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Jesus, the Metaphorical Theologian – Ken Bailey

Finding the Lost Cultural Keys to Luke 15Ken Bailey has written a number of fascinating books on Jesus in his Middle Eastern context. In his introduction to Finding the Lost Cultural Keys to Luke 15 (Concordia, 1992), he explains a key difference between how Westerners think and communicate and how Jesus did.

Westerners primarily communicate in concepts, but Middle Easterners communicate in metaphors and stories. Until Bailey learned to think this way from living in the Middle East, this prevented him from appreciating Jesus’ true brilliance.

Below are excerpts from Bailey’s enlightening essay. For more, read his book, Finding the Lost Cultural Keys to Luke 15. – Lois




At least since the fifth century B.C., and the great…

Reading the Bible from a WEIRD Perspective

Often the Bible mystifies us because of cultural differences, from simple details to important differences in worldview. It’s hardly surprising, given that thousands of years of time and cultural change separate us.

Kids closeA recent ground-breaking paper in psychology may have revealed another intriguing clue as to why the Bible is so puzzling.

Researchers compared cultural attitudes around the globe, and found that the American (and modern Western) worldview is far from the norm compared to the rest of the world.

Westerners think very analytically. Our culture is also very secular and places a strong emphasis on individual rights and freedoms. Much of the world is far less secular and sees people principally…