Dr. Jonathan More, Vice-Principal and Academic Dean at George Whitefield College, Cape Town, South Africa, focuses his research on the intersection between the intellectual world of the New Testament and its Graeco-Roman context. Today’s topic: Translation sometimes poses difficult decisions when there is no single word available to the translator in the receptor language. The NIV translates Phil 4:11 as, “. . . I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.” The word “content” (αὐτάρκης) has a sense that is hard to represent with a single English word.
E. R. (“Randy”) Richards, Provost and Professor of New Testament at Palm Beach Atlantic University, joins David Capes on “The Stone Chapel Podcast” to talk about his book, Misreading Scripture with Western Eyes (written with Brandon J. O’Brien [IVP], 2012).
The book’s subtitle Is “Removing Cultural Blinders to Better Understand the Bible.”
Dr. Richard’s life has been shaped by his experiences as a missionary in Indonesia. In those years he saw how he tended to read Scripture through a cultural lens vastly different from the world of the Bible.
This is not a book about bashing the West; no, Richards celebrates all the contributions the West has made to furthering the gospel. But he does want to alert us to the subtleties of “what goes without being said” in our culture and the Scriptures’.
He gives two examples: the first, from the Joseph story (Genesis) and second, from Paul’s admonition in 1 Timothy for women to dress “modestly.” What goes without being said, in both cases, differs from various cultures.
Now, any cultural reading could be off, and Dr. Richards admits that. Someone, he says, should write a book “Misreading Scripture with Eastern Eyes.” This is an important book and a timely book. The Bible does not come from the Middle West but from the Middle East.
Vuyani Sindo is Lecturer in Biblical Studies and head of the Biblical Studies department at George Whitefield College in Cape Town, South Africa. He earned his PhD at the University of Stellenbosch. In this podcast he talks with David Capes regarding what he’s discovered about leadership by reading Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians. Although Paul founded the church, he found himself rejected by the church. Most leadership studies, Sindo argues, focus the leader him/herself (anthropocentric). Paul instead makes leadership theocentric, that is, all about God. Most leadership studies dabble in worldly wisdom and success strategies; Paul emphasizes that God is the one who gives the increase through the foolishness of the cross. As more and more church leaders fail—often in public ways—Sindo believes that Christ-followers should identify with Christ and not their leaders. Sindo offers some great insights on leadership for the church today!
Jason Barney, the principal of Coram Deo Academy, is an alumnus of both Wheaton College’s Classical Languages major (’09) and its MA in Biblical Exegesis program (’14). He has published two books, A Classical Guide to Narration and The Joy of Learning,and blogs on ancient wisdom for the modern era at www.educationalrenaissance.com. He enjoyed learning Latin during high school and then Greek and Hebrew at Wheaton, and loves the opportunity to lead within the growing classical schools movement where students can receive a deep grounding in the classical languages and their literary heritage. He has been thinking about Aristotle’s intellectual virtues, especially intuition, and he discusses how this might help us understand Paul’s point in 1 Corinthians 2 and elsewhere.
“Exegetically Speaking” is a weekly podcast of the friends and faculty of Wheaton College, IL and The Lanier Theological Library. Hosted by Dr. David Capes, it features language experts who discuss the importance of learning the biblical languages—Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek—and show how reading the Bible in the original languages “pays off.” Each podcast lasts between seven and eleven minutes and covers a different topic for those who want to read the Bible for all it is worth.