Why did Jesus use His spit in the mud to heal a blind man? Why did Jesus withhold His true intentions to His family about going up to the feast in John 7? Why did Jesus offensively insult people on a regular basis? Why does the scripture say that God “hated” Esau? These are but a few examples of the many things in the Gospels and the New Testament that are difficult, if not impossible, for us to understand if we do not understand the cultural context and values at the time of Christ. In this seminar we will look at cultural rules governing social interactions, first-century commerce, economics, politics, Semitic cosmology, beliefs about healing, health and miracles, and much more.
If we do not understand the differences in culture, conditions, and worldview assumptions between ourselves and first century Jews living in a Greek culture under Roman law, we will inevitably project our own worldview onto the scriptures. In so doing, we will have no chance of accurately understanding what was written, misinterpret the scriptures, and misrepresent Christ to ourselves and others. Following Jesus as disciple is so simple, a six-year old can do it. Understanding the scriptures–letters and books written to a different people, in different time, with a different culture, with different values, and a different language– is not as simple.
- 12 lessons