Biblical Literalism: A Gentile Heresy by John Shelby Spong
In this profound work, bestselling author and the former Episcopal Bishop of Newark John Shelby Spong offers a radical new way to look at the gospels today Read more
Pulling back the layers of misunderstanding created over the centuries by Gentile ignorance of things Jewish, he reveals how a literal reading of the Bible is so far removed from the original intent of the Jewish authors of the gospels that it has become an act of heresy. Using the gospel of Matthew as a guide, Spong explores the New Testament's literary and liturgical roots its grounding in Jewish culture, symbols, icons, and storytelling tradition to explain how the events of Jesus's life, including the virgin birth, the miracles, the details of the passion story, and the resurrection and ascension, would have been understood by both the Jewish authors of the various gospels and by the Jewish audiences for which they were originally written. Spong makes clear that it was only after the church became fully Gentile that readers of the gospels took these to be events of history, thus distorting their essential meaning.