Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes: Cultural Studies In The Gospels

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Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes: Cultural Studies In The Gospels

Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes: Cultural Studies In The Gospels

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Some Christians feel unsettled to hear that Luke didn’t know Jesus. Luke did not personally see or hear what the gospel of Luke reports Jesus saying and doing. These same Christians may feel uneasy to learn that the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and Johnweren’t written till decades (30 to 60 years) after Jesus ascended into heaven.

Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes Kenneth E. Bailey, Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes

Also, PtME's historical scholarship is often outdated or out of touch. Bailey warns at the beginning that his scholarly focus is not Pauline literature. He appeals to older commentaries and older historical works. The result is that some of the same old misunderstandings continue to be propagated.Evangelical Quarterly A brilliant addition to Bailey’s other works in which he sheds light on the biblical text from Middle Eastern culture. Especially since the Enlightenment, people in the Western hemisphere tend to assume that reason is universal. A lay Christian might hear a scholar talking about biblical interpretation and think the scholar is saying that the Word is wrong. The six parts of this book include chapters on the birth of Jesus, the beatitudes, the Lord’s Prayer, dramatic actions of Jesus (the call of Peter, the inauguration of Jesus’ ministry, and the blind man and Zacchaeus), Jesus and women, and thirteen of Jesus’ parables. That’s how things go in Open Hearts in Bethlehem: A Christmas Musical Drama, written byKenneth E. Bailey, who, also, by the way, says Jesus was born in summer or fall, not on December 25.

Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes - InterVarsity Press Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes - InterVarsity Press

I could say something similar about PtME's theological and pastoral applications. Many These are goodhearted but don't reflect sustained critical reflection on the relationship of what amount to truism and the text. PtME does, thankfully, forward some important reflection on the missiological and cultural impacts of application. That is a worthwhile contribution to the conversation around 1 Cor. Bailey is fluent in Arabic and an expert on New Testament cultural and literary forms. He researches ancient, medieval, and modern commentaries and translations in Semitic languages—Syriac, Hebrew/Aramaic, and Hebrew. These languages are closer to Jesus’ world than the Greek and Latin cultures that shaped Western thought.Middle East scholar Kenneth Bailey's books, lectures, and more invite Christians to strip away cultural mythologies and worship the real Jesus of the Middle East. A feature story exploring the life of Jesus through his own Middle-Eastern culture. By: Joan Huyser-Honig Tags: culture, middle east, parables, symposium 2013 Feature Story posted on May 7, 2008 He argues that this is the earliest of Paul’s material (and thus the most contemporary to Jesus’ life and ministry). From this he attempts to help us see the premise of his own cultural approach, an approach that suggests (and rightly so) that scholarship, clergy and the common reader alike have shared tendencies in assuming this letter and text to carry a sort of muddied and sporadic flavour that moves from topic to topic with a sort of closed interest in the Corinthian Church itself. Through it all, Bailey employs his trademark expertise as a master of Middle Eastern culture to lead you into a deeper understanding of the person and significance of Jesus within his own cultural context. With a sure but gentle hand, Bailey lifts away the obscuring layers of modern Western interpretation to reveal Jesus in the light of his actual historical and cultural setting. Writing of Jesus’ birth, Bailey notes that many Westerns have supposed that Mary and Joseph were turned away from an “inn.” But the word in Luke 2:7 is katavluma, that is, a guest room in a house, not a commercial inn. For the latter the word would have been pandocei'on. “Jesus was placed in a manger (in the family room) because in that home the guest room was already full” (p. 32). Bailey adds that many have erroneously supposed Jesus was born in a cave or a stable, a tradition that started with Justin Martyr (p. 34). Like the shepherds, who came to see the baby Jesus, He was poor, lonely, and rejected. “Jesus was born in a simple, two-room village home such as the Middle East has known for at least three thousand years” (p. 36). You’ve likely pictured Jesus as born in a stable because English translations of Luke 2:7 say Mary placed baby Jesus “in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.”

Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes: Cultural Studies in the

In the parable of the prodigal son, is the father running down the road a big deal? For us, no. For a Middle Easterner, yes,” he says. In Finding the Lost Cultural Keys to Luke 15, Bailey quotes Ben Sirach, a Jewish philosopher who 200 years before Christ wrote, “A man’s manner of walking tells you what he is.” Regarding Jesus’ genealogy in Matthew 1, Bailey discusses why four women—Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Bathsheba—are included. These four are saints and sinners, women of intelligence and courage, all of whom were probably Gentiles (p. 42).

