People regularly use the Bible in social and political debates on a host of controversial social and political issues, including: abortion, euthanasia, stem-cell research, gay marriage, the death penalty, separation of church and state, family values, climate change, income distribution, teaching evolution in schools, taxation, school prayer, aid for the poor, and immigration. But can the Bible really be used in this way, and is it often used out of context in these major debates?
This book examines the use of the bible in popular debates and controversies, looking at what the Bible really says (or doesn’t say) in its original historical contexts, and at what it has been argued to have said through history on these topics. The contributors take a non-confessional approach, rooted in non-partisan scholarship to show how specific texts have at times been distorted in order to support particular views. At the same time they show how the Bible can sometimes make for unsettling reading in the modern day. The key questions remain: what does the Bible really say? And who (if anyone) really ’owns’ the text?