Thursday, June 15, 2017

The Most Misused Stories In The Bible by Eric J Bargerhuff

The Most Misused Stories In The Bible: Surprising Ways Popular Bible Stories Are Misunderstood by Eric J. Bargerhuff is an informative glance at 14 popular Bible stories and ways they are frequently misunderstood or misrepresented to serve a purpose other then their intended meaning. While a lot of what Eric states as the true moral of the story could be considered mere speculation, he does do a pretty thorough job of walking the reader through his deductive chain of reasoning to reach his conclusions, using a combination of related Bible references, commentary notes, original Greek wording.

Some of the misused stories and their errant interpretations are ones I was familiar with, such as David and Goliath telling us to face our fears (when, as Eric shows us, it is very obvious that David was not afraid at all). However, about half of the stories in this volume are ones that include interpretations I'd never heard. Once Eric explained the popular usage for these alternative meanings, I could see how some people (and ministries) would use these stories for their benefit instead of God's.

A few of the stories covered are Gideon and his fleece, Cain and Abel, the woman caught in adultery, Zacchaeus the tax collector, the three wise men, and the rich fool.

While Eric lays out these stories in order to share his deductions with us, this book is more than just a set of essays comparing different views of the same stories. Eric has chosen to use it as his personal platform for reminding us how sacred the Bible is, how careful we must be in our interpretation, representation, and retelling of it, and common mistakes that people and churches make when referring to portions of the Bible.

I think The Most Misused Stories in the Bible would be a good book for anyone looking for a deeper understanding and appreciation of classic Bible stories. It would also be a good fit for anyone lost in the depths of trying to sort out one interpretation versus another, while trying to discern which truth to believe. 4/5 stars.

*Disclaimer: I received a complimentary print copy of this book from Bethany House for the purpose of this honest review. All opinions are my own.*

About The Author (copied from back of book):
Eric J. Bargerhuff, PhD, teaches in the Bible and Theology department and directs the Honors Program at Trinity College of Florida. Author of the acclaimed book The Most Misused Verses in the Bible, he served in pastoral ministry for more than twenty years. Eric received his doctorate in biblical and systematic theology from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.

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