What Is the Bible and Who Is It For? A Book for Beginners, Skeptics, and Seekers
Open your mind and find out.
If you are new to the Bible or believe that the Bible is an outdated, prescientific relic of bygone eras; or if you are skeptical or confused, this book is for you.
The Bible is unread and underappreciated, with an unlikely plot. Some may say that the Bible is an important book, but few really understand how it came to be or what really it says, and some of us just think it is complete nonsense. Many of the stories seem archaic and out of touch with modern culture. Yet if we look closely, the Bible contains timeless wisdom and principles that are very much applicable.
This book offers an easy-to-understand explanation of the origins and purposes of the Bible. It will give modern perspectives on how we might read and understand scripture today in light of all that we know (and don’t know) about the world.
Emanuel Cleaver III is the pastor of St. James United Methodist Church, a congregation with two campuses—one of the largest congregations in Missouri. A participant in the Lewis Fellows program at Wesley Theological Seminary, Emanuel Cleaver III received his Doctor of Ministry degree at Saint Paul School of Theology. He is a popular author and sought-after preacher and teacher.
Praise for What Is the Bible and Who Is It For?
“This is a great book to help those who struggle to understand and connect to the truth of the scriptures through the lens of our modern world. Get this book. Read it and give it away so others can make this connection.”
— Bishop Bob Farr, Missouri Conference of The United Methodist Church
“In a world where we’re tempted, even encouraged, to retreat to our perspectival corners and surround ourselves with voices similar to our own, Dr. Cleaver’s reflections on a book often misunderstood, dismissed, or weaponized is an invitation to wisdom, reconciliation, and grace. The Bible’s stories, varying genres and perspectives—even its confusing or disturbing passages—are not flaws, as Cleaver explains, but a reminder that flawed people with different opinions can still learn from this ancient and pertinent text. Cleaver’s explanation of The Word is a word of inclusion and challenge for all who want to better understand the Bible and know the God who continues to meet us in its pages.”
— Rev. Dr. Paul Rock, Second Presbyterian Church, Kansas City, MO
“Dr. Cleaver has written a rare work that is spiritually balanced, intellectually brilliant, and biblically grounded. Today as never before this important book will counter the tide of biblical illiteracy and encourage Christians to become people of the Word.”
— Dr. Harry White, Senior Pastor, Watts Chapel Baptist Church, Raleigh, North Carolina
“Written in a conversational tone, What Is the Bible and Who Is It For? encourages readers to discover God for themselves. It is a pastoral invitation to engage in a guided dialogue devoid of any pretense that God’s relationship to and with people is prescriptive. Bring your questions and place them alongside those posed by the author and embark upon a journey to learn not only how God revealed God’s self in ancient times but how God is yet making God’s self known now.”
— Angela D. Sims, PhD, President, Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School