The Spiritual Journey, Scholarship and Bible Interpretations of Philip J. King

A scholar and priest discusses the spiritual aspects of Biblical scholarship

Read the full original review by James F. Strange as it appeared in Biblical Archaeology Review , Nov/Dec 2009


The Bible Is for Living: A Scholar’s Spiritual Journey

by Philip J. King

Washington, DC: Biblical Archaeology Society, 2008, xvii + 181 pp.
$24.95 (hardback)

The Bible Is for Living: A Scholar’s Spiritual JourneyOf all the many works of Bible interpretations and scholarship that have been published in recent years, very few address the issues of spirituality in daily life. Conversely, books on spirituality do not often veer into the domain of Bible interpretations, archaeology, hermeneutics and other realms of Biblical scholarship. Father King, scholar and priest, presents both aspects of the Bible’s significance in his book The Bible is for Living. Biblical scholar James Strange reviews Philip J. King’s book, and finds it to be an excellent account of how a lifetime of Biblical scholarship can impact one man’s spiritual life.

A scholar of faith has a particular approach to Bible interpretations, and yet we rarely have the chance to understand how such interpretations impact the life of the scholar. Philip J. King’s account allows an insight into the private life of a public scholar, and reveals a great deal about his spiritual journey as it grows in tandem with his academic life. And his academic life is impressive: Father Philip J. King is Professor Emeritus of Biblical Studies at Boston College, Past President of the American Schools of Oriental Research, the Society of Biblical Literature, and the Catholic Biblical Association of America.

With the publication of the book he says that he “always wanted to write,” Philip J. King makes a departure from the standard works on Bible interpretations and archaeology in order to look more closely at the personal and resonating impact such work has on spiritual life. In this case, the spiritual life in question is his own.

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