• Sacred Scripture / White Horse: New Century Edition

    By Emanuel Swedenborg
    Translated by George F. Dole

    Throughout his theological writings, Emanuel Swedenborg devotes more pages to discussing the inner, spiritual meaning of the Bible than to any other topic. In the two short works Sacred Scripture and White Horse, he provides the spiritual theory behind the verse-by-verse analysis found in his multivolume works Secrets of Heaven and Revelation Unveiled. Read more

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Description

Throughout his theological writings, Emanuel Swedenborg devotes more pages to discussing the inner, spiritual meaning of the Bible than to any other topic. In the two short works Sacred Scripture and White Horse, he provides the spiritual theory behind the verse-by-verse analysis found in his multivolume works Secrets of Heaven and Revelation Unveiled.

In Sacred Scripture, Swedenborg explains how the inner meaning of the Bible relates to its outer (literal) meaning, and he cites numerous biblical passages to show how similar themes emerge again and again. He describes two distinct layers of inner meaning—the heavenly and the spiritual—and shows how an understanding of that inner meaning strengthens a person’s connection with Deity and with heaven.

White Horse begins with a short summary of the spiritual meaning of the white horse described in Revelation 19:11. In form, what then follows is a series of statements about the inner meaning of the Bible with references to explanatory passages in Secrets of Heaven. However, when read in sequence, those statements are also a concise summary of Swedenborg’s theology of biblical interpretation.

The perspective provided by these two short works allows the reader to see through the Bible’s clouds of baffling, obscure, and seemingly inconsistent details to the power and unity of divine love and wisdom within the text. Students or seekers interested in Swedenborg’s teachings about the interrelationship between the spiritual world and the physical one will find this volume a helpful guide. Sacred Scripture / White Horse is part of the New Century Edition of the Works of Emanuel Swedenborg (NCE), an ongoing translation series. The NCE series incorporates the latest scholarship and translation standards for a more accurate and accessible rendering of Swedenborg’s works.

About the Author

Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772) was a Swedish scientist, nobleman, and theologian who spent his life investigating the mysteries of the soul. Born in Stockholm to a staunchly Lutheran family, he graduated from the University of Uppsala and then traveled to England, Holland, France, and Germany to study the leading scientists of the time. He gained favor with Sweden’s King Charles XII, who gave him a position on the board of overseers of the Swedish mining industry. Later, he was granted a seat on the Swedish House of Nobles by Charles XII’s successor, Queen Ulrika Eleonora. Between 1743 and 1745 he began to have visions of heaven, hell, and Jesus Christ that resulted in a stream of books about the nature of God, the afterlife, and the inner meaning of the Bible. He devoted the last decades of his life to studying Scripture and presenting his own unique theology to the world.

 

George F. Dole holds a BA from Yale, an MA from Oxford, and a PhD from Harvard. Now professor emeritus, Dr. Dole taught ancient languages, the Bible, and theology at the Swedenborg School of Religion in Newton, Massachusetts. He is also the author of Freedom and Evil, Sorting Things Out, and A Book about Us. He lives in Bath, Maine.

Reviews

“Read against the backdrop of the emergence of higher criticism of the Bible in the eighteenth century, Swedenborg’s emphasis on Scripture’s inner, spiritual meaning represents a striking alternative to the historical inquiry that would come to reign in biblical studies. This new translation gives us fresh access to an important chapter in the history of biblical interpretation.”

—Joel B. Green, Professor of New Testament Interpretation, Fuller Theological Seminary

About the New Century Edition

The New Century Edition of the Works of Emanuel Swedenborg presents a modern-language, scholarly translation of Swedenborg’s theological works. The series’ easy-to-read style retains the dignity, variety, clarity, and gender-inclusive language of Swedenborg’s original Latin, bringing his thought to life. Introductions and annotations by eminent, international scholars place Swedenborg’s writings in their historical context and illuminate obscure references within the text, enabling readers to understand and trace Swedenborg’s influence as never before.

Learn more about the New Century Edition

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