Jesus’s parables fit perfectly into a non-Western, Jewish culture that expressed itself through tangible metaphors.
“Where Two or Three are Gathered” …in Context
Jesus’ words in light of rabbinic sayings about what happens when people gather to study or pray… God’s Shekinah draws near. Fascinating.
Why was Resurrection on “the Third Day”? Two Insights
Christians scratch their heads over Jesus’ being raised “on the third day.” Doesn’t Sunday comes only two days after Friday? And what’s so significant about the “third day” anyhow?
A Surprisingly Messianic Tradition in the Ancient Synagogue
Christians should be fascinated that a prominent theme in early synagogues was the fulfillment of God’s prophetic promises. It fits perfectly with Jesus’ ministry of preaching from town to town about the coming of God’s redemptive Kingdom.
“…and God has made me fat!”
Seeing how other cultures think can be quite helpful for understanding the Bible. Dieting and weight gain are particularly interesting topics to explore.
Getting Beyond Me-O-Centric Bible Reading
All sorts of connections fall into place when you start to grasp the Bible’s communal cultural setting.
Biblically, Your “Name” is Your Identity
A family’s public reputation, their “name,” was of critical importance in their communal society. Knowing this helps us decode a much misunderstood word in our Bibles, the Hebrew word shem, which overlaps with the English word “name” but is actually much broader.
When You Read the Bible, You Need to “Be” There
When God called Moses up to Mt. Sinai, what he said, literally, was “Come up to me on the mountain and be here…” Why? Because it’s possible for a person to expend a great deal of energy getting to a destination, yet arrive there with head and thoughts somewhere else entirely.
Blinded by Our own Brilliance
We assume that as the centuries go by, we’re growing more intellectually sophisticated. But modernity has actually dulled our senses to a reality that biblical peoples had no problems experiencing.
In the Biblical World, Aging was a Good Thing
To understand your Bible you need to grasp the assumptions of its cultural world. Sometimes glimpsing its alternative point of view can even put our own reality into perspective. For instance, in the Ancient Near East, advanced age was not seen as something to be avoided. Aging was seen a source of honor and dignity. […]
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