Pub. Date:
Eerdmans, William B. Publishing Company
Eat This Book: A Conversation in the Art of Spiritual Reading / Edition 1

Eat This Book: A Conversation in the Art of Spiritual Reading / Edition 1

by Eugene H. Peterson


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Eugene Peterson maintains that how we read the Bible is as important as that we read it. The second volume of Peterson's momentous five-part work on spiritual theology, Eat This Book challenges us to read the Scriptures on their own terms, as God's revelation, and to live them as we read them. Countering the widespread practice of using the Bible for self-serving purposes, Peterson here serves readers with a nourishing entrée into the formative, life-changing art of spiritual reading.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780802829481
Publisher: Eerdmans, William B. Publishing Company
Publication date: 12/15/2005
Pages: 186
Product dimensions: 6.62(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.73(d)

About the Author

EUGENE H. PETERSON is a writer poet and retired pastor. He has authored more than thirty-four books (not including The Message). He is Professor Emeritus of Spiritual Theology at Regent College in Vancouver British Columbia. Eugene also founded Christ Our King Presbyterian Church in Bel Air Maryland where he ministered for twenty-nine years. After teaching at a seminary he created The Message a vibrant Bible paraphrase that connects with today's readers like no other.

It took Peterson ten years to complete. He worked not from any English text but from the original Hebrew and Greek texts to guarantee authenticity. At the same time his ear was always tuned to the cadence and energy of the English spoken every day on the streets. He lives with his wife Jan in Montana.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Preface x

