What Is the Bible?: How an Ancient Library of Poems, Letters, and Stories Can Transform the Way You Think and Feel About Everything

What Is the Bible?: How an Ancient Library of Poems, Letters, and Stories Can Transform the Way You Think and Feel About Everything

by Rob Bell

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Overview

What Is the Bible?: How an Ancient Library of Poems, Letters, and Stories Can Transform the Way You Think and Feel About Everything by Rob Bell

Rob Bell, the beloved author of Love Wins and What We Talk About When We Talk About God, goes deep into the Bible to show how it is more revelatory, revolutionary, and relevant than we ever imagined—and offers a cogent argument for why we need to look at it in a fresh, new way.

In Love Wins, Rob Bell confronted the troubling questions that many people of faith were afraid to ask about heaven, hell, fate, and faith. Using the same inspired, inquisitive approach, he now turns to our most sacred book, the Bible. What Is the Bible? provides insights and answers that make clear why the Bible is so revered and what makes it truly inspiring and essential to our lives.

Rob takes us deep into actual passages to reveal the humanity behind the Scriptures. You cannot get to the holy without going through the human, Rob tells us. When considering a passage, we shouldn’t ask "Why did God say . . .?" To get to the heart of the Bible’s meaning, we should be asking: "What’s the story that’s unfolding here and why did people find it important to tell it? What was it that moved them to record these words? What was happening in the world at that time? What does this passage/story/poem/verse/book tell us about how people understood who they were and who God was at that time?" In asking these questions, Rob goes beyond the one-dimensional question of "is it true?" to reveal the Bible’s authentic transformative power.

Rob addresses the concerns of all those who see the Bible as God’s Word but are troubled by the ethical dilemmas, errors, and inconsistencies in Scripture. With What Is the Bible?, he recaptures the Good Book’s magic and reaffirms its power and inspiration to shape and inspire our lives today.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062194268
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 05/16/2017
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 55,112
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Rob Bell is a New York Times bestselling author, speaker, and spiritual teacher. His books include Love Wins, How to Be Here, What We Talk About When We Talk About God, Velvet Elvis, The Zimzum of Love, Sex God, Jesus Wants to Save Christians, and Drops Like Stars. He hosts the weekly podcast The Robcast, which was named by iTunes as one of the best of 2015. He was profiled in The New Yorker and in TIME Magazine as one of 2011’s hundred most influential people. He and his wife, Kristen, have three children and live in Los Angeles.

Hometown:

Grand Rapids, Michigan

Date of Birth:

August 23, 1970

Place of Birth:

Lansing, Michigan

Education:

