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The “Bible & beyond” news (December 7-12, 2015)

Bible or Quran?
Two Dutch filmmakers have recorded people’s horrified reactions to being read gruesome verses from the Bible – disguised as the Koran. Director Alexander Spoor said he carried out the experiment to put Christianity under the same scrutiny Islam has received since the Paris terror attacks last months.He took to the streets with presenter Sacha Harland to see how people reacted to passages, which they are led to believe are from the Bible, such as: ‘I do not allow for a woman to teach. You will have to cut off her hand. (Read the article here)

The Bible calls for murderers?
A judge has overturned the death sentence in the murder of an Oceanside housewife, finding the prosecutor committed “egregious misconduct” by telling jurors the Bible calls for murderers to be sentenced to death. U.S. District Judge Jeffrey Miller wrote that the repeated quotations and references to biblical law in the prosecutor’s closing statements were so inflammatory that they affected the outcome of Rudolph Roybal’s 1992 trial. (Read the article here)

Quran texts have to be read in their context
Decontextualizing the text simply relates to the process of drawing a ruling from the Quran or hadith without taking into account its spatiotemporal specificities. The Quran was episodically revealed to the Prophet over a period that stretched for 22 years. A great many of these revelations were thematically linked to specific social and political incidents the invocation of which is crucial for understanding the meaning of the Quranic verses and subsequently drawing legal rulings from them. (Read the article here)

Solving life’s problems without the Bible
For Evangelicals, if you want to know what God has to say on any given topic or in any situation, you turn to the Bible. The Bible is the centerpiece of Protestant spiritual life- it is not only our highest authority, but for many, it is our only sacrament, the only place that Jesus Christ is revealed and communicates his grace to us. The Bible, in short, is the means, method, and message of most Protestant’s faith. But what happens when the Bible stops working? (Read the article here)

No more Bibles in American hotels
The Freedom from Religion Foundation, America’s largest association of atheists and agnostics, began a campaign Monday to rid all hotel rooms of Bibles distributed by The Gideons International and replaced with copies of Charles Darwin’s “On the Origin of Species.” (Read the article here)

Bible’s studies in Fiji
Interactive Bible studies in Fiji are helping to break the silence over gender-based violence. The House of Sarah, part of the Anglican Diocese of Polynesia, is running workshops looking at how scripture can help end violence against women. Bridget Grace spoke with the House of Sarah’s Gender Specialist, Tupou Vere, who says they’ve found the workshops a useful way to discuss difficult issues.  (Read the article here)

Simone Venturini


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