|Linda (left front), with Allie and Dan in front of her, in Istanbul, Turkey|
When it comes to studying the Bible, and textual interpretation in general, context is everything.
It's so easy, and commonplace, to interpret a text out of our cultural setting to make sense of what we are reading. In general, this is the wrong way to read the Bible (or any text).
I've picked up two excellent books that address this issue:
- Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes, by Kenneth Bailey
- Misreading Scripture with Western Eyes: Removing Cultural Blinders to Better Understand the Bible, by Brandon O'Brien and Randy Richards.
Both are scholarly and accessible, providing many examples of how the originals texts must have been heard to their ancient readers.