My So-Called Biblical Life gives fresh perspectives to stories from the Bible, imbuing them with powerful, honest emotion. The editor's translation of biblical passages grounds twelve original narratives, which engage the reader and invite a personal response. Imagine sending away your precious daughter to be a concubine. Suppose your family's survival depended on the sacrifice of your brother's life. Picture Jesus looking you in the eye and telling you to sell everything you own. What would you do? The collected essays in this volume explore these scenarios and more. Readers easily learn about life in biblical times through well-researched stories with supporting footnotes. Questions follow each essay, stimulating individual reflection and group discussion, and making this book a unique resource for classes, book groups, seminars, sermons, retreats, and Bible studies. My So-Called Biblical Life transforms one-dimensional portrayals of Bible characters into vibrant portraits of men, women, and children from antiquity whose struggles and hopes still speak to us today. Three of the contributors to My So-Called Biblical Life are incarcerated; a portion of the royalties from this book are donated to the Exodus Transitional Community (www.etcny.org), which helps people re-enter into society after spending time in prison. ""For millennia the Bible has required interpretation and inspired imagination. To the latter activity belong the essays in this volume. Written by people of diverse backgrounds, educations, and insights, they offer surprises and challenges as they testify to the enduring temptations and provocations of Scripture. Fantasy and faith engage stories; readers decide the outcome."" --Phyllis Trible, Baldwin Professor Emerita of Sacred Literature, Union Theological Seminary, New York ""These imaginative and thoughtful essays show the power of empathetic reading to bring the biblical text to life, regardless of the reader's credentials. A fine model for opening up the text."" -- John J. Collins, Holmes Professor of Old Testament, Yale University ""Rarely does a book make the Bible come alive in such personal and meaningful ways. With some of the writers currently in prison, and half of the royalties going to help prisoners upon their release, My So-Called Biblical Life is a work of intelligence, creativity, and justice."" --Serene Jones, President, Union Theological Seminary, New York Julie Faith Parker is assistant professor of Old Testament at Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, Ohio. She is an ordained minister in the United Methodist Church and holds a PhD in Old Testament/Hebrew Bible from Yale University. Her most recent book, Valuable and Vulnerable (2013), analyzes texts related to children in the Hebrew Bible.