Join Bishop John Shelby Spong as he takes us on a journey to the times of Jesus’ birth, focusing on Luke’s account. While Luke’s narrative, the most detailed account of the birth of Jesus, is lyrical and inspiring, in The Birth of Jesus, Spong persuasively demonstrates it is allegory. Layer by layer, Spong weighs every element of the New Testament stories against Old Testament legends building a convincing case. Spong’s 16 original essays step backward and forward through the scriptures demonstrating why each element was chosen by the early CE writers to establish Jesus’ lineage and divinity. It is a fascinating and persuasive journey and a remarkable illustration of Biblical scholarship.
Bishop Spong’s “Birth of Jesus” essay series* from his weekly newsletter- “A New Christianity for a New World,” has generated more comments from our readers than any other series he has written. As one subscriber wrote, “It all starts with the birth story—get that wrong and we probably get it all wrong.” No one does a better job of getting it right than Spong. And there is always the added bonus with Bishop Spong. He is the consummate teacher. He writes with the primary intention for readers, regardless of their training or background, to get it.
Bishop Spong is a writer for every reader- from the scholar to the lay person. He is clear, concise, inspiring, and vibrant. He is a master at interpretation and elucidation. The Birth of Jesus is an exciting adventure that challenges dominant assumptions and interpretations and is sure to stimulate and liberate readers.
Published by ProgressiveChristianity.org 2014
Price $18.00, our price: $15.00
*These essays were originally published in Bishop Spong’s subscription newsletter, “A New Christianity for a New World.” You can sign up for Bishop Spong’s newsletter here.
About the Author
John Shelby Spong, whose books have sold more than a million copies, was bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Newark for 24 years before his retirement in 2001. His admirers acclaim him as a teaching bishop who makes contemporary theology accessible to the ordinary layperson — he’s considered the champion of an inclusive faith by many, both inside and outside the Christian church.
A committed Christian who has spent a lifetime studying the Bible and whose life has been deeply shaped by it, Bishop Spong says he was not interested in Bible bashing. “I come to this interpretive task not as an enemy of Christianity,” he says. “I am not even a disillusioned former Christian, as some of my scholar-friends identify themselves. I am a believer who knows and loves the Bible deeply. But I also recognize that parts of it have been used to undergird prejudices and to mask violence.”
A visiting lecturer at Harvard and at universities and churches worldwide, Bishop Spong delivers more than 200 public lectures each year to standing-room-only crowds. His bestselling books include The Fourth Gospel: Tales of a Jewish Mystic, Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism, A New Christianity for a New World, Why Christianity Must Change or Die, and Here I Stand.
Bishop Spong’s extensive media appearances include a profile segment on 60 Minutes as well as appearances on Good Morning America, Fox News Live, Politically Incorrect, Larry King Live, The O’Reilly Factor, William F. Buckley’s Firing Line, and Extra. Bishop Spong and his wife, Christine Mary Spong, have five children and six grandchildren. They live in New Jersey.