books, showing that each has a distinctive contribution to make to a central theme. These books--Isaiah through Malachi--respond to three key moments in Israel's history: the end of the Northern Kingdom in 722 BCE, the end of the Southern Kingdom in 587 BCE, and the beginning of the restoration from the Babylonian exile in 538 BCE. Gowan traces the theme of death and resurrection throughout these accounts, finding a symbolic message of particular significance to Christian interpreters of the Bible.
First published in 2013. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.
The biblical and Christian traditions have long been seen to have legitimated and encouraged humanity's aggressive domination of nature. Biblical visions of the future, with destruction for the earth and rescue for the elect, have also discouraged any concern for the earth's future or the welfare of future generations. But we now live in a time when environmental issues are at the centre of political and ethical debate. What is needed is a new reading of the biblical tradition that can meet the challenges of the ecological issues that face humanity at the beginning of the third millennium. 'The Bible and the Environment' examines a range of biblical texts - from Genesis to Revelation - evaluating competing interpretations. The Bible provides a thoroughly ambivalent legacy. Certainly, it cannot provide straightforward teaching on care for the environment but nor can it simply be seen as an anti-ecological book. Developing an 'ecological hermeneutic' as a way of mediating between contemporary concerns and the biblical text, 'The Bible and the Environment' presents a way of productively reading the Bible in the context of contemporary ecology.
In The Comforting Whirlwind, acclaimed environmentalist and writer Bill McKibben turns to the biblical book of Job and its awesome depiction of creation to demonstrate our need to embrace a bold new paradigm for living if we hope to reverse the current trend of ecological destruction. With reference to the consequences of our poorly considered and self-centered environmental practices—global warming, ozone degradation, deforestation—McKibben combines modern science and timeless biblical wisdom to make the case that growth and economic progress are not only undesirable but deadly. If we continue to accelerate the pace of development, we will inevitably complete the “decreation” of our planet and everything on it, including ourselves. In his signature lyrical prose, and using Stephen Mitchell's powerful translation of Job, McKibben calls readers to truly appreciate both the majesty of creation and humanity's rightful—and responsible—place in it.
The difficulty of interpreting the Bible is felt all over today. Is the Bible still authoritative for the faith and practice of the church? If so, in what way? What practices of reading offer the most appropriate approach to understanding Scripture? The church's lack of clarity about these issues has hindered its witness and mission, causing it to speak with an uncertain voice to the challenges of our time. This important book is for a twenty-first-century church that seems to have lost the art of reading the Bible attentively and imaginatively. The Art of Reading Scripture is written by a group of eminent scholars and teachers seeking to recover the church's rich heritage of biblical interpretation in a dramatically changed cultural environment. Asking how best to read the Bible in a postmodern context, the contributors together affirm up front "Nine Theses" that provide substantial guidance for the church. The essays and sermons that follow both amplify and model the approach to Scripture outlined in the Nine Theses. Lucidly conceived, carefully written, and shimmering with fresh insights, The Art of Reading Scripture proposes a far-reaching revolution in how the Bible is taught in theological seminaries and calls pastors and teachers in the church to rethink their practices of using the Bible. Contributors: Gary A. Anderson Richard Bauckham Brian E. Daley Ellen F. Davis Richard B. Hays James C. Howell Robert W. Jenson William Stacy Johnson L. Gregory Jones Christine McSpadden R. W. L. Moberly David C. Steinmetz Marianne Meye Thompson
Norman C. Habel identifies six discrete ideologies in the Hebrew Bible regarding land: royal, agrarian, theocratic, prophetic, ancestral household, and immigrant.
Welcome to the weird and wonderful world of the Bible. When we read Scripture we often imagine that the world inhabited by the Bible's characters was much the same as our own. We would be wrong. The biblical world is an ancient world with a flat earth that stands at the center of the cosmos, and with a vast ocean in the sky, chaos dragons, mystical mountains, demonic deserts, an underground zone for the dead, stars that are sentient beings, and, if you travel upwards and through the doors in the solid dome of the sky, God's heaven--the heart of the universe. This book takes readers on a guided tour of the biblical cosmos with the goal of opening up the Bible in its ancient world. It then goes further and seeks to show how this very ancient biblical way of seeing the world is still revelatory and can speak God's word afresh into our own modern worlds.
