The New Testament in Cross-Cultural Perspective.The New Testament in Cross-Cultural Perspective. By Richard L. Rohrbaugh. Matrix: The Bible in Mediterranean Context. Eugene, OR: Cascade Books/Wipf & Stock, 2007. xv and 211 pages. Paper. $25.00.
One of the relatively recent exciting developments in biblical interpretation has been the use social criticism, that is, the interpretation of texts in light of the cultural context in which they originated. Richard Rohrbaugh has been one of the leaders in this field. He coauthored (with Bruce J. Malina) social-scientific commentaries on the Synoptic Gospels Synoptic Gospels (sĭnŏp`tĭk) [Gr. synopsis=view together], the first three Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke), considered as a unit. and John. The present volume reprints ten essays published earlier in scattered places and adds an eleventh, "Jesus: Village Artisan."
The first essay, "Hermeneutics hermeneutics, the theory and practice of interpretation. During the Reformation hermeneutics came into being as a special discipline concerned with biblical criticism. as Cross-Cultural Encounter: Obstacles to Understanding," argues that failure to recognize cultural differences between biblical textes and our own world inevitably leads to difficulties in understanding and misinterpretation of biblical texts. Chapter 7, a reinterpretation re·in·ter·pret
tr.v. re·in·ter·pret·ed, re·in·ter·pret·ing, re·in·ter·prets
To interpret again or anew.
re of the prodigal son prodigal son, in the New Testament, parable of Jesus about heaven and the sinner who repents. A young man leaves home and becomes a wastrel; repentant, he returns to be received with joyful welcome. parable parable, the term translates the Hebrew word "mashal"—a term denoting a metaphor, or an enigmatic saying or an analogy. In the Greco-Roman rhetorical tradition, however, "parables" were illustrative narrative examples. Jewish teachers of the 1st cent. A.D. (Luke 15:11-32), illustrates this well. The father and both brothers break village norms and so have to take actions to fit into the community again. This makes the actions of each more comprehensible--even though their actions do not fit our cultural norms.
Each essay is worth careful reading. The volume concludes with a long bibliography but lacks an index.