SPIRITUALITY & RELIGION

A Lens of Love: Reading the Bible in Its World for Our World

Westminster John Knox. Sept. 2018. 208p. notes. index. ISBN 9780664263546. pap. $16; ebk. ISBN 9781611648898. REL
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What perspective should one take when interpreting Scripture? Walton (Plummer Professor of Christian Morals and Professor of Religion and Society, Harvard Divinity Sch.; Watch This!) maintains that the voices of the powerless, dispossessed, and marginalized must be given more attention, tracing the Deuteronomic history of Samuel and Kings before turning to the Pentateuch, then the Gospels and Paul's epistles. Considering the Book of Job, for instance, Walton focuses on Job's wife, whose suffering was similar to that of her husband but quickly dismissed in scripture. From this hermeneutical position, Walton employs critical methods to place biblical passages in their historical context. This leads to both powerful reaffirmations of otherwise troubling writings (e.g., Paul's view of Judaism) as well as pointed criticism (faulting Paul on his position regarding the slave Onesimus).
VERDICT Walton aims for a broad audience who see faith as important and wish to use the Bible to help inform a more just society.

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