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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.
Rediscovering Paul by David B. Capes
David Capes, Rodney Reeves and E. Randolph Richards attempt to transform students' vague appreciation of Paul by confronting them with the man who was the talk of the marketplace from Ephesus to Athens. Informed by contemporary scholarship and refined in the classroom, this textbook promises to renew investment in the work of Paul. Now in paper.
Multiply by Francis Chan
Jesus gave his followers a command: “Follow me.” And a promise: “And I will equip you to find others to follow me.” We were made to make disciples. Designed for use in discipleship relationships and other focused settings, Multiply will equip you to carry out Jesus’s ministry. Each of the twenty-four sessions in the book corresponds with an online video at www.multiplymovement.com, where New York Times bestselling author David Platt joins Francis in guiding you through each part of Multiply. One plus one plus one. Every copy of Multiply is designed to do what Jesus did: make disciples who make disciples who make disciples…. Until the world knows the truth of Jesus Christ.
Sacred Aid by Michael Barnett
The global humanitarian movement, which originated within Western religious organizations in the early nineteenth century, has been of most important forces in world politics in advancing both human rights and human welfare. While the religious groups that founded the movement originally focused on conversion, in time more secular concerns came to dominate. By the end of the nineteenth century, increasingly professionalized yet nominally religious organization shifted from reliance on the good book to the public health manual. Over the course of the twentieth century, the secularization of humanitarianism only increased, and by the 1970s the movement's religious inspiration, generally speaking, was marginal to its agenda. However, beginning in the 1980s, religiously inspired humanitarian movements experienced a major revival, and today they are virtual equals of their secular brethren. From church-sponsored AIDS prevention campaigns in Africa to Muslim charity efforts in flood-stricken Pakistan to Hindu charities in India, religious groups have altered the character of the global humanitarian movement. Moreover, even secular groups now gesture toward religious inspiration in their work. Clearly, the broad, inexorable march toward secularism predicted by so many Westerners has halted, which is especially intriguing with regard to humanitarianism. Not only was it a highly secularized movement just forty years ago, but its principles were based on those we associate with "rational" modernity: cosmopolitan one-worldism and material (as opposed to spiritual) progress. How and why did this happen, and what does it mean for humanitarianism writ large? That is the question that the eminent scholars Michael Barnett and Janice Stein pose in Sacred Aid, and for answers they have gathered chapters from leading scholars that focus on the relationship between secularism and religion in contemporary humanitarianism throughout the developing world. Collectively, the chapters in this volume comprise an original and authoritative account of religion has reshaped the global humanitarian movement in recent times.
Understanding Jesus by Joe Amaral
Modern-day Christians often bring their own presuppositions and assumptions to the reading of the Bible, not realizing how deeply their understanding of Christ's life and teachings is affected by a 21st-century worldview. In UNDERSTANDING JESUS, author Joe Amaral delves deep into Jewish history, societal mores, and cultural traditions, closing the gap created by geographical distance and over two thousand years of history. Using a chronological approach to the life of Christ, he guides the reader through significant events such as Jesus' birth, baptism, and crucifixion, pointing out illuminating details that that the Western mind would normally miss. Amaral's premise is that to understand Jesus, we must understand the time and place in which he was born, the background from which he drew his illustrations, and the audience he spoke to. Throughout the book he explores specific terms, places, and events for their significance and shows how they add richness and meaning to the text. Topics include the connection between Jesus and John the Baptist, the annual Feasts and why they are important to modern Christianity, Jewish customs such as foot-washing, clean and unclean foods, paying tribute to political governments, and the significance of various miracles. In UNDERSTANDING JESUS, Amaral draws back the curtain on a way of life that existed during the reign of the Caesars, and in doing so, reveals truths about the way we live more than two thousand years later, half a world away.