Does the Bible need to be saved? Over the course of the centuries, Bible scholars and publishers have increasingly added "helps"—chapter divisions, verses, subheads, notes—to the Bible in an effort to make it easier to study and understand. In the process, however, these have led to sampling Scripture rather than reading deeply. According to author Glenn R. Paauw, the text has become divorced from the Bible's literary and historical context, leading to misinterpretation and a "narrow, individualistic and escapist view of salvation." Rather than being a culture-shaping force, the Bible has become a database of quick and easy answers to life's troubling questions. But these deficiencies can be corrected by engaging in what the author calls "big readings." In these pages Paauw introduces us to seven new (to us) understandings of the Bible as steps on the path to recovering one deeply engaged Bible. With each "new" Bible presented, deficiencies in how we currently interact with the Bible are explored, followed by recommendations for a new practice. The Bible's transformative power is recovered when we remove the chains Christians have applied to it over the centuries. The Bible does not need to be saved because of any defect in itself, but because we have distorted and misread it. Saving the Bible from Ourselves provides students of the Bible a new paradigm for reading and living the Bible well.
Preface Introduction: Embarking 1. Our Complicated Bible 2. Unveiling the Elegant Bible 3. Our Snacking Bible 4. Savoring the Feasting Bible 5. Our "The Gods Must Be Crazy" Bible 6. Finding God in the Historical Bible 7. Our De-dramatized Bible 8. Rediscovering the Storiented Bible 9. Performing the Storiented Bible 10. Our Otherworldly Bible 11. Grounded in the Earthly Bible 12. My Private Bible 13. Sharing Our Synagogue Bible 14. Our Ugly Bible 15. Beholding the Iconic Bible Conclusion: Return Acknowledgments Notes
"Because the Bible remains foundational to all Christian life, it is a very good thing to be reminded regularly how it should be put to use. Glenn Paauw's clear, thoughtful and historically well-informed book explains ways of reading, marking and inwardly digesting Scripture that draw their wisdom from Scripture itself. The same wisdom provides welcome encouragement not only to learn from but to love the written Word of God."
"Glenn Paauw has written a serious and compelling book on the Bible. The tone of his writing is puckish enough to keep us turning pages for more. After identifying our lazy readiness to reduce the Bible to convenient 'scripturettes,' Paauw guides us to a way to the adult work of serious engagement with the Bible. When the Bible is taken with such seriousness, it will indeed serve to refresh and revive the missional energy of the church. His argument is propelled by the deep conviction that gospel alternatives are on offer for the bold, alert and passionate who engage the biblical text beyond our narcoticized habits of reading."