7 Reasons to Study the Cultural Backgrounds of the Bible

 

1. Understand the audience: Grasping the original audience’s perspective helps us understand the setting to which the inspired authors communicated their message.

2. Understand how the text communicates: A text is ideas linked by threads of writing. Each phrase and each word communicates by the ideas and thoughts that they will trigger in the reader or hearer.

3. Biblical writers made assumptions: Biblical writers normally could take for granted that their audiences shared their language and culture; some matters, therefore, they assumed rather than stated. Think about what happens when later audiences from different cultures read the text without the same un-stated understandings as the original audience.

4. Understand the differences: We can see the differences between [ancient people] and us. To better understand how they would have interpreted what was being shared to them.

5. Understand what issues were being addressed: When we hear the message in its authentic, original cultural setting we can reapply it afresh for our own different setting most fully, because we understand what issues were really being addressed.

6. Prevent imposing your own culture: If we know nothing of the ancient world, we will be inclined to impose our own culture and worldview on the Biblical text. This will always be detrimental to our understanding.

7. Fill in the gaps: As each person hears or reads the text, the message takes for granted underlying gaps that need to be filled with meaning by the audience. It is theologically essential that we fill [the gaps] appropriately.

Bible Study

More
  • One of the Top 100 Most-Asked Questions About the Bible

    Question Why does it sometimes feel like God is far... Read more
  • Daniel: God Still Reigns

    If you re a Jew in Babylon, you’ve got reason to... Read more
  • The Word of God

    A woman called out to Jesus, “Blessed is the mother... Read more

Comfort

More
  • Jesus: Prince of Peace

    Isaiah 9:6-7 For to us a child is born, to us a son is... Read more
  • man holding face in hands

    Why Does God Allow Bad Things To Happen?

    No one knows the mind of God, except for God himself.... Read more
  • How Do We Keep the Peace of God in Our Lives?

    Paul tells us to “be anxious for nothing” (Phil.... Read more

Devotional Reading Plans

More
  • Daniel: God Still Reigns

    If you re a Jew in Babylon, you’ve got reason to... Read more
  • Living a Balanced Life

    This 7-day devotional offers reminders of what is most... Read more
  • A Transformed Life

    This 7-day devotional offers inspiring and challenging... Read more

Prayer

More
  • Start the New Year Studying Proverbs as a Family

    Many people start the New Year making resolutions on... Read more
  • Does Anything Prevent God from Answering Our Prayers?

    ... Read more
  • 5 Easy Things You Can Do to Hear the Lord’s Voice More Clearly

    “Hear, O My people, and I will admonish you! O... Read more

SpeakLight

More
  • Romans 8:28 SpeakLight Danny Gokey

    Romans 8:28 / #SpeakLight / Danny Gokey

    And we know that all things work together for good to... Read more
  • James 5:16 - Steven Malcolm

    James 5:16 / #SpeakLight / Steven Malcolm

    Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for... Read more
  • 2 corinthians 5:17 phil joel

    2 Corinthians 5:17 with Phil Joel

    Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new... Read more

Spiritual Growth

More
  • Daniel: God Still Reigns

    If you re a Jew in Babylon, you’ve got reason to... Read more
  • The Beginning of the Church

    The Gospel of Luke chronicled the life and teaching of... Read more
  • A Biblical Theology of the True Davidic King

    As is true with other kings in David’s line, when... Read more