Thank you so much :) These are excellent suggestions!
[quote="sirach2v4, post:7, topic:330709"]
The guy who seems so get the credit for wanting to demythologize and remythologize scripture is some liberal Lutheran (Bultmann), who never wrote the quintessential follow-up, nor did his followers.
I was sort of shocked by this guy's assertion, and it left me hollow for a long time.
But, I think he was headed in the wrong direction, and possibly has, whether you realize it or not, mislead you.
I don't think that demythologizing scripture is the issue, at all. You want to understand the Bible, of course, as you should.
Therefore, what I personally recommend, is that you establish in your mind a budget for how much you want to spend in, let's say, the next ten years. Then, start listing and obtaining the books that you think you can manage to actually read.
Your library will grow quickly, depending whether you are in the $1000-, $2,000-, $3000- or $5,000 range. I'm probably pushing past the $2,000 point, in my self-directed path of study.
The Church says that Jewish commentaries are "first class" materials, but should be used with discretion, owing to their obvious theological perspective. So, I'm about $600 in this direction. check out the website for the Jewish Publication Society and for Artscroll. I haven't found much in the latter. The former has commentaries on the Torah and other books of scripture.
In the interdenominational category, ,simply by my choice, I'm into the Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture series, about halfway into a $900 commitment for the series, and falling behind on my reading, to be sure. This series has some good information, but realize that these are translations and selections from the early church fathers. It may not be totally representative.
A "good" series on the history of Christian doctrine is a five-volume series by Yaroslav Pelikan (historian, non-Catholic). This might run about $80, and may not be everybody's cup of tea, especially because it is so confusing. Pelikan says that Pope Honorius was a heretic for teaching the monothelite doctrine (Christ has one will, rather than two, human and divine). An ask-an-apologist q and a on this website says he was condemned but he didn't teach heresy. Rather, he actively chose not to step into the debate, he didn't stop a heresy. So, Pelikan is a little overboard on this one.
The history of doctrine is a good area of exploration. It is the history not of the Bible, or an explanation of the Bible, but it is the history of what people thought about the Bible. This series is a rather long history of the endless squabbles over the meaning of scripture. I'm just finishing up my casual reading of the second volume. It's about 1700 pages. Pelikan is a world-class scholar, and before his death, earned over 40 honorary doctoral degrees for his achievements.
Information on Catholic Bible commentaries abounds in the scripture forum on this website.