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Biblical Misinterpretations Explained

July 11, 2013

It is very true that many people think they “know” what the Bible says when in fact thier conclussions are conglomarations of hymns, literature, art, and simple misunderstandings. David C. Browning and his book What You Know Might Not Be So: 220 Misinterpretations of Biblical Texts Explained (Baker, 1988) clears up some of the misinformation and assumptions. Using an alaphabetical structure readers are invited to compare thier understand of names, places, events and assumptions against the actual meanings of Biblical texts. Some of them are simple like the entry for “Abandon all hope ye who enter here” which identifies it as a quote from Dante rather than the Scriptures. Others clear up popular mental pictures which are not based on Biblical texts like “angels with harps” or “apple as forbidden fruit”. Still others are rooted in word changes, mistranslations and anachronisms. While professional Bible students will not be suprised by most of the entries and many of the corrections are rooted in King James Version wording issue there were a couple of entries that made the book interesting reading like the entry on Joseph’ coat of many colors entry highlighting the economic impact of the gift and correting the emphasis on color that does not exist in the Hebrew. This is a great book for a church library.  

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