Bible Babel: Making Sense of the Most Talked About Book of All Time

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9780061728266: Bible Babel: Making Sense of the Most Talked About Book of All Time
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Why does the film Magnolia end in a downpour of frogs?

Is the serpent in the Garden of Eden the devil or just a snake?

How do people use the Bible to argue different sides of today's most controversial issues?

Why did Metallica's bass player name their song “Creeping Death” after watching The Ten Commandments?

Where does the fish symbol of the Christian faith come from?

Who is the lamb with seven horns and seven eyes who opens the seven seals of a cosmic scroll?

Without either promoting or undermining specific beliefs, religious studies professor Kristin Swenson offers an intelligent, humorous, highly accessible, engaging, and illuminating guide to the Bible—incorporating biblical scholarship with contemporary pop culture references to help readers better understand the most talked about book of all time.

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Based on the most recent scholarship, Bible Babel is a lively and very readable introduction to the Bible—what it is, where it comes from, and what's in it.

Why does the film Magnolia end in a downpour of frogs?
Is the serpent in the Garden of Eden the devil or just a snake?
How do people use the Bible to argue different sides of today's most controversial issues?
Who is the "queen of heaven"?
While watching The Ten Commandments, why did Metallica's bass player think, "Whoa, it's like creeping death!" thus naming a hit song?
Where does the fish symbol of the Christian faith come from?
Is there a "best" translation?
Who is the lamb with seven horns and seven eyes, who opens the seven seals of a cosmic scroll?

The Bible informs much of our culture, but most people know little about the book itself. In this intelligent yet humorous and highly accessible guide, religious studies professor Kristin Swenson answers the above questions and more as she provides readers with basic biblical literacy. Swenson incorporates contemporary pop references—from Wall-E to Battlestar Galactica to rock music and more—with the latest findings of biblical scholarship to offer contextual understanding of the Bible's often complex, ambiguous, and seemingly contradictory texts. Her engaging and illuminating book does not aim to convert readers nor undermine their beliefs, but to offer basic knowledge needed to comprehend arguments and answer vexing questions about the Bible, appreciate artistic and literary references, and interpret the most talked about book of all time for themselves.

About the Author:

Kristin Swenson teaches religious studies at Virginia Commonwealth University. Her books include Living Through Pain: Psalms and the Search for Wholeness and What Is Religious Studies?.

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