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Misreading Scripture with Western Eyes:…
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Misreading Scripture with Western Eyes: Removing Cultural Blinders to… (edição: 2012)

de E. Randolph Richards (Autor)

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4271244,013 (4.11)5
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. 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.… (mais)
Membro:andrewjhall
Título:Misreading Scripture with Western Eyes: Removing Cultural Blinders to Better Understand the Bible
Autores:E. Randolph Richards (Autor)
Informação:IVP Books (2012), 240 pages
Coleções:Sua biblioteca, Favoritos
Avaliação:
Etiquetas:Intercultural, Books Read

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

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Mostrando 1-5 de 11 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
Opened my eyes to things I've been feeling but couldn't pin down. This is a great opportunity to how to read the Bible and get out of it what we should, not what we want.
  GretchenCollins | Dec 10, 2020 |
I approached Richards’ and O’Brien’s Misreading Scripture With Western Eyes a bit skeptically, as “Western” implies a binary East-West dichotomy that can be superficial. And I’m not crazy about dual-authored books, where frequent first-person musings such as “When I (Randy)…” or “I (Brandon) recall the time when…” are cumbersome and detract from the narrative flow. But the “Misreading” part was hugely appealing, drawing on my familiarity with Eco’s Misreadings, Bloom’s A Map of Misreading, and indeed the entire corpus of the hermeneutic and critical theory enterprise: is there such a thing as “correct” and “incorrect” readings? (Even an interpretationally liberal critic such as Eco argues this in the affirmative in Interpretation and Overinterpretation, but I digress).

Richards and O’Brien begin their work with a Bible passage well known to many Christians: Revelation 3:15-16. Speaking to the church of the Laodiceans, the risen Jesus says: “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” The point of this verse appears straightforward, but the authors note (based on a trip there in 2002) that Hieropolis, a city to the north of Laodicea, was known then (and still is) for its hot springs, whereas Collossae, to the south, was known for its cold spring. Water from both, carried by aqueduct to Laodicea, was lukewarm by the time it arrived. “I suspect the Lord’s warning was clear to the Laodiceans. He wished his people were hot (like the salubrious waters of Hierapolis) or cold (like the refreshing waters of Colossae). Instead, their discipleship was unremarkable” (10).

The book is broken into three parts (“Above the Surface”, “Just Below the Surface”, and “Deep Below the Surface”), each comprised of three chapters. The book is peppered with examples of anecdotal differences between so-called “Eastern” and “Western” modes of Biblical interpretation (one of the authors was a missionary in Indonesia). Each chapter contains a headlined “Conclusion” and is followed by a “Questions to Ponder” section.

In the book’s conclusion, titled “Three Easy Steps for Removing Our Cultural Blinders?” (phrased in the form of a question, as one of the authors’ international friends pointed out the “Westernness” of declaring three easy steps), Richards and O’Brien devote a few paragraphs to each of the following topics: “Embrace Complexity”, “Beware of Overcorrection”, “Be Teachable”, “Embrace Error”, and “Read Together”. They state their agenda: “We’re trying to help you become a certain kind of reader: the kind of reader who is increasingly aware of his or her cultural assumptions” (212). There are a few endnotes, and a very helpful “Resources for Further Exploration” organized by chapter, as well as a Scripture index.

While Misreading Scripture with Western Eyes lacks overt or scholarly hermeneutic principles or theory, its general message of looking beyond the meaning of the text for signs of cultural influence is one about which all Bible readers and interpreters should be vigilant. ( )
  RAD66 | Nov 12, 2020 |
Dare I say this was a delightful book. Would it be better to say it is insightful?

There are perhaps half a dozen ways that westerners misread scriptures clearly explained in this book.

It is definitely worth rereading as a reminder to think of other meanings in the Biblical text. The kindle edition is so inexpensive that it would be easy to get it even though we already have the paperback edition.

“C. S. Lewis in his now-classic introduction to Athanasius’s On the Incarnation. Lewis advises readers to read at least one old book for every three new ones. Here is his reason: “Every age has it’s own outlook. It is especially good at seeing certain truths and especially liable to make certain mistakes. We all, therefore, need the books that will correct the characteristic mistakes of our own period. And that means the old books. … Not, of course, that there is any magic about the past. People were no cleverer then than they are now; they made as many mistakes as we. But not the same mistakes.” (Page 49) ( )
  bread2u | Jul 1, 2020 |
In this informative book, the authors--E. Randolph Richards and Brandon J. O'Brien--take the reader through the multiple (but not all) ways Western Christians misread words written hundreds, if not thousands, of years ago, in cultures far removed from ours. This misreading is done by interpreting Scripture through the wrong lenses, and some of these lenses are: race & ethnicity, language, individualism and collectivism--where conduct isn't determined by an individual, but by a larger group--time, or virtue and vice.

The strongest chapter, for me anyway since it's one of my own pet peeves, is toward the end of the book and is titled "It's All About Me: Finding the Center of God's Will." In this section, the authors tackle the huge problem that is endemic in evangelical Christianity--the cult of "me." When Scripture is interpreted through the lens of "me", fundamental differences arise between current belief and what the ancient words actually mean. The authors state in the conclusion to this section: "[t]his cultural assumption about the supremacy of me is the one to which we Westerners are perhaps blindest...When we realize that each passage of Scripture is not about me, we begin to gradually see that the true subject matter in the Bible, what the book is really about, is God's redeeming work in Christ...I am not the center of God's kingdom work" (207-208.)

It's worth the price of the book if that is the only concept anyone walks away with.

While I don't agree with everything in the authors say--what they say is very much worth reading. When Scripture is read without consideration of, or knowledge about, the societies, cultures, and time periods these passages were written in, reading Scripture becomes a selfish act, one that ignores what is our spiritual heritage, lived out by our spiritual ancestors. Our history is rendered irrelevant, which leads back to the cult of "me."

The book is divided into chapters, with subheadings. Each chapter has a conclusion and a set of questions at the end, making this book ideal for group study.



( )
  Cheryl.Russell | May 25, 2019 |
Logos Library
  birdsnare | May 16, 2019 |
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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. 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.

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