Biblical Literalism

Biblical Literalism

A Gentile Heresy : A Journey Into A New Christianity Through the Doorway of Matthew's Gospel

Unknown - 2016
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Explains that the gospels are profoundly Jewish and expound Jewish scriptures, history, and patterns of worship, and argues that a literal reading of these texts was not intended by their authors and amounts to heresy.
Publisher: New York, NY : HarperOne, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, [2016]
ISBN: 9780062362308
0062362305
Characteristics: xxii, 394 pages ; 24 cm
Alternative Title: Gentile heresy

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PAUL MARSHALL
Jun 09, 2017

I recently returned from the Israel Museum, where a first century A.D. photocopy of the Isaiah Scroll is on display. This copy was discovered in the 1940's amid speculation that Isaiah had changed significantly since its original writing. Its discovery should have silenced critics of the scriptures for all time. That copy, a millennium older than previous copies was essentially the same document, proving the reliability of the Old Testament documents we now have. The New Testament is even more reliably attested.

Spong's interesting detour through Jewish Festivals and other non-essential byways completely misses the issues dealing with biblical literalism. The essential question is do we have the documentation to prove the texts reliable and the answer is a resounding "Yes!"

If one wants an authoritative analysis of the Gospel of Matthew regarding its textual reliability rather see Bruce Metzger's "The Text of the New Testament."

Spong's "New Christianity" is a rather radical form of postmodernism that seeks to first neutralize and then destroy orthodox Christianity. Don't buy it.

Well written expose, sensitive to the faith of the Christian who has a healthy skepticism for literal interpretations of the bible, yet challenging enough for agnostics and non-Christians who want some historical background into the development of Christianity as a political and philosophical movement in Western History. This book was especially helpful for me to understand the historical tensions between the Jewish and Christian communities.

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