How to Read the Bible

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Here are five relatively recent titles that seem to me both of great importance and compelling interest:

With Job, part of the Smyth & Helwys Bible Commentary series (Smyth & Helwys, 2006), Samuel E. Balentine has written a truth-telling commentary on the book of Job that teems with broad cultural awareness and stunning, courageous insight. Job lives at the edge of scripture and goads at the edge of faith. Balentine is knowing and unflinching in his capacity to face the rich truth of God’s holiness and all in our world that is not morally reliable or predictable.

In The Seven Pillars of Creation: The Bible, Science, and the Ecology of Wonder (Oxford University Press, 2010), William P. Brown has offered what will surely and quickly become a classic on the difficult issue of “science and religion” or, more precisely “creation and evolution.” He has taken serious trouble to engage with the best available scientific thought and shows how biblical claims for God as creator resonate deeply with the order and awe-producing wonder of creation that inescapably culminates in doxology. He pays only slight attention to the shrill “new atheists,” but takes seriously the “adults” in the scientific community who know better than any thin scientism.

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