Misusing Scripture offers a thorough and critical evaluation of American evangelical scholarship on the Bible. This strand of scholarship exerts enormous influence on the religious beliefs and practices, and even cultural and political perspectives, of millions of evangelical Christians in the United States and worldwide. The book brings together a diverse array of authors with expertise on the Bible, religion, history, and archaeology to critique the nature and growth of "faith-based" biblical scholarship. The chapters focus on inerrancy and textual criticism, archaeology and history, and the Bible in its ancient and contemporary contexts. They explore how evangelicals approach the Bible in their biblical interpretation, how "biblical" archaeology is misused to bolster distinctive views about the Bible, and how disputed interpretations of the Bible impact issues in the public square. This unique and timely volume contributes to a greater understanding and appreciation of how contemporary American evangelicals understand and use the Bible in their private and public lives. It will be of particular interest to scholars of biblical studies, evangelical Christianity, and religion in the United States.
Part 1. Introduction
1. Introducing Misusing Scripture: What Are Evangelicals Doing with the Bible?
Robert Rezetko, Mark Elliott, and Kenneth Atkinson
Part 2. Inerrancy and Textual Criticism
2. The Error of Biblical Inerrancy—The Bible Does Not Exist!
3. Building a House on Sand: What Do Evangelicals Do When They Do Textual Criticism of the Old Testament?
Part 3. Archaeology and History
4. Christian Fundamentalism, Faith, and Archaeology
William G. Dever
5. The New York Times and the Sensationalizing of Archaeological Stories from the Holy Land, 1920–1930
Part 4. The Bible in Its Ancient Context
6. "Your Eye Shall Have No Pity": Old Testament Violence and Modern Evangelical Morality
7. Avoiding the Apocalypse in the Book of Daniel
Ian Young and Thomas J. Elms
8. A Resurrection Fallacy
Part 5. The Bible in Its Contemporary Context
9. Why Academic Biblical Scholars Must Fight Creationism
10. Second-Amendment Exegesis of Luke 22:35–53: How Conservative Evangelical Bible Scholars Protect Christian Gun Culture
11. Virginal Blood of the Marriage Covenant: Deuteronomy 22:13-21 in Evangelical Purity Culture
Joy A. Schroeder
12. Essentializing "Woman": Three Neoliberal Strategies in the Christian Right’s Interpretations on Women in the Bible