The book MISREADING SCRIPTURE WITH WESTERN EYES helps us realize how much our view of Christianity, including our reading of the Bible, has been impacted by our cultural lens. This book review was written by Hank Griffith of South Suburban Evangelical Free Church in Apple Valley, Minnesota.
I recommend this delightful, easy to read book especially to missionaries. However, it could be helpful to all Christians because we are increasingly relating to people from diverse ethnic backgrounds in our churches. This book helps us realize how much our view of Christianity, including our reading of the Bible, has been impacted by our cultural lens.
Regarding Misreading Scripture with Western Eyes, reviewer Soong-Chan Rah writes, “Helpful examples reveal our cultural tendencies and biases that could hinder a deeper reading of Scripture. The authors help us recognize our blind-spots and offer insight that honors the intentions of Scripture to be read in the context of community.” Another reviewer, Lindsay Olesberg, comments, “Richards and O’Brien open our eyes to the cross-cultural nature of the Bible. Their book is a helpful resource in understanding Scripture on its own terms, without imposing our assumptions on the biblical authors and their first readers.”
The following paragraph will give you a taste of the book: “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 Paul exhorts women to ‘dress modestly’, we automatically think in terms of sexual modesty. But Paul is likely more concerned about economic modesty – that Christian women not flaunt their wealth through expensive clothes and gold jewelry. And 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.”