1 "The Forbidding Discipline of Spiritual Reading" 1

I Eat This Book 13

2 The Holy Family at Table with Holy Scripture 15

3 Scripture As Text: Learning what God Reveals 23

The Revealing and Revealed God 24

The Holy Trinity: Keeping It Personal 25

Depersonalizing the Text 28

The Replacement Trinity 31

Hoshia 35

4 Scripture As Form: Following the Way of Jesus 37

The Story 40

The Sentence 49

5 Scripture As Script: Playing Our Part in the Spirit 59

The Uncongenial Bible 63

The Immense World of the Bible 67

Obedience 69

Reading Scripture Liturgically 72

Virtuoso Spirituality 76

II Lectio Divina 79

6 Caveat Lector 81

7 "Ears Thou Hast Dug for Me" 90

Lectio 92

Meditation 98

Oratio 103

Contemplatio 109

III The Company of Translators 119

8 God's Secretaries 121

Translation into Aramaic 122

Translation into Greek 126

Translation into American 130

9 The Message 137

Oxyrhynchus and Ugarit 141

Lost in Translation 167

Appendix: Some Writers on Spiritual Reading 177

Index of Subjects and Names 181

Index of Scripture References 185

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Eat This Book: A Conversation in the Art of Spiritual Reading 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
For the second topic in Eugune Peterson's overview of spiritual theology, he touches on the practice of spiritual reading, or reading the Bible in the proper way, a way that brings you into God's presence and God's work in the world. In comparison to the first book in the series, this book is rather short, clocking in at less than 200 pages. Still, it's quality, not quantity, that counts. Luckily, the quality here is high. The book is divided into three sections. First, the author gets at Bible reading in general, why it is important, what our real goal should be in reading the Bible, that kind of thing. It was good, but not groundbreaking. Just basic, common sense stuff that I suspect many people need a refresher (or original expsorure) on. The second section gets deeper, beginning with the warning to 'let the reader beware' and some cautions about reading too much or too little into scripture, or for taking it out of context. This is good stuff, but once again, not ground breaking. What was ground breaking for me was the last part, the discussion about translations of the Bible. Knowing that the author did most of the work on The Message, a modern-English translation of the Bible, I feared that it would turn into an info-mercial of sorts. Luckily, this turned out to be the best part of the book, with some really great stories of translation, what it means for us that the Bible we read is not the original text, and some warnings about improperly handled translations. The last section is probably worth the price of the book by itself, but since you get the whole thing for the same price, I highly recommend picking this little guy up. It isn't long, but it will have you thinking long and hard about your Bible before you are done with it.
alissamarie on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A sort of primer on how to read the Bible, by the "translator" of the Message (and it includes a whole chapter on his philosophy and motivation to do the Message, which I found illuminating and helpful). Recommended to anyone who's been reading the Bible a long time.
ebnelson on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Book does two things exceptionally well. First, it is the best book I¿ve ever read on the importance of reading the Bible. His passion and love for the text comes through as he encourages the reader to fall in love with the word and the spirituality that flows from it. Second, its afterwards chronicles the philosophy of translation that underlies the Message. Quickly turned me into a true believer in that translation.
disneypope on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
great primer for those who are learning to read the scriptures.
bsanner on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
¿Eat this book,¿ Peterson implores his readers. We cannot simply approach the Bible searching for facts and self-help tips; rather, we must devour the text for the spiritual nourishment so essential to our life of faith ¿ read prayerfully and personally, looking to live and obey. Peterson¿s work here does not offer `five simple steps to reading the Bible right,¿ but instead explores the rhyme and reason of scripture: its spirit, its world, its theology, its story, its reading. Undergirded by solid exegesis, spiritual reading lifts the text from the sacrilege of ¿upward desecration¿ (taking the text out of the world) and reminds us that the Word is both living and personal. A
nathanshaver on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Eugene Peterson has become one of my favorite authors, poets, pastor, guides over the last year or so. This book has taught me how to encounter the Word of God without critical, hermeneutic approaches all the time. The art of spiritual reading (Lectio Divina) is something that will take me the rest of my life to learn, but Eugene Peterson is a welcome friend on the journey. I highly recommend this book to anyone who desires to really dive into the Story of God. The author speaks from an obvious life of reading spiritually!
michelemorin More than 1 year ago
If you want to live well and to share wisdom with your children and your neighbors about how they can also live well, the Bible will chart a sound course. If you are looking for inspiration or comfort or if you are preparing a speech, you will certainly want to lift some of the soaring phrases from the Psalms or a stirring descriptive passage from Isaiah to adorn your thinking. If you are curious about the future or have strong ideas about politics, you’ll find gasoline-words in the Bible to support your position and to throw on any conversation to keep the flames dancing high. It’s clear that we can add the Bible to our rhetorical tool-belt and never once be singed by its fiery truth. However, this is not the reason the Word has been given, and in Eat This Book: A Conversation in the Art of Spiritual Reading, Eugene Peterson has written a practical guide for those who want to approach Scripture in the manner suggested to the Apostle John in his Revelation: The voice out of Heaven spoke to me again: “Go, take the book held open in the hand of the Angel astride sea and earth.” I went up to the Angel and said, “Give me the little book.” He said, “Take it, then eat it.” Ingesting the Truth John was not the first man in history to eat a book. Apparently, Jeremiah and Ezekiel also ingested truth, and like John, their words reveal the metabolized essence of having been in the presence of God. In an era in which English-speaking people can select from a menu of Scripture texts, the challenge is for us to begin reading them–and then, to take the next step and begin “reading the Scriptures formatively, reading in order to live.” (xi) To illustrate the kind of reading he’s advocating, Peterson employs the delightful imagery of a dog working with fortitude on a bone superimposed upon an image from the book of Isaiah of a “lion growling over its prey.” Apparently, that Hebrew word for “growling” is usually rendered as “meditate,” as in Psalm 1 where the righteous meditate on the Law of the Lord “day and night.” As readers of Truth, we are called to take the Word into our being in a way that changes us. In John’s case, we can see from the text that eating the Bible was not an entirely pleasant experience. His stomachache is an important reminder that we may not find everything to our liking as we try to digest the hard truths of Scripture or the parts that seem strange to us. Scripture in Service to My Needs, Wants, and Feelings This full-bodied entering into a text, essentially chewing on it, is the kind of reading that takes time and a lot more thought and focused attention than most of us are currently investing in our spiritual reading, and yet it is the words of Scripture, the sentences and paragraphs and trains of thought through which God has chosen to communicate His holiness, His wisdom, and His love to mankind. Peterson floats a very plausible theory that readers of Scripture have replaced the inspired text with a new text of “the sovereign self.” Rather than taking the Truth of God’s Word into our jaws, and ultimately into “the tissues of our lives,” (20) we have replaced Father, Son, and Spirit with a new Holy Trinity. The New Holy Trinity, Eugene Peterson, Eat This BookIf my needs become non-negotiable, if my wants have taken on the weight and urgency of a need, and if my feelings have become the sum total of who I am, then the Real Trinity and their communication to me through....continue reading at Living Our Days.
joshsblake More than 1 year ago
Great book on living the Bible. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago