Wednesday, January 10, 2007


I haven't read it yet, but this book looks right up my street. Very topical, too, given the arguments currently raging in the churches on both sides of the Atlantic. It's written by a family friend with whom I've just reconnected - indeed, connected for the first time, as far as my adulthood goes. Deirdre Good is Professor of New Testament at The General Theological Seminary (Episcopal Church) in New York City. A widely published author and lecturer, she is also a programme consultant to television on religious history. Her most recent book is Mariam, the Magdalen, and the Mother, a collection of essays on the Mary figures of the Bible.

"Many people claim to know what Jesus would say or do in the kinds of ethical dilemmas we face today, but applying "traditional" Christian values out of context actually sells Jesus' teaching short. What are Christian family values, Deirdre Good asks in Jesus' Family Values, why are there so many interpretations of what Jesus actually taught and said, and which of these biblical values should guide our lives?

"She begins by setting this conversation in the context of the Greek, Roman, Jewish, and first-century sectarian world, and criticises the attempts to use biblical texts literally in advocating for marriage and the family. Other chapters take up the meaning of house and home, marriage and divorce, and biological ties vs. extended families and communities.

"Through careful attention to the words and stories of Matthew, Luke, Mark, John, and the letters of Paul, Good provides an ideal method for studying the Bible to find out what it actually says to our communities and households today. " (From the publisher's blurb)

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