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Misreading Scripture With Western Eyes by E. Randolph Richards
Brandon O'Brien and Randy Richards shed light on the ways that Western readers often misunderstand the cultural dynamics of the Bible. Identifying nine areas where commonplaces of modern Western thought diverge with the text, the authors ask us to reconsider long-held opinions about our most beloved book.
Misreading Scripture With Western Eyes by E. Randolph Richards
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.
Misreading Scripture With Western Eyes by BRANDON J.. RICHARDS O'BRIEN (E.RANDOLPH.)
Misreading Scripture With Individualist Eyes by E. Randolph Richards
The Bible was written within collectivist cultures, and it's easy for Westerners to misinterpret—or miss—important elements. Combining the expertise of a biblical scholar and a missionary practitioner, this essential guidebook explores the deep social structures of the ancient Mediterranean, stripping away individualist assumptions and helping us read the Bible better.
Paul Behaving Badly by E. Randolph Richards
Randolph Richards and Brandon O'Brien explore the complicated persona and teachings of the apostle Paul. Unpacking his personal history and cultural context, they show how Paul both offended Roman perspectives and scandalized Jewish sensibilities, revealing a vision of Christian faith that was deeply disturbing to others in his day and remains so in ours.
Paul And First Century Letter Writing by E. Randolph Richards
Informed by the historical evidence and with a sharp eye for telltale clues in the Apostle Paul's letters, E. Randolph Richards takes us into his world and places us on the scene with Paul the letter writer offering a glimpse that overthrows our preconceptions and offers a new perspective on how this important portion of Christian Scripture came to be.
How To Read The Bible In Changing Times by Mark L. Strauss
Many find it difficult to take words that were written thousands of years ago and apply them to twenty-first-century life in the Western world. How do we read God's unchanging Word in a world that is increasingly defined by change? How to Read the Bible in Changing Times shows everyday Christians how to interpret and apply the Scriptures regardless of time and culture. Rather than seeing the Bible as a magic answer book, a list of commands to obey, or a series of promises to claim, this insightful book allows the Bible to retain its identity as a complex, inspired document while showing that the truth it contains is relevant and life-changing. It shows the reader how to determine the meaning of the text in its original context identify culturally relative features understand what the text teaches about God, his will, and his purposes apply the truths discovered to contemporary life situations It even shows readers how to discern God's will on the many modern issues that the Bible does not directly address.
Not From Around Here by Brandon J O'Brien
Tidy categories may suit the media, but people are more complex up close. News outlets, historians, and sociologists can (and do) tell us all about the statistics, but they don’t (and can’t) tell us about what it’s really like in a given place—how the squish of creek water between your toes or the crunch of autumn leaves on a city sidewalk shape your sense of normal and good and right. To understand that—to understand the people in the places—we need stories. We need to listen, get to know the nuance of people, and have empathy for their way of seeing things. Brandon O’Brien is, in many ways, a man torn between places. Raised in the rural South, educated in the suburbs, and now living and doing ministry in Manhattan, he’s seen these places, and their complexity, up close. With the knack of a natural storyteller, he shares what he learned about himself, faith, and the people who make up America on his own journey through it.
The Scariest Word In The Bible by Lance M. Bacon
In Jesus’ view, “many” are wrong about being right with God. They anticipate a home in heaven but will receive an eternal eviction. How can we be sure that we are not among the many? This book will help you find that answer. Presented from a pastor’s heart, this work combines exegetical analysis, theological acumen, and practical ministerial insight to help you obtain and maintain a saving relationship with God. The Parable of the Sower serves as the roadmap on our journey, as it provides remarkable insight on why “many” seeds fail to find good ground or bring forth good fruit. Jesus also reveals how we can tap the unimaginable potential for personal and kingdom growth contained within. The first section breaks up the hard ground to reveal the deep truths of sin and salvation. The second section identifies ways to overcome the stones that prevent spiritual growth—offense, unforgiveness, fear, solitude, and complacency. The third section analyzes the postmodern worldviews, deficient theologies, materialism, and the idolatry of self that suffocates many growing Christians. Only the believer who rightly responds to God can begin to live for God and ultimately live from God. This is God’s salvation. Is it yours?
Paul Through Mediterranean Eyes by Kenneth E. Bailey
Paul was a Hebrew of the Hebrews, steeped in the learning of his people. But he was also a Roman citizen who widely traveled the Mediterranean basin, and was very knowledgeable of the dominant Greek and Roman culture of his day. These two mighty rivers of influence converge in Paul's first letter to the Corinthians. With razor-sharp attention to the text, Kenneth Bailey examines the cultural milieu and rhetorical strategies that shaped this pivotal epistle. He discovers the deep layers of the Hebraic prophetic tradition informing Paul's writing, linking the Apostle with the great prophets of the Old Testament. Throughout, Bailey employs his expert knowledge of Near Eastern and Mediterranean culture to deliver to readers a new understanding of Paul and his world. Familiar passages take on a new hue as they are stripped of standard Western interpretations and rendered back into their ancient setting.