When confronted with Kenneth E. Bailey’s book, my initial reaction was that this is going to be “yet another book on the life and ministry of Jesus.” However, it was a pleasant surprise to discover that a lot could be learned from this volume. These new insights stemmed primarily from the approach conveyed by the title of this volume: Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes. It is this particular point of view that gives the book its distinctiveness. Kenneth Bailey is a minister that served in the Middle East for more than 40 years and taught New Testament in theological seminaries and institutes... Again, an interesting methodological position, but also seemingly innovative in comparison to the modern exegetical tradition. That's not to say it's a bad thing. But I think it's a supplemental position, since it does seem to be an unusual one. Bailey leans heavily on Middle Eastern scholars and texts written in Arabic (that have yet to be translated into English): Bailey affirms that the Spirit of God guided the process of the Bible. “God as Jesus invites disciples to participate with him in an inspired process to produce a book which has changed all our lives,” he said. The text is inspired—not the translation

Jesus through Middle Eastern eyes : cultural studies in the Jesus through Middle Eastern eyes : cultural studies in the

Listen to Ken Bailey’s sermon “The Wonder of the Nature of Faith: David, Jesus and Hebrews 11.” Read a sermon on the prodigal sonby emergent kiwiblogger Steve Taylor, a Baptist pastor in New Zealand. A big part of the challenge that arises for Paul is balancing the nature of his apostolic position, which easily derailed in the eyes of the people in to a competition of “teachers” and “followers” and a unwelcomed heirarchy that stood opposed to the humility of being called and equipped by Christ for the sake of the people. Paul attempts to do the hard work of reconciling this tension, most notably in his willingness to set aside his contentious relationship with Peter. He contends that because we “all are yours (God’s”), and “you are Christ’s” and “Christ is God’s”, that which divides us needs to be necessarily set at the foot of the cross. The term used for Christ in chapter four is one that would have spoken directly to the image of “Shetiyah”, a stone in the midst of the temple rubble that represented the elevated presence of the holy. In this sense he is envoking Jesus as the foundation on which all discussion must b built. The Gospels are "meaning tied intimately to history and to event. That is the way it is with Jesus - not neutrality, bare record, empty chronology, but living participation and heart involvement. Bailey takes 32 different passages and seeks to uncover the Middle Eastern cultural realities that really open up the meaning of the gospel accounts. The author spent 60 years of his life in the Middle East and devoted his academic career to trying "understand the stories of the Gospels in the light of Middle Eastern culture." At the heart of this cultural approach to the Gospels is Bailey’s appeal to recognize the historical nature of the Scriptures. He emphasizes that the Word of God is spoken through people in history: “Those people and that history cannot be ignored without missing the speaker or writer’s intentions and creating our own substitutes for them” (p. 281).

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Browse related stories about ancient Christmas sermons, Eugene Peterson and Bible translations, music from other cultures, and worship drama. Start a Discussion Understanding Middle Eastern village life helps Bailey ask fresh questions. He traces answers through early Christian commentaries, medieval Arabic, and Jewish literature. Bailey joins the likes of Ben Witherington--for which he is eminently known--in examining the socio-rhetorical-culture milieu that Paul's First Letter to the Church at Corinth is mired in. And Bailey seeks to pull the reader's head out of the sand of Euro-American centrism and into the new, fresh air of the Middle East by giving them Middle Eastern eyes. As Bailey states, "in the wider world, Middle Eastern Christians are often forgotten. The current discussions of the emergence of the Christian 'Global South' and its numerical dominance over Christians in Western Europe and North America, overlooks the Middle East entirely. Have already discussed a few topics in the Gospels in the light of important Middle Eastern Christian sources, this volume intends to focus similar attention on 1 Corinthians." (18) Now this isn't to say I don't think this is a solid offering, especially a solid supplemental one to the mainstay 1 Corinthian commentaries. It is and I think what it offers is more than made up in my perceived mark-missing. Not only does it bring good sense of the Middle East/Mediterranean world to bear on the interpretive enterprise--and when he does it's solid--the commentary also brings a (perhaps, much) stronger rhetorical analysis to that effort. Bailey brings much detailed rhetoric analysis to Paul's letter, even if it is more innovative and different than the prevailing structural analysis of 1 Cor commentaries of yore. It also provides interesting intertextual links between the Tanak, especially Isaiah, and has a fascinating appendix discussion on the role of the Book of Amos in the opening of the letter. Bailey insists that Paul was writing from his own Jewish heritage and from a strong Middle Eastern Jewish tradition that utilizes what is called a “Ring Composition”. The basic sense of this writing style is that the main point sits in the middle (rather than in the climax) while the outer layers on either side simply mirror the issues at hand. The understanding of the text as sharing the Jewish prophetic tradition lends him to see the book as a highly intentional structure and a cohesive narrative that consists of the following five essays:

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