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Misreading Scripture with Western Eyes: Removing Cultural Blinders to Better Understand the Bible
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InterVarsity Press 2012
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Bookwi.se's Favorite Books of the Year, Non-Fiction 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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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
07/31/2012
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780830863471
ASIN:
B00BL3JXYE
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APA Citation (style guide)

E. Randolph Richards. (2012). Misreading Scripture with Western Eyes: Removing Cultural Blinders to Better Understand the Bible. InterVarsity Press.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

E. Randolph Richards. 2012. Misreading Scripture With Western Eyes: Removing Cultural Blinders to Better Understand the Bible. InterVarsity Press.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

E. Randolph Richards, Misreading Scripture With Western Eyes: Removing Cultural Blinders to Better Understand the Bible. InterVarsity Press, 2012.

MLA Citation (style guide)

E. Randolph Richards. Misreading Scripture With Western Eyes: Removing Cultural Blinders to Better Understand the Bible. InterVarsity Press, 2012. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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      • bioText: E. Randolph Richards (PhD, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary) is dean and professor of biblical studies in the School of Ministry at Palm Beach Atlantic University. He is a popular speaker and has authored and coauthored dozens of books and articles, including Paul Behaving Badly, A Little Book for New Bible Scholars, Rediscovering Jesus, Misreading Scripture with Western Eyes, Rediscovering Paul, The Story of Israel, and Paul and First-Century Letter Writing. Early on in their ministry he and his wife Stacia were appointed as missionaries to east Indonesia, where he taught for eight years at an Indonesian seminary. Missions remain on the hearts of Randy and Stacia. Randy leads mission trips and conducts missionary training workshops and regularly leads tours of the Holy Land, Turkey, Greece, and Italy. He has served as interim pastor of numerous churches and is currently a teaching pastor. He and Stacia reside in Palm Beach, Florida.
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      • bioText: Brandon J. O'Brien (PhD, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) is assistant professor of Christian theology at Ouachita Baptist University and director of OBU at New Life Church in Conway, Arkansas. He is coauthor, with E. Randolph Richards, of Misreading Scripture with Western Eyes and Paul Behaving Badly, as well as the author of The Strategically Small Church. A senior editor for Leadership Journal, O’Brien has published in Christianity Today, Relevant, and the Out of Ur blog, and has been interviewed by and quoted in USA Today and other national newspapers.
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title
Misreading Scripture with Western Eyes
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Bookwi.se's Favorite Books of the Year, Non-Fiction 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.
reviews
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      • source: Nikki Toyama-Szeto, Urbana program director, coauthor of Partnering with the Global Church
      • content: "A fascinating guide for any serious Bible reader! Misreading Scripture with Western Eyes reveals the 'habits of the mind' that might blind us to the Bible's intended message. Richards and O'Brien unpack the intricacies and nuances of cultural communication to help people better understand the Bible. To help you know—and live—the Christian life more faithfully."
popularity
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shortDescription
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...
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InterVarsity Press
tableOfContents
Introduction: Coming to Terms with Our Cultural Blinders Part One: Above the Surface 1. Serving Two Masters: Mores 2. The Bible in Color: Race and Ethnicity 3. Just Words? Language Part Two: Just Below the Surface 4. Captain of My Soul: Individualism and Collectivism 5. Have You No Shame? Honor/Shame and Right/Wrong 6. Sand Through the Hourglass: Time Part Three: Deep Below the Surface 7. First Things First: Rules and Relationships 8. Getting Right Wrong: Virtue and Vice 9. It?s All About Me: Finding the Center of God?s Will Conclusion: Three Easy Steps for Removing Our Cultural Blinders? Acknowledgments Resources for Further Exploration Notes