The Badly Behaved Bible
We’re told that the Bible is beautiful, uplifting and a joy to read – but, while we know this is how we’re supposed to feel about it, in reality many of us find the very opposite. On opening the Bible, we are faced with a multitude of problems; from its form and historical content to its sheer size and often distasteful stories, we can be left feeling overwhelmed and disheartened. But the problem is not with the Bible – and it’s not with us either.
The problem is we’ve been misinformed. And so, we end up believing things about the Bible that the Bible never claims for itself. But the Bible won’t politely sign up to the neat categories and terms we force on it. That’s why it’s badly behaved. We want to control the Bible and tame it so that we can ride it into battle; but the Bible bucks and rears and throws us off. We want to pin the Bible down so that it proves our theology; but the Bible evades capture and plays hide and seek. We want answers; but the Bible keeps firing questions. We want it to tell us what to do; but the Bible keeps telling us to think. We want to make the Bible dance to our tune: but the Bible has music of its own. The Bible is an invitation and a call. The breath of God lifts its pages, and they rise and fall with his breathing.
In his honest and accessible style, Nick Page urges us to re-discover a fresh look at the Bible as the
scriptural bedrock of the Christian faith, to learn how we can undo unhelpful ways of reading it and
demystifying its purpose and scope.
Nick tackles what the Bible is and what it isn’t, how we can critically read this inspired text and how we approach the difficulties in its content.
Alongside helpful analysis and practical advice – including kickstarting his one-man campaign to ban
“Bible study” – Nick helps us re-discover how to rediscover the Bible as Holy Ground, as a place where we meet and encounter God.
The writing is lively and laced with humour, but that serves only to make Page's considerable biblical scholarship the more accessible. I could have wished for a little more attention to New Testament issues, but there is much fascination in his unpacking of apparent problems in the Old. This book will be of real value to those wanting to engage or re-engage with the Bible, but finding themselves confused and sometimes repelled by it. They will find that Page is a congenial and reliable companion * Church Times *
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