Oh so many!
And, as I’ve gone through my shelves to make this list, I’m more than a little creeped out that all my favorite preachers are women but all of my favorite authors about scripture are white men . . . wow. That says a lot about a lot of things, not good. I promise to round out this list as soon as I can . . .
What is the Bible? With humor and short paragraphs and chapters, Rob Bell does what he does best – summing up things in an entertaining yet intelligent way. A quick read, a good intro.
Bart Erhman Oh my goodness, so many from him, and so good! Jesus Before the Gospels, Misquoting Jesus, Jesus Interrupted, Forged . .. how does this guy have time to write so much! And, he’s actually a fun lecturer, you can find him on those Great Courses things.
Anything by Jack Spong is good, but this is where to start: Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism. Yes, it’s 25 years old, but was earth-shattering in its day. A good intro, especially for those coming from a “God wrote the bible” perspective. Also good: Biblical Literalism, Reclaiming the Bible for a non-religious world; Born of a Woman, Liberating the Gospels, the Sins of Scripture, and The Letter of Paul.
Some More Advanced Studies:
Anything by John Dominic Crossan – excellent scholarship, very trusted name. I would start with a thinner book than The Birth of Christianity, honestly. How to Read the Bible and Still be a Christian is good. Anything from him on Jesus and Empire is good.
L William Countryman – I’m a big fan. Also, full disclosure, he was my New Testament prof in seminary. Dirt Greed and Sex (catchy title, eh?) is a big heavy read but the best summary of the purity codes of the first century and how they have mucked us all up as it relates to sexuality, and women, in our day. Biblical Authority or Biblical Tyranny is great, as is Mystical Way of the Fourth Gospel. He’s also fascinated with poetry and has several books on that.