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Gary Burge: On writing "The Bible and the Land"

Categories New Testament Guest Posts

Burgeg The Bible and the Land is an attempt to explain how the geographical and cultural themes in the Bible provided vibrant metaphors for how the people of God could understand their faith. As the early church moved away from the original cultural setting of the Bible, Christians quickly lost touch with the ancient world of their scriptures. Cultural habits, the particulars of landscape, literary instincts, even the biblical languages themselves soon were unknown. And the cost was enormous: Christians began reading the Bible as foreigners, missing the original images and ideas.

After I explain how the Holy Land itself became a platform for forging faith, I explore how motifs such as the wilderness, the shepherd, rock, water, bread, and naming were critical in the ancient biblical world for expressing that faith. My hope is that the average reader will see the results of cultural anthropology which previously have been inaccessible to them and will come away with a new fascination in and admiration for the scriptures. For mature Christians who think they've heard and read everything, I hope that this book will bring with it some refreshing surprises.

Gary M. Burge (PhD, King's College, Aberdeen University) is a professor of New Testament in the Department of Biblical & Theological Studies at Wheaton College and Graduate School.

The Bible and the Land by Gary Burge, Excerpt

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