Misreading Scripture with Western Eyes

Misreading Scripture with Western Eyes: Removing Cultural Blinders to Better Understand the BibleMisreading Scripture with Western Eyes: Removing Cultural Blinders to Better Understand the Bible by E. Randolph Richards
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Because our worldview (the way we look at things) and our cultural values are so much a part of who we are, we often read the Bible with these values and assumptions. There are things in our culture that are often unsaid but these are often not the same things that are unsaid in the culture of the Bible. We misread the Bible when we bring our own assumptions and values to it instead of reading it with the assumptions and values of the culture it was in.
This book takes us through many of the common mistakes Western culture makes when reading the Bible. The difference between honor/shame cultures and right/wrong cultures makes us read the story of David and Bathsheba differently than perhaps it actually was. Other examples include our racial and ethnic views, our view of time, and our individualistic culture versus the collectivist culture of those in the Bible.
Very eye-opening and helpful book, giving examples of how we misread verses, not just taking them out of context but out of the culture they were written in. Perhaps the biggest thing we in America do is reading the Bible as an individual and what it has to say to me, rather than reading it as part of a group, which is how the culture was in Biblical times. I highly recommend this book for a better understanding of the difference between our American culture and the Biblical culture.

“…there’s no way around the fact that our cultural and historical contexts supply us with habits of mind that lead us to read the Bible differently than Christians in other cultural and historical contexts.”

“Before we can be confident we are reading the Bible accurately, we need to understand what assumptions and values we project onto the Bible: those things that go without being said and that make us assume that some interpretations are self-evident and others are impossible.”

“If our cultural blind spots keep us from reading the Bible correctly, then they can also keep us from applying the Bible correctly.”


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