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Divine Storybook-the Bible-Gets Modern Retelling

English professor uses poetry, prose to bring Bible stories to life

2011-02-25

LONGWOOD, FL" Good stories captivate us, and we never outgrow our appetite to hear them. Since God wired us to love stories, it’s not surprising that each book of the Bible"His divine storybook"tells a story that relates to the larger story. But to understand each book’s story we must understand the larger story, and vice versa. Doing so, however, entails grasping both the fact of the story and the spirit of the story. Understanding the Bible: Head and Heart ($30.99, paperback, 978-1-61215-454-1) by Bob Dowell provides prose summaries to help the reader understand and remember the fact of the biblical stories, and poetic summaries to help the reader ?"experience” the stories and thereby ingest their spirit.

A retired English professor, Dowell devoted the past decade to a project conceived while teaching his favorite course: ?"The Bible as Literature.” He envisioned developing a forum in which readers could readily engage in a ?"head and heart” understanding of the Bible. While he worked on the project he piloted his production through a church-sponsored Bible study called ?"Back to the Bible with Dr. Bob.” The success of that study spoke convincingly to the need for reaching a wider audience. Thus, Dowell’s vision becomes a reality in the publication of this book.

?"The Bible narrative, like all great literary narrative, contains both fact (plot) and theme,” says Dowell. ?"The fact (plot) is what happens, and the theme is the meaning of what happens. In the case of Bible narrative, theme may be thought of as spirit. And spirit is best communicated through poetry. Consequently, poetry comprises an equal portion of the text and provides the book’s uniqueness.” This volume covers the Old Testament stories (NT volume to be published).

Xulon Press, a division of Salem Communications, is the world’s largest Christian publisher, with more than 8,000 titles published to date. Retailers may order Understanding the Bible through Ingram Book Company and/or Spring Arbor Book Distributors. Understanding the Bible is available online through xulonpress.com/bookstore, amazon.com, and barnesandnoble.com.

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