Friday, 20 October 2017

Book on Bible Museum Collection Reviewed

Hamilton Cain reviews the book 'Bible Nation; by Candida R. Moss and Joel S. Baden *(Publisher: Princeton University Press, 223 pages, $29.95.) for the Star Tribune. The book is 'a deep dive into the mission of the hyper-evangelical Green family of Oklahoma City, whose arts-and-crafts retail chain, Hobby Lobby, has yielded billions of dollars to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ'.  The book discusses the Green family’s acquisition of ancient papyri and artefacts forming one of the world’s largest private collections of biblical antiquities, and then the creation of a private Bible Museum to showcase these trophies and act as an evangelical tool:
Moss and Baden deftly highlight the cognitive dissonance at the heart of the evangelicalism, how and why the faithful cherry-pick Scriptures that buttress their own beliefs while dismissing contradictions among the texts themselves, [...] Moss and Baden draw on extensive research and interviews with a revolving-door cast of so-called experts and hangers-on, leaving no proverbial stone unturned in their quest to determine the value and validity of the Green collection, the Bible Museum’s underlying purpose. “Bible Nation” peels away the bark on one of the largest branches of the American family tree, using an academic story to tell a broader one: the evangelicals’ unshakable conviction in their own fantasies and the demonization of anything, or anyone, that dares to challenge them.
* Candida R. Moss, is a professor of the New Testament at the University of Notre Dame, and Joel S. Baden, a professor of the Hebrew Bible at the Yale Divinity School 

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