Asia Bible Commentary Series .... who's buying and why?

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Posts 172
Roy | Forum Activity | Posted: Wed, Feb 20 2019 10:57 PM

I was looking through the pre-pubs that are soon to be released and found The Asia Bible Commentary Series.

I was wondering who all has made (or is going to make) the move to purchase the series and why? What do you think of the series and what do you expect it to bring you?

I am thinking of picking it up to have a non-western point of view (as it were).

Thanks...!

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Mike Binks | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Feb 21 2019 12:52 AM

Greetings Roy

I can't answer your question directly but I did use the Africa Bible Commentary as a companion to my reading plan a couple of years ago. Not radical but certainly a different slant on things and an insight to a culture that I am not often exposed to.

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J. Remington Bowling | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Feb 21 2019 6:19 AM

Would like to pick it up, but think I'll pass for now. 

People like N. T. Wright have done an excellent job making the case that a proper understanding of the Bible requires a deep understanding of the cultural context of the time of the authors/audience that it seems a bit funny to then suggest that maybe the lens of 21st century Asia or Africa (how culturally monolithic are they?) is what we've really been missing all along. I do think there is, potentially, value in cross-cultural theological comparisons. But I would like to see some argument for why this or that specific resource achieved that value and not just the assumption of the project itself.

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Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Feb 21 2019 6:51 AM

J. Remington Bowling:

Would like to pick it up, but think I'll pass for now. 

People like N. T. Wright have done an excellent job making the case that a proper understanding of the Bible requires a deep understanding of the cultural context of the time of the authors/audience that it seems a bit funny to then suggest that maybe the lens of 21st century Asia or Africa (how culturally monolithic are they?) is what we've really been missing all along. I do think there is, potentially, value in cross-cultural theological comparisons. But I would like to see some argument for why this or that specific resource achieved that value and not just the assumption of the project itself.

I return for another friendly joust.

Like the above, I have the Africa. But I couldn't say yea/nea to the series.

But modern air conditioned Bible readers are naive to think they can use a 1st century lens. Their own restrooms not far. And most important, doctors.

Missing magic spells, amulets, and multiple gods, just in case .... how can you know?? Missing husbands, mothers in birth, and your kids iffy until 4 or 5. One can not divine the pain.

I'd say the best Bible lens is modern cultures not yet 'modernized'. And dump the car. Walk, miles and miles. Hobble if necessary.  The Navajo here  are a fairly good lens. 

One time, a rich church lady wanted me to help on a presentation to the Navajo. I first warned her, they wouldn't look at her during her talk ... disrespectful. And their metric of goodness was goodness ... theology was secondary. She was sad their house looked so poor. I explained Navajo don't compete like we do. The insides, however, are gorgeous.


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J. Remington Bowling | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Feb 21 2019 7:04 AM

Well I'll leave it to others to decide if they think a WASP like Wright was able to get close to a first century lens without the help of the Navajo :) 

But even if we assume you're correct, it looks like this particular commentary won't achieve that. Some of the contributors were educated in the UK and I doubt any of them were far from restrooms--Asia is a pretty big and modern continent in many places (and heavily influenced by Western culture!).

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Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Feb 21 2019 7:12 AM

J. Remington Bowling:

Well I'll leave it to others to decide if they think a WASP like Wright was able to get close to a first century lens without the help of the Navajo :) 

But even if we assume you're correct, it looks like this particular commentary won't achieve that. Some of the contributors were educated in the UK and I doubt any of them were far from restrooms--Asia is a pretty big and modern continent in many places (and heavily influenced by Western culture!).

Oh, I'd agree concerning the commentary.

I was referring to Sanders et al these days, who think they can jewish-ify their modern readers, while leaving out life.


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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Feb 21 2019 4:16 PM

Roy:

Yes, I will especially since Logos doesn't carry the Dalit commentary and I was pushing to the Asia Bible Commentary for years. See Repeated suggestions: Please add any additional that you are familar with  for my push; Advice on non-Western commenteries for the topic in general.

Why? To support FL's publication of such materials and to remind myself that God is not (white) (American) (male) (rich) (entrepreneurial) (Western) (exclusive) ....

PS Do listen to Denise

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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J. Remington Bowling | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Feb 21 2019 5:22 PM

If you need reminding that God isn't (white) (American) (male) (rich) (entrepreneurial) (Western) (exclusive) and your solution is to read some books by people educated in predominantly (white) (American) (male) (rich) (entrepreneurial) (Western) (exclusive) universities in the US and UK... Well whatever. I guess if I held to that framework it just seems like I'd be looking elsewhere. But the more resources Logos acquires the merrier. 

PS. Those interested in this resource (I am to some degree, it just isn't exactly scratching where I itch at the moment) might also want to check out the following resource: 

https://www.logos.com/product/144558/paul-and-the-new-perspective-second-thoughts-on-the-origin-of-pauls-gospel

It's not of the same type as the Asia Bible Commentary, and I don't know that the author has anything specific to contribute from an Asian perspective, but he might and it looks like an interesting resource nonetheless.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Feb 21 2019 6:43 PM

J. Remington Bowling:
If you need reminding that God isn't (white) (American) (male) (rich) (entrepreneurial) (Western) (exclusive) and your solution is to read some books by people educated in predominantly (white) (American) (male) (rich) (entrepreneurial) (Western) (exclusive) universities in the US and UK... Well whatever. I guess if I held to that framework it just seems like I'd be looking elsewhere.

