By Jonathan Kirsch
"The tales you're approximately to learn are the most violent and sexually specific in all of Western literature. they're stories of human ardour in all of its countless style: adultery, seduction, incest, rape, mutilation, assassination, torture, sacrifice, and homicide. . . ."
Sex. Violence. Scandal. those are phrases we not often go together with the sacred textual content of the Bible. but during this extraordinary e-book, Jonathan Kirsch recounts surprising stories which have been suppressed via non secular professionals all through background. Kirsch locations each one tale in the political and social context of its time, delves into the most recent biblical scholarship to provide an explanation for why each used to be initially censored, and exhibits how those historic narratives carry worthy classes for we all.
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Additional info for Harlot by the Side of the Road: Forbidden Tales of the Bible
They cite chapter and verse, literally, to condemn abortion, divorce, and homosexuality; they claim to find in the Bible divine justification to take and keep some of the most hotly disputed territory on earth; they feel empowered by the Almighty to pronounce death sentences on those whose words and thoughts offend them. Yet if we look deeply into the forbidden texts of the Bible, we will discover that men and women, clans and tribes, peoples and nations—despite their differences of race and faith—manage to tolerate each other, to share the earth with each other, and to encounter each other in peaceful and loving ways.
When at last they trudged out of town, she pulled along a wooden cart loaded with skins full of water, sacks of flour, and a few sealed clay jars, some filled with wine, some with oil. Her sister carried a bundle of blankets and cloaks on her back. Lot led the way, wielding only a long wooden staff that he had found by the threshold of the house. Once they cleared the last stand of date palms and joined the road out of town, they began to see the aftermath of what had happened on the day their mother was turned into a pillar of salt.
Each story is retold in contemporary English prose, and each one is accompanied by a chapter that explores the “backstory” of the biblical narrative: how and when the story found its way into the Bible; how it has been understood and explained; what it tells us about the lives and beliefs of real men and women who lived in biblical times; and what it can reveal to us about our own troubled world. The biblical authors were master storytellers, and the Bible survives precisely because its stories are so powerful and so resonant.