Matthew James Hamilton
Misreading Scripture with Western Eyes
Intervaristy Press, 2012
In this book, E. Randolph Richards and Brandon J. O’Brien draw from their experiences in cross-cultural communication to help us identify and eradicate cultural blinders that hinder biblical interpretation.
The book is divided into three sections. In “Above the Surface,” the authors describe cultural differences like ethnicity and language. “Just Below the Surface” delves into more subtle distinctions: It examines differences between our individualistic culture and the collective culture of the biblical world, the system of honor or shame versus our own culture of right or wrong, and time and how it plays into our reading of Scripture. In the final section, “Deep Below the Surface,” the authors address ideas that we consider biblical, universal truths, showing that many of these issues are neither universal nor biblical; instead, they can stand in the way of proper interpretation. This book is an excellent tool—eye-opening for any Western Christian, especially those who plan to teach the Bible in non-Western contexts.