Liberating the Gospels by John Shelby Spong
Reading the Bible with Jewish Eyes: Freeing Jesus from 2,000 Years of Misunderstanding

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In this boldest book since Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism, Bishop John Shelby Spong offers a compelling view of the Gospels as thoroughly Jewish tests.Spong powerfully argues that many of the key Gospel accounts of events in the life of Jesus—from the stories of his birth to his physical resurrection—are not literally true. He offers convincing evidence that the Gospels are a collection of Jewish midrashic stories written to convey the significance of Jesus. This remarkable discovery brings us closer to how Jesus was really understood in his day and should be in ours.


About John Shelby Spong

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JOHN SHELBY SPONG was the Episcopal Bishop of Newark before his retirement in 2000. As a visiting lecturer at Harvard and at universities and churches throughout North America and the English-speaking world, he is one of the leading spokespersons for liberal Christianity. His books include Re-Claiming the Bible for a Non-Religious World; Eternal Life: A New Vision; Jesus for the Non Religious; Sins of Scripture; A New Christianity for a New World; Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism; Resurrection: Myth or Reality?; Why Christianity Must Change or Die; and his autobiography, Here I Stand. He has initiated landmark discussions of controversies within the church and has become an outspoken advocate for change. Visit the author online at
Published October 13, 2009 by HarperCollins e-books. 384 pages
Genres: History, Religion & Spirituality, Education & Reference. Non-fiction

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Maverick Episcopal bishop Spong (Resurrection: Myth or Reality?, 1994) argues that to take the Gospels as literal history is to miss their essential point.

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If the midrash narrative says that Jesus did “such and such,” does this mean the historical Jesus actually did it, or was this characterization of Jesus just the author’s way of rewriting the Old Testament story (and the historical Jesus never did it)?

Apr 20 2012 | Read Full Review of Liberating the Gospels: Readi...

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