How the Bible Actually Works: In Which I Explain How an Ancient, Ambiguous, and Diverse Book Leads Us to Wisdom Rather Than Answers—and Why That’s Great News

Peter Enns. HarperOne, $26.99 (304p) ISBN 978-0-0626-8674-9
Enns (The Bible Tells Me So), professor of biblical studies at Eastern University, challenges Christians to reconsider the true purpose of the Bible. He begins with three characteristics he asserts make the Bible worth reading: ancientness, ambiguity, and diversity. For Enns, the Bible does not actually tell readers what to do, as Old Testament laws leave much room for interpretation depending on context. Arguing that differences in tone between the various books of the Bible (such as differences between 1 and 2 Chronicles, which was written “perhaps as late as the Greek period,” and the other books of the Torah) result from the fact that they were written in different periods and cultures, Enns illustrates the fact that humankind’s reimagining of God is an ongoing process. He analyzes passages from the Old Testament and New Testament in terms of historical context to illustrate how the nature of God and the problem of evil changes along the way. Far from diminishing the value of the Bible, these variations make readers reflect on their own situations and reconsider connections between past and present. Enns writes with a conversational, self-effacing tone that cushions the sections of close textual reading. Approachable and well reasoned, Enns’s book will find an audience with Christians seeking a broader understanding of Scripture. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 12/24/2018
Release date: 02/01/2019
Genre: Nonfiction
Ebook - 304 pages - 978-0-06-268677-0
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-06-289481-6
Compact Disc - 978-1-9826-0802-6
MP3 CD - 978-1-9826-0803-3
Compact Disc - 978-1-9826-0801-9
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Audio book sample courtesy of HarperAudio
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