In the history of the Western World, the Bible has been a
perpetual source of inspiration and guidance for countless
Christians. However, this Bible has also left a trail of pain. It
is undeniable that the Bible is not always used for good. Sometimes
the Bible can seem overtly evil. Sometimes its texts are
Bishop John Shelby Spong boldly approaches those texts that
have been used through history to justify the denigration or
persecution of others while carrying with them the implied and
imposed authority of the claim that they were the "Word of God." As
he exposes and challenges what he calls the "terrible texts of the
Bible," laying bare the evil done by these texts in the name of
God, he also seeks to redeem these texts, hoping to recover their
ultimate depth and purpose. Spong looks specifically at texts used
to justify homophobia, anti-Semitism, treating women as
second-class humans, corporal punishment, and environmental
degradation, but he also delivers a new picture of how Christians
can use the Bible today. As Spong battles against the way the Bible
has been used throughout history, he provides a new framework,
introducing people to a proper way to engage this holy book of the
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