She’s one of my favorite authors… And Margaret Feinberg is one of the best storytellers that I know today. Whether I am listening to her speak, or reading something that she has written, I am always captured by her ability to connect people to ideas. So when she wrote a book on one of my favorite topics, then I knew that it was going to be a hot one!
Anyone who has followed this site for a while probably knows that I feel like one of the biggest problems in the church today is the lack of Bible literacy. I’m not talking so much about knowing what the Bible says, but rather understanding what it means.
Too often people read the text as if we (a Western culture living thousands of years after it was actually written) was written to us. The problem with this perspective is that it causes us to miss some of the true intent of the text.
One of the first rules of Bible interpretation is that before we can understand God’s message to us, we must first understand God’s message to them (the original audience).
In the United States we are a industrialized Western culture. The original audience of the Biblical text was an agricultural Eastern culture. There were great differences in how we work, how we relate to one another, how we use technology… and the list goes on. The original audience certainly would have understood many things in very different ways than we do.
This means that in order for us to best understand the Biblical texts, we need to connect with the lifestyle and culture of those times. Feinberg does a great job of connecting us to these things. In this book she takes us on a journey as she explores what it means (for example) to be a shepherd, and we end up better understanding what it means to be a part of the flock of the Great Shepherd.
I look forward to what this project has in store for us! Before a single word was written for this project I started hearing comments from the participants like, “Wow!” and “This book has changed my life!” And these are words from people who I respect a great deal for their work in ministry!
So I encourage you to get this book, and follow along with us on this journey! But most importantly, take this opportunity to explore the true, deeper meaning of the Biblical texts. When you do, your life will never be the same…