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The narrative books of the Bible are dominated by the themes of violence and death. In his newly released work, author and biblical scholar Mark McEntire examines the messy stories of life and death found in the Bible. From gentle death at a good, old age to starvation to brutal murder, death appears in its many forms in these biblical worlds. Through the stories, we are invited to move back and forth between our own stories and those of the Bible, as McEntire writes, “so that we might live and die faithfully in the dangerous world they form together.” As we live and die in our own dangerous world, the stories of life and death we encounter in the Bible offer us resources for understanding the most difficult aspect of our existence.
Mark McEntire's Dangerous Worlds is a scholarly book that yields its riches to the lay reader with only modest investment of energy. It is learned in its appeal to the wealth of narrative treatments of the biblical books of Genesis, Judges, Samuel, Ezra-Nehemiah, Matthew, and Acts. It is useful in its introduction to current reading theory and narrativity. It is especially helpful theologically in each chapter's reflection segment, where McEntire helps his readers ask what difference the narrative world of each biblical book makes.
— Milton P. Horne
Professor of Religion
Executive Director, Partee Center for Baptist
William Jewell College
In Dangerous Worlds McEntire demonstrates how a narrative reading of biblical books can produce fresh insights and new perspectives from these ancient texts, particularly in regard to the issues of violence and death. With clarity and sensitivity, he takes the reader on a journey through six books in the Bible (Genesis, Judges, Samuel, Ezra-Nehemiah, Matthew, and Acts), helping the reader become aware of how the narrative structure and literary dimensions of these books shape and convey their messages. In the theological reflections throughout the book, McEntire raises intriguing and insightful connections between the world of the text and the world of the modern reader and shows how these ancient texts can still prod, challenge, and enlighten us.
— Mitchell G. Reddish
O. L. Walker Professor of Christian Studies
Chair of the Department of Religious Studies