The Bible’s “Ezekiel” – I won’t lie, I skimmed the passages about how the temple should be built-it was paragraph after paragraph of measurements. Whenever I read about the outrageous things the prophets did in order to get the people’s attention, I can’t help but wonder if it really happened and I have to remind myself that it is the meaning that is important. My favorite passages would have to be about how God will restore Israel and if I had to sum up the whole book in a sentence, it would be the last sentence in the book, “The Lord is there,” (meaning with the Israelites, in their temple) which I find comforting.
“The First Christmas: What the Gospels Really Teach about Jesus’s Birth” by Marcus J. Borg and John Dominic Crossan. I normally find books written by Borg to be mesmerizing, but to be honest, I thought this one was a little dry, although still interesting and thought provoking. The main point of the book is that the Christmas stories are really parables, full of wonderful meaning, but it is a meaning that is not supposed to be taken literally. For instance, Jesus was not really born of a virgin, but the gospel was written that way not to mislead people, but because it was written in the style of propaganda about Roman leaders, to show that Jesus is greater than those already in power. The people of that time would have recognized this, but we, alas, do not.
“Wild Seed” by Octavia E. Butler. This book is fabulous and Butler is now one of my new favorite writers! It’s a science fiction book that is truly feminist and best of all, it is free of clichés. At times, I thought she was going to do something clichéd, but then she would further the plot in a way that was much more satisfying. I recommend you start reading it now!
The Bible’s “Daniel” – I liked this book better than Ezekiel. It was short and had more familiar stories. I loved the “Do not fear” passages and I thought the eschatological passages (end times, when the world is as it should be) were beautiful. Dan 10:12 - “Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard and I have come because of your words.”
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