By John Shelby Spong
The Bible comprises many passages that believers and nonbelievers alike could realize as appalling theology. even if those texts are used to discriminate, oppress, or condemn, they distort the reality of Christianity and solid doubt upon the affection of God. Now, mythical Episcopal bishop and recommend for liberal Christianity John Shelby Spong addresses those passages, shattering our misconceptions and offering a brand new imaginative and prescient of the way Christians at the present time can use the Bible.
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Additional resources for The Sins of Scripture: Exposing the Bible's Texts of Hate to Reveal the God of Love
We circulate directly to the gospels in our quest for different facts of the truth that this new and profound equality was once current earlier than the authority attributed to the patriarchal texts of the Bible started to be utilized in Christian background to suppress it. within the first of the gospels to be written, Mark tells the tale of a lady who, within the final week of Jesus’ earthly lifestyles, broke in upon him at a dinner in Bethany, on the domestic of a guy known as Simon the leper. Simon was once most likely a cured leper who may have a better sensitivity towards a person who should be an outcast. The woman’s goal in interrupting the dinner was once to accomplish an act of devotion. She poured upon Jesus’ head and toes a fragrance often called nard, imported from India. Her act used to be a contravention of each Jewish patriarchal customized, each defining patriarchal norm, and the lads on the ceremonial dinner moved to sentence her habit. If such exceptions have been allowed, the existing norms could now not be norms. It was once a most likely innovative second. yet Jesus is portrayed by means of Mark as rebuking her tormentors and asserting her correct to be current, her activities and her reasons. “She has performed a gorgeous thing,” Jesus is quoted as announcing. “She has anointed my physique previously for burying” (Mark 14:3–9). that very same tale echoes 3 extra instances within the canonical gospels, with fascinating diversifications. In Matthew the occasions are acknowledged virtually identically: they happen whilst, within the similar position, and with a similar consequence (Matt. 26:6–13). In Luke, despite the fact that, there's a dramatic shift. The episode doesn't ensue within the final week of Jesus’ lifestyles, and it's not a prelude to his burial; particularly, it really is positioned via Luke within the early Galilean section of Jesus’ ministry (Luke 7:36–50). The surroundings isn't the domestic of Simon the leper, however the domestic of Simon the Pharisee; that's, person who is understood for upholding the ethical norms and cultural taboos of the culture. The intruding lady likewise has been heightened in very detrimental methods in Luke. She is “a lady of the city”—quite in actual fact, a prostitute. She is unclean and unacceptable. Her activities are even more strange, hugely sensual and so they violate considerably the norms for a lady in her day. purely in Luke does she wash Jesus’ toes along with her tears and dry them along with her hair. This hugely erotic act in a society the place a lady could by no means contact a guy in public is a dramatic problem to the imposed sexual roles of the day. As within the different money owed, the worth structures of the previous emerge within the language hired by way of the male dinner site visitors to sentence her habit roundly. additionally they condemn Jesus for permitting such provocative sexual activities to be performed to him. “If this guy have been a prophet, he may have identified who and what demeanour of girl this is often. ” simply because he doesn't condemn her, his credentials as a holy guy are compromised within the eyes of the upholders of the ethical legislation. simply because this can be an unclean lady who has touched him, he's now, in response to the Torah, a ceremonially unclean individual short of purification. yet Jesus units apart those patriarchal principles with their doctrines of cleanliness, and in an act of startling freedom he affirms the lady, accepts her motion and tears down the barrier that might reason her to be rejected.