RELIGION & SPIRITUALITY

What Are Biblical Values? What the Bible Says on Key Ethical Issues

Yale Univ. Aug. 2019. 296p. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780300231939. $28. REL
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The title of this new book by Collins (Yale Divinity Sch.; The Apocalyptic Imagination; A Short Introduction to the Hebrew Bible; The Dead Sea Scrolls: A Biography) is also the central question addressed in it. While some Jewish or Christian believers might find this question easy to answer, others might wonder if the Bible actually has specific values, given that it was written over a span of 1,000 years, in different contexts and cultures, and with different theological perspectives. Collins acknowledges that the Bible is complex and presents ideas on topics that seem inconsistent and even contradictory, but he still believes that, when interpreted properly and through communities of interpretation, central biblical values can be found. His approach is to discover what the Bible says about contemporary issues related to significant subjects, such as marriage and family, gender, slavery, social justice, the environment, and the right to life. He then evaluates the material, and makes some tentative conclusions, specifically concerning the issues but also more broadly. While Collins writes for a broad audience, general readers might find certain concepts and ideas challenging.
VERDICT Recommended both for academic and public library spirituality and religion collections.

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