Eat This Book: A Conversation in the Art of Spiritual Reading

by Eugene H. Peterson

Hardcover, 2009





Eat This Book challenges us to read the Scriptures on their own terms, as God's revelation, and to live them as we read them. With warmth and wisdom Peterson offers greatly needed, down-to-earth counsel on spiritual reading. In these pages he draws readers into a fascinating conversation on the nature of language, the ancient practice of lectio divina, and the role of Scripture translations, included here is the "inside story" behind Peterson's own popular Bible translation, The Message.


Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. (2009), Edition: First Edition, First Printing, 200 pages

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(109 ratings; 4.1)

User reviews

LibraryThing member alissamarie
A sort of primer on how to read the Bible, by the "translator" of the Message (and it includes a whole chapter on his philosophy and motivation to do the Message, which I found illuminating and helpful). Recommended to anyone who's been reading the Bible a long time.
LibraryThing member bsanner
“Eat this book,” Peterson implores his readers. We cannot simply approach the Bible searching for facts and self-help tips; rather, we must devour the text for the spiritual nourishment so essential to our life of faith – read prayerfully and personally, looking to live and obey. Peterson’s
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work here does not offer ‘five simple steps to reading the Bible right,’ but instead explores the rhyme and reason of scripture: its spirit, its world, its theology, its story, its reading. Undergirded by solid exegesis, spiritual reading lifts the text from the sacrilege of “upward desecration” (taking the text out of the world) and reminds us that the Word is both living and personal. A
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LibraryThing member disneypope
great primer for those who are learning to read the scriptures.
LibraryThing member nathanshaver
Eugene Peterson has become one of my favorite authors, poets, pastor, guides over the last year or so. This book has taught me how to encounter the Word of God without critical, hermeneutic approaches all the time. The art of spiritual reading (Lectio Divina) is something that will take me the rest
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of my life to learn, but Eugene Peterson is a welcome friend on the journey. I highly recommend this book to anyone who desires to really dive into the Story of God. The author speaks from an obvious life of reading spiritually!
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LibraryThing member ebnelson
Book does two things exceptionally well. First, it is the best book I’ve ever read on the importance of reading the Bible. His passion and love for the text comes through as he encourages the reader to fall in love with the word and the spirituality that flows from it. Second, its afterwards
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chronicles the philosophy of translation that underlies the Message. Quickly turned me into a true believer in that translation.
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LibraryThing member wilsonknut
This is a great book on the practice of spiritual reading and getting into God's Word. The last few chapters on translations and the Greek in the New Testament were especially eye opening. People who insist that King James Version is the only translation worth reading need to read this book.
LibraryThing member laholmes
The mighty angel stands astride the ocean and the land, and begins to proclaim. John begins to take notes, but the angel tells him to stop and "eat this book" This passage is the starting point for Peterson's work on Sprirtual Reading. That is to say, letting the Word of God use you, instead of you
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using the Word of God for your purposes.

As usual, he walks us through with great care to a place where we can get the Word of God inside of us, and we can meditate on it and chew on it, dwell on it. He mentions several ways througout Christian history this has been done, including Liturgy and Lecto Divina.

In the back off the book is a a great section on the art of translation, Peterson's own story as a translator, and stories of the language the Bible was written in. To me, this alone is worth the price of the book.
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LibraryThing member shdawson
A must read.
LibraryThing member John_Warner
The Book of Common Prayer contains a prayer which petitions God to enable us to "hear [holy Scriptures], read, mark and inward digest them." I believe that these actions are also the theme of the Christian scholar Eugene Peterson in this book in which the author encourages the reader to more deeply
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read the Bible as to be transformative in our lives. However, he doesn't do so without providing some caveats regarding the use of metaphors and being aware of textual context in the writings. Peterson performs an extensive exegesis of the lectio divinia, a Benedictine spiritual discipline. My only complaint was that he took more time in explaining each step than how to do it.
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