Jennifer Bird has written a very readable book which introduces the academic study of the Bible. It is called Permission Granted: Take the Bible into Your Own Hands (Westminster John Knox, 2015).
The book is aimed at people who might never have encountered biblical scholarship, but who are curious to learn something about it. And the style of writing very much has this audience in mind. Its range of topics is drawn from throughout the Christian Bible, such as the Creation stories, the various things which the Bible has to say about sex, the spectre of violence within the Bible, the virgin birth, the historical Jesus, and Paul. The topics are introduced and presented in a way that is non-confrontational, yet which does not shy away from the critical issues which scholars raise about them.
Bird’s aim is to get confessional readers of the Bible to read it with different questions…
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