This book is particularly useful to pastors who minister to liberal, skeptical, or academic communities. Pastors can use From Literal to Literary to look up words from the passages from which they plan to preach and receive insightful and intriguing understandings of the text.
TCPC Founder, James Rowe Adams’s most recent book. The newly updated second edition of this professional reference tool examines over 165 biblical metaphors – 15 of which are new – and includes an index to Hebrew and Greek words, an index of Bible citations, and a pronunciation guide for transliterated Hebrew and Greek words. Will be useful for sermon preparation and Christian education, especially adult Bible study groups.
Words are tools to be examined for their provenance and honed to meet expression’s present needs; if meaning-mining loses its attraction, then what’s a metaphor?
– William Safire
Over 150 metaphors examined
Index to Hebrew and Greek words
Index of Bible citations
Pronunciation guide for transliterated Hebrew and Greek words
“An exceptionally fine book… a very relevant resource for recovering the rich resonances of biblical and Christian language.” ~Marcus Borg, author of Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time
“Those who try to defend the claim that the Bible is the literal Word of God will be undone…” ~John Shelby, author of Reclaiming the Bible for the Non-Religious World
“The further we are from a word’s literal meaning , the more abstract it becomes in our conscience. Hence the title of James R. Adams’s book. Its main idea is that biblical language should be understood primarily as the metaphor. The author traces the origin of 164 words, from DESPAIR to SALVATION and from CHRIST to SATAN (even METAPHOR is there), shows how multiple translations of the Old and the New Testament from Hebrew and Greek color our attitude toward some of the most basic concepts, and does it in a lively, readable way.” ~Anatoly Liberman, Professor of Germanic Philosophy, University of Minnesota, Author of Word Origins…And How We Know Them- Etymology for Everyone
“This book makes clear how extensively connotations picked up later have shaped our understanding of the original Bible texts and brings us closer to that original meaning. The organization and form of presentation make it readily available for sermon preparation and Bible study, and if it is widely used, it can contribute greatly to a more intelligent and informed Christianity.” ~ John B. Cobb, Jr., Professor Emeritus?Claremont School of Theology
“I found the research and conclusions interesting, a very helpful bridge between the (post-) modern and the ancient worlds. I learned a lot of new, interesting, and surprising things about biblical terms that I thought I had studied a hundred times before. ” ~Lawrence M. Wills, Professor of Biblical Studies, Episcopal Divinity School of Cambridge, Massachusetts, Author of Ancient Jewish Novels, An Anthology
“From Literal to Literary deepens my sermon research in a matter of minutes. It is semesters worth of Greek and Hebrew condensed into fewer than 400 pages. It should be on every minister’s desk and in the library of anyone who wants to explore deeply the Bible and the Christian faith.” ~Jonathan Wortmann, Pastor Pilgrim Congregational Church, Southborough, Massachusetts