I like to acknowledge them on this blog, because when it comes to spiritual things, there are plenty of different opinions out there. And, provided they’re informed and said with the right spirit, I feel like it’s worth my time thinking them through; even if I ultimately disagree with them.
Whenever people come to reading The Bible (if they do), they bring their perspective.
And whenever I come to writing this blog, I bring my perspective too. That’s naturally what happens.
I’m a white Australian female who is a Christian. I naturally will have the perspective that conforms with who I am. It’s something that can’t be helped, and not something that needs to be apologised for either.
But it is something that needs to be acknowledged.
Many Biblical scholars have commented before that when we read The Bible from a different cultural perspective we’ll see things that we don’t normally. If you only ever read The Bible thinking like a white Australian female (or however you categorise yourself) then that’s all you’ll ever see.
This, of course, is problematic, especially considering that The Bible is an ancient Jewish text.
To truly understand the text, we need to understand Jewish culture. The more we understand this culture, the more we understand what’s going on in The Good Book.
That doesn’t mean we all have to learn Hebrew… but we could… or you could just talk to someone else who has already…
If God is the God of the whole world, then The Bible (when translated) is meaningful to people all across the globe. Not everyone is going to interpret it with the same perspective, for a variety of reasons: including their cultural background.
This is a good thing.
Someone from a different culture will see something that I will not and when they share it with me, my picture of what God is like, gets bigger. And my picture of how I should live as a Christian expands too.
It’s not as though God changes, as he moves across the globe; because he doesn’t. His glory and power are on display though, and with eyes seeing things differently, we can learn more. As it says in the Psalms:
The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.
It’s up to us to ‘listen to the skies’ and to hear what they say in every different ‘speech or language’ around the world.
I think it’s a mind-blowing thought to know that God speaks to me in my language of English, but also to people in all languages, all around the globe; no matter how small a number of people speak their dialect or pidgin. God is still speaking to them all.
And when we hear their cultural perspective on what he is saying, our spiritual lives will be enriched.
Yours in the enrichment,