B.S., Wheaton College, 1992; M. Div., Fuller Seminary, 1995

Table of Contents

Introduction: Twenty-Five Years In 1

Part 1 There's Something More Going On Here

1 Moses and His Moisture 9

2 Somebody Wrote Something Down 19

3 Stoners and Swingers 25

4 Who Paid Jesus's Bills? 33

5 Anakephalaiossathai 39

6 The Importance of Altitude 47

7 Smoking Firepots 55

8 And the Fat Closed In Over the Sword 65

9 The Thing About Pearls and Pigs 71

10 Turning the Gem 79

11 Larry in the Airport 83

Part 2 The Nature of That Something

12 Flood 91

13 Fish 97

14 Son 107

15 He Had No Idea What I Was Talking About 113

16 All That Violence 119

17 Do What to Our Whats? 125

18 Give It Up for Sidon! 133

19 He Can't Even Say His Name 139

20 The Whole Melchizedek Thing and Why You Love It and Know It's True 145

21 So How Did Jesus Read the Bible? 151

22 The Sheeeeeeeet Factor 163

23 All Things Are Yours 169

24 The Human and the Divine 183

Part 3 Where That Something Takes Us

25 Babel 193

26 Two or Three Kinds of Apocalypses 199

27 The Book of Revelation, of Course 203

28 Why Americans Often Miss the Major Themes of the Bible 211

Part 4 The Questions That Always Come Up

29 Why Are There All Those Genealogies? 221

30 Why Is Leviticus in the Bible? 229

31 What About All Those People Falling Over Dead? 233

32 Did Jesus Have to Die? 241

33 What About Predestination? 247

34 What About All That Wrath? 255

35 What About Sin? 259

36 Is It the Word of God? 263

37 Is It Authoritative? 269

38 What About the Contradictions? 273

39 Is It Inerrant? 279

40 Is It Inspired? 283

41 What's the Best Question to Ask When You're Reading the Bible? 289

42 What's the Worst Question to Ask When You're Reading the Bible? 293

43 What's the Other Best Question to Ask When You're Reading the Bible? 299

Part 5 Endnotes

A Note About the Subtitle 309

A Disclaimer About This Book 311

A Thousand Thanks 313

Books About the Bible That Will Blow Your Mind 315

A Note on Crowing and Changing 319

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What Is the Bible?: How an Ancient Library of Poems, Letters, and Stories Can Transform the Way You Think and Feel About Everything 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you came here looking for answers, go somewhere else. Instead, you will be challenged on your current thinking and given ideas on how to ask a different kind of question. Great read, but you must read it all the way through. There will be sticking points that make you want to throw the book down, but trust me, just persevere.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Remember back in 03 when we learned that Mel Gibson was making a movie about Jesus and most of us said, "whhhaaaaat?" Yet, it turned out to be pretty good; in fact I used it just last month for our Good Friday service. Since i co-host a radio show i regularly get questions about rob bell. Knowing that he was coming out with a new book on the bible i was mentally prepared to attack it. however, i at least wanted to read the book before critiquing it. glad i did. first of all let me clarify that i believe in the inspiration and authority of the bible. when i was ordained i made a vow to teach God's Word in and out of season (a lot is out of season right now). in his youtube interviews on the book i felt he came across a bit smug but i'm sure people could say the same about me depending on what sound clip was shown (living in a snapchat age we often only see 30 seconds of something that's typically out of a 1 hour context; think TMZ, MSNBC). ive met bell and even served with a family member who was also an elder at a megachurch for which i was on the pastoral staff of. He's brilliant and likable. That said, i personally disagree with Bell's conclusions on same sex relationships, universalism (or inclusivism as he likes to call it), and have been troubled by his failure to acknowledge the bodily resurrection of Jesus. i have my reservations. With that said... Back to Mel Gibson. I believe that Bell's "What is the Bible?" will increase biblical literacy. I bet you didnt see that one coming. Funny but over the past 5 years ive heard a vast array of people express their concerns about biblical illiteracy yet seen very little practical steps to proactively address it. Surprisingly, I think that rob bell will be a catalyst for a renewed interest in the bible. His book, i believe, will drive people to, not away, from the Bible. In parts he sounds a bit "new-agey" and on the hard questions a bit evasive, yet his answers may very well be a much needed supplement (not replacement, but supplement) to the traditional answers we've been providing on topics such as theodicy and the "angry God of the OT"*. I even believe that this book may possibly crack the door for him to re-enter evangelical circles. Our culture is currently experiencing a disorientation with everything traditional and looking to be re-orientated. What's relevant now may not be so relevant in just five years. In the same way that the Passion (although briefly) created a renewed interest in Jesus, this book will actually encourage biblical literacy. He'll quite likely emerge as America's spokesman for the Bible. This is why you should read it. *i hope richard dawkins or any "new atheist" reads it. My long term concern (and prayer) however is in how he stewards this position of influence for the gospel.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good, interesting read. His language is smooth and easy to follow, which helps one assimilate the concepts he is presenting.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good, interesting read. His language is smooth and easy to follow, which helps one assimilate the concepts he is presenting.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was raised to look at the Bible as if God wrote it Himself, that is it wasn't directly from God then what good was it? Bell shows another way perhaps a deeper and better way, it's a book about man's search for, understanding of and relationship with God. A marvelous wonderful library and one that is as important and as relevant as anything today. Look at the Bible from a different perspective and perhaps you will find it relevant to you.
Tidalroll More than 1 year ago
Rob Bell is back at it, and this is one of his finest! This book will challenge assumptions all people have about the Bible and may ignite a passion for reading it. Rob takes common passages from the Bible and opens them up to our contemporary setting. Enjoy!