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Publisher's Summary

The Bible was written within collectivist cultures. When Westerners, immersed in individualism, read the Bible, it's easy to misinterpret important elements - or miss them altogether. In any culture, the most important things usually go without being said. So to read Scripture well we benefit when we uncover the unspoken social structures and values of its world. We need to recalibrate our vision.

Combining the expertise of a biblical scholar and a missionary practitioner, Misreading Scripture with Individualist Eyes is an essential guidebook to the cultural background of the Bible and how it should inform our reading. E. Randolph Richards and Richard James explore deep social structures of the ancient Mediterranean - kinship, patronage, and brokerage - along with their key social tools - honor, shame, and boundaries - that the biblical authors lived in and lie below the surface of each text. From Abraham, Sarah, and Hagar to Peter's instructions to elders, the authors strip away individualist assumptions and bring the world of the biblical writers to life.

Expanding on the popular Misreading Scripture with Western Eyes, this book makes clear how understanding collectivism will help us better understand the Bible, which in turn will help us live more faithfully in an increasingly globalized world.

©2020 E. Randolph Richards and Richard James (P)2020 eChristian

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-02-21

One of the most important books a theologian can own

Do not read this book until you have read miss reading scripture through westernize eyes. This book takes up where the other one left off. These are two of the most important books I have read in my theological life. I was so excited when this book came out that I quit everything I was doing to get into and finish this book. I read western eyes probably eight times. This book will be no different.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-12-20

fantastically helpful

I work with and alongside collectivists, so this was incredibly insightful! I now have the best understanding I've ever had of shame, honor, patronage, kinship, etc.

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  • C. Lawrence
  • 06-11-21

Insightful

Serving overseas in Central Asia I have seen many cultural similarities mentioned in the book. Working side by side with nationals and expats, observing and ministering to the differences and approaches to patronage between the cultures. Many westerners desiring overseas work would do well to read this book first.

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  • Eyosias
  • 18-08-21

Based

Very based amazing love it so much recommended for everyone my age and beyond. And also babies

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  • Ruby Spinner
  • 30-06-21

An Excellent Perspective into Jesus' Culture

I struggled a bit with the beginning, but that is likely a mood issue, not the text, and not the narration, and I already knew the subject is of interest to me. As a Christian, as an American by birth, I was not taught to think further than myself, possibly to extend to my children's spouses' parents... but no further.

However, when you look at the Bible from a collective perspective, so much actually makes sense. It makes it easier to understand faith, especially James, where people get hung up on the faith by works words, but, if you look at works as an action taken because of faith, it all resolves. If I am sick, and I need a dose of medication, and I have the medicine, but I don't take it, just knowing it will make me well, even being able to clearly identify the medicine because I've carried it so long, will not make me well. I have to practice my faith, and swallow the pills before I have health.

It is very much worth listening to this book. I took many notes, took many walks to work my way through some of the difficulties, but I am glad I did. Honor, shame, grace, all these have meaning, but, do I define them as the writer intended? Do I lack understanding because I have only a single view?

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  • Isaac Stropes
  • 08-01-21

One of the keys to understanding Scripture!

wow, this was such an amazing book! I highly recommend both of the books in this series to anyone who wants to understand the culture of the Bible.

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  • Tremain White
  • 02-01-21

Much Needed!

Excellent and challenging work! A great complimentary work to the first book on the subject.

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  • Carôle
  • 15-10-21

Book 2 - Equally as Informative

Misreading Scripture With Western Eyes, is book one. Very informative and a great introduction. This book goes deeper and totally opens up your heart and mind to the fact that, whilst the Bible was written for us - it wasn’t written TO us as Westerners!! There are a whole swath of things written in the Bible that goes without saying - which actually DO need saying, to us!

Having read these 2 books, I realised that, there are So Many Things that just go over our heads, that our ministers don’t really have the time (in a sermon) each week, to educate us on! We really Do need to know and understand these things, in order to get ‘the point’ that Jesus, Peter, Paul and James were making our their audience - which wasn’t us!!

I’ve learned quite a deal from this first pass! Both books have to be revisited, but the beauty of this book is, how it further opened my eyes to the‘nuclear family, all about me’ isolationist culture that we have in the West which can, on reflection, be quite limiting and lonely and not what our Triune Godhead desires for us at all.

I never appreciated that before. These books are a great investment for our spiritual lives.