My third book, The Upside-Down Bible: What Jesus really said about money, sex and violence, is now available to order. It was published in November 2015 by Darton, Longman & Todd.
The book explores the teachings of Jesus in short chapters that can be used for personal reading or group study. It is “upside-down” because each chapter begins by drawing on the insights of non-Christian readers who are new to the text in question. It also seeks to challenge interpretations that have grown out of Christianity’s links with wealth and power. Instead, it emphasises that Jesus spoke with people about their everyday lives.
You can read more about the book, priced £9.99 in paperback or e-book, by clicking here and visiting the publisher’s website. You can also request it at your local bookshop.
I am giving talks about the book in the weeks and months following its publication.
“Symon Hill has listened carefully to a wide variety of people, many encountering the parables for the first time, to refresh and restore our idea of what it means to be human. He uses some knowledge from well-chosen experts, but draws us easily into the text in a playful and engaging way. The Upside-Down Bible is a book of questions as much as answers, where stories we thought we knew sparkle with fresh possibilities. It invites us to dive into Jesus’ teaching from many different angles, and reflect. There’s something valuable here for everyone, whether complete first-timer or seasoned preacher.”
Alan Wilson, Bishop of Buckingham
“By turns provocative, passionate and kind, Symon Hill’s new work is that rare thing: A book that dares to take Jesus’ teaching ministry seriously. It dares to invite the reader to think for herself and be prepared to have her assumptions about Jesus, money, sex and violence turned upside-down. A must-read for anyone brave enough to explore Christianity’s radical roots.”
Rachel Mann, Poet-in-Residence and Minor Canon of Manchester Cathedral
“Symon turns traditional church interpretations of Jesus’s teachings on their head; offering a radical reinterpretation that connects Christ’s message to daily life, personal relationships and political struggles today.”
Peter Tatchell, human rights campaigner
“If you’re turned off by the Church but think Jesus might have been on to something – this is your book. Symon Hill reintroduces us to Jesus the teacher, whose stories don’t always make easy sense because they are intended to make us instead. As always, Hill is contagiously on cue, fair and provocative.”
Mark Oakley, Canon Chancellor of St Paul’s Cathedral
‘This little book invites readers to take a fresh look at what Jesus actually said rather than what we imagine or wish him to have said. Its key themes of money, sex and violence are explored through stories from the gospels, all set in the context of a crash course on how to read the Bible, which is eminently readable and grounded in solid research.”
John Drane, Professor of New Testament and Practical Theology, Fuller Seminary
and Fellow of St John’s College, University of Durham
“I found myself rejoicing in Symon’s openness and deep respect for others, and his ability to encourage and listen to different viewpoints and opinions… Symon has made the book very accessible but never condescending and I recommend it to all those who believe they know a lot about the Bible already, as well as to all those who know absolutely nothing. I’m sure it will be challenging and inspiring to all who read it.”
Ruth Wilde, Student Christian Movement
“A lively, radical look at the teaching of Jesus on such issues as money, sex and violence. Highly recommended.”
Church of England Newspaper
“Engaging, accessible and innovative… This book is superb! It has challenges galore for both those new to Jesus and those who think themselves familiar with him and the texts in which his words and ministry are recorded. I would recommend this for a study group but also for individual use as the questions leave room for all sorts of avenues to explore.”
Rev Zam Walker, Reform magazine
“A lively study.”
“A provocative commentary… excellent material for a home group.”