April 2014 - "Misreading Scripture With Western Eyes" by Richards and O'Brien

From Amazon.com:

What was clear to the original readers of Scripture is not always clear to us. Because of the cultural distance between the biblical world and our contemporary setting, we often bring modern Western biases to the text.

For example: When Western readers hear Paul exhorting women to "dress modestly," we automatically think in terms of sexual modesty. But most women in that culture would never wear racy clothing. The context suggests that Paul is likely more concerned about economic modesty--that Christian women not flaunt their wealth through expensive clothes, braided hair and gold jewelry.

Some readers might assume that Moses married "below himself" because his wife was a dark-skinned Cushite. Actually, Hebrews were the slave race, not the Cushites, who were highly respected. Aaron and Miriam probably thought Moses was being presumptuous by marrying "above himself."

Western individualism leads us to assume that Mary and Joseph traveled alone to Bethlehem. What went without saying was that they were likely accompanied by a large entourage of extended family.

Biblical scholars Brandon O'Brien and Randy Richards shed light on the ways that Western readers often misunderstand the cultural dynamics of the Bible. They identify nine key areas where modern Westerners have significantly different assumptions about what might be going on in a text. Drawing on their own crosscultural experience in global mission, O'Brien and Richards show how better self-awareness and understanding of cultural differences in language, time and social mores allow us to see the Bible in fresh and unexpected ways. Getting beyond our own cultural assumptions is increasingly important for being Christians in our interconnected and globalized world. Learn to read Scripture as a member of the global body of Christ.


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  • janet w.

    I'd love to be apart of this Bible study, not sure how I can pull off a Sat at 1:00. is it offered any week night?

    March 25, 2014

    • Wendy

      Right now we are just meeting Saturday afternoon once a month. If it worked out that you could come just once in a while, that would be fine. No one is expected to come every month. Hope you can join us one of these days!

      March 29, 2014

  • Cassie G.

    I LOVE context and am sorta giddy about this book ;)

    1 · February 26, 2014

    • Wendy

      Looking forward to meeting you!

      March 11, 2014

  • Cindy J

    I'm am very intrigued by the topic of the book. Excited to read it and excited to hear the conversation it inspires.

    1 · March 7, 2014

    • Wendy

      Glad you will be joining us!

      March 11, 2014

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