The book of Job is often discussed as a theodicy ? an attempt to ?justify the ways of God to man.? In this remarkable rereading of Job J. Gerald Janzen brings new light to this familiar account, showing instead that God invites Job to give up the traditional Deuteronomic logic of reward-punishment for a life-affirming strategy of risk-reward. From this perspective, affirmation of life in the face of all its vulnerabilities is the path to true participation in the mystery of existence. / Drawing on a recent study of the thematics of the ?east wind? in the Bible (the ?whirlwind? in Job), Janzen proposes that the prominence God gives to rain in Job 38, with its renewal of the parched earth and the ensuing vigor of all forms of life, signals God?s response to Job?s thirst, heals Job?s bitterness, and restores him to a life at the end of which he dies contented. Janzen demonstrates how life-crippling bitterness is transcended and hope in life?s worthwhileness is restored in the face of grievous evil. The resolution of the Joban question lies, therefore, not in the usual interpretation of a vindication of divine justice, but rather in God?s renewal of Job?s appetite for life. / Janzen underscores this interpretation with a candid epilogue on his own struggle with aggressive prostate cancer, which enabled him to connect personally with Job and to find a fresh and illuminating grace. At the Scent of Water will be useful not only to provide a greater understanding of the book of Job in classrooms and on pastor?s bookshelves, but also in the hands of any reader who has dealt with pain or doubt.
According to an old tradition preserved in the Palestinian Targums, the Hebrew Bible is "the Book of Memories." The sacred past recalled in the Bible serves as a model and wellspring for the present. The remembered past, says Ronald Hendel, is the material with which biblical Israel constructed its identity as a people, a religion, and a culture. It is a mixture of history, collective memory, folklore, and literary brilliance, and is often colored by political and religious interests. In Israel's formative years, these memories circulated orally in the context of family and tribe. Over time they came to be crystallized in various written texts. The Hebrew Bible is a vast compendium of writings, spanning a thousand-year period from roughly the twelfth to the second century BCE, and representing perhaps a small slice of the writings of that period. The texts are often overwritten by later texts, creating a complex pastiche of text, reinterpretation, and commentary. The religion and culture of ancient Israel are expressed by these texts, and in no small part also created by them, as they formulate new or altered conceptions of the sacred past. Remembering Abraham explores the interplay of culture, history, and memory in the Hebrew Bible. Hendel examines the Hebrew Bible's portrayal of Israel and its history, and correlates the biblical past with our own sense of the past. He addresses the ways that culture, memory, and history interweave in the self-fashioning of Israel's identity, and in the biblical portrayals of the patriarchs, the Exodus, and King Solomon. A concluding chapter explores the broad horizons of the biblical sense of the past. This accessibly written book represents the mature thought of one of our leading scholars of the Hebrew Bible.
A comprehensive theological framework for assessing the significance of eating, demonstrating that eating is of profound economic, moral and theological significance.
Today's church finds itself in a new world, one in which climate change and ecological degradation are front-page news. In the eyes of many, the evangelical community has been slow to take up a call to creation care. How do Christians address this issue in a faithful way? This evangelically centered but ecumenically informed introduction to ecological theology (ecotheology) explores the global dimensions of creation care, calling Christians to meet contemporary ecological challenges with courage and hope. The book provides a biblical, theological, ecological, and historical rationale for earthcare as well as specific practices to engage both individuals and churches. Drawing from a variety of Christian traditions, the book promotes a spirit of hospitality, civility, honesty, and partnership. It includes a foreword by Bill McKibben and an afterword by Matthew Sleeth.
The Bible: The Basics is a compelling introduction to the Bible as both a sacred text, central to the faith of millions, and a classic work of Western literature, containing a tapestry of genres, voices, perspectives and images. This masterly guide skilfully addresses both aspects of the Bible’s character by exploring: the rich variety of literary forms, from poetry to prophecy and epistles to apocalypses the historical, geographic and social context of the Bible contemporary attitudes to the Bible held by believers and non-believers the status of biblical interpretation today Including maps, a chronology and detailed suggestions for further reading, this is an ideal starting point for people of any faith or none who are studying the Bible in any setting or simply want to know more about the best-selling book of all time.

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