Berea Project

They received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. -- Acts 17:11

Berea Project is a site dedicated to going back to the Bible and examining it as the primary source for what we believe. The site contains resources and articles designed to help anyone who desires to study the Word of God. We are also creating tools to help ministers teach God's Word to others.

This site is under construction. We have been working on our layout and are about finished. We will start adding content soon. For now please enjoy the devotions that we have so far. Feel free to email me at jbatchelor@bereaproject.org if you would like to contribute your own articles, sermons or other materials. I have forms on several sections of the site asking for feedback and ideas specific to those areas of the site as well. 

Misreading Scripture With Western Eyes

Misreading Scripture with Western Eyes: Removing Cultural Blinders to Better Understand the Bible

by E. Randolph Richards, Brandon J. O'Brien

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.

We all have assumptions about the Bible. This book does a great job of identifying some of our cultural assumptions and helps us overcome them to more accurately interpret scripture in its context.
— Joshua Batchelor

 

Physical Book

BN.com

E-Book

BN.com

Please email me at jbatchelor@bereaproject.org if you would like to contribute your own articles, sermons or other materials. We are developing a community of quality writers and christian content creators. Content guidelines are coming but are not in a written form yet. Please stay tuned.