The vast majority of Christians grew up in a “western” culture and style of thinking. However, the Bible was written with an “eastern” culture and style of thinking. Western tends to be more about facts and logic, Eastern tends to be more about symbols and pictures. Neither is wrong, they are just different ways to convey information.
However, if you look at the Bible from a “western” perspective, you miss much of the fullness that comes with an “eastern” perspective.
The videos below will help.
I first listened to it over a decade ago. It radically change my perspective and helped me understand the Bible much better. It’s quite long, but well worth the time investment.
Disclaimer: while I love how he presents the “eastern” worldview, I definitely don’t agree with him on everything. He’s a little legalistic and we differ on several points. I would highly recommend that you listen, but listen with discernment as it relates to specifics. I suggest looking for the “big picture”; don’t miss the amazing forest for a few bad trees.
(Note: this was originally an audio recording, so you don’t need to watch the video. You can just listen.)
Ray Vander Lann – The Bible from Jesus’ Cultural Perspective 2000 Years ago:
Biblical Allusions with Ray Vander Lann:
(Note: some of this video’s content is contained in the longer video above.)
If you would like to learn more about the Greek perspective in the New Testament, I have two suggestions:
- My article: Patronage and Reciprocity: The Context of Grace in the New Testament which is a condensed version of a much longer treatise on the topic. (The longer version is linked to in the article, and well worth your time.)
- The book: “Misreading Scripture with Western Eyes” by Randolph Richards and Brandon J. O’brien. There’s a few things I disagree with in the book so read with discernment, but otherwise it’s very good.
I hope that will help you understand Scripture better. 🙂