Methinks thou takest my comment in a context other than I intended ....Surprise

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 172
Roy | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Feb 21 2019 10:19 PM

Thank you to every one who responded.

I decided to go ahead and pick up the series. My hope is that it will give me a somewhat different take on the scripture covered. Different being something other than the standard slant I have always received from my Mid-Western (U.S.) pentecostal (AoG/CoG) perspective.

I already have a number of commentaries from all of the different denominations represented by Logos base packages so have a number of viewpoints other than pentecostal. I don't mind reading something that will disagree with my current theological mindset. It pushes me to think and have to defend to myself what I "Think" I believe. Sometimes I will actually change my mind.

I remember reading a book. I think it was Misreading Scripture with Western Eyes and that was a real adjustment (somewhat) to my way of interpreting what I would read in scripture. I am hoping this will help in the same way.

Again Thanks... P.S. The Africa Bible Commentary will most likely also get added to my Library...Wink

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DAL | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 22 2019 1:44 AM

Mike Binks:

Greetings Roy

I can't answer your question directly but I did use the Africa Bible Commentary as a companion to my reading plan a couple of years ago. Not radical but certainly a different slant on things and an insight to a culture that I am not often exposed to.

I agree 👍😁👌 One of my favorite One Volume Commentary.

DAL

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Veli Voipio | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 22 2019 2:10 AM

Mike Binks:

Greetings Roy

I can't answer your question directly but I did use the Africa Bible Commentary as a companion to my reading plan a couple of years ago. Not radical but certainly a different slant on things and an insight to a culture that I am not often exposed to.

I agree. It is not specifically African, just Western with some African slant.

I take an example:

"Lot’s wife failed to obey the instruction not to look back, and so she became a pillar of salt (19:26). There is no favouritism. Judgment comes upon all those who fail to adhere to the Lord’s instructions. She was offered the opportunity to escape, but she failed to obey. The grace of deliverance must be lived seriously. There is no place for looking back." Adeyemo, T. (2006). Africa Bible commentary (p. 39). Nairobi, Kenya; Grand Rapids, MI: WordAlive Publishers; Zondervan.

Well, while I was working in Africa, some there said the "looking back" means returning home (probably her father's home). She probably drew her own conclusions about her husband and met her fate perhaps along the Dead Sea beach. This makes much more sense than the traditional Western interpretation, although the theological statement is the same. I guess there are many more places where those kind of commentaries miss the really interesting views.

Gold package, and original language material and ancient text material, SIL and UBS books, discourse Hebrew OT and Greek NT. PC with Windows 8.1

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Robert M. Warren | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 22 2019 3:33 AM

Denise:
presentation to the Navajo. I first warned her, they wouldn't look at her during her talk ... disrespectful. And their metric of goodness was goodness ... theology was secondary.

Hmm...their idea of 'good' is what is good and God's idea of what is good (the objective of 'theology') is secondary. Kind of sounds just like every other culture that needs the Gospel. 

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 22 2019 10:54 AM

Robert M. Warren:
Hmm...their idea of 'good' is what is good and God's idea of what is good (the objective of 'theology') is secondary. Kind of sounds just like every other culture that needs the Gospel. 

Hmmm ... sound like a misreading of Denise's text. Her text read more like the Bible - good must be observable not just a mental image. May I suggest Misreading Scripture with Western Eyes: Removing Cultural Blinders to Better Understand the Bible?

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 22 2019 11:59 AM

MJ. Smith:

Robert M. Warren:
Hmm...their idea of 'good' is what is good and God's idea of what is good (the objective of 'theology') is secondary. Kind of sounds just like every other culture that needs the Gospel. 

Hmmm ... sound like a misreading of Denise's text. Her text read more like the Bible - good must be observable not just a mental image. May I suggest Misreading Scripture with Western Eyes: Removing Cultural Blinders to Better Understand the Bible?

Correct.  Christiandom has always struggled with the Navajo, since they easily see behavior, and thense hypocracy.

But, I wonder if Christiandom's success demands a blind eye to behavior?  That sounds bad, but there does seem a pattern (talking history and avoiding current events).


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Robert M. Warren | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 22 2019 6:25 PM
Good.

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David Paul | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 22 2019 6:59 PM

Denise:
But, I wonder if Christiandom's success demands a blind eye to behavior?

Ha!

Denise:
That sounds bad, but there does seem a pattern (talking history and avoiding current events).

Current events are the saturated fat of a Bible reader's diet.

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Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Feb 23 2019 9:16 AM

David Paul:

Denise:
But, I wonder if Christiandom's success demands a blind eye to behavior?

Ha!

Just to avoid misunderstanding (!), I was referring to the amenability of cultures to accepting Christiandom. And potentially the same amenability to rejecting Christiandom. We'd like to think it's Satan at work. But the alternative is more likely ... behavioral expectations.

I recently finished a book on statistical likelihoods within churches. For example, belief varience within a church is greater than between churches.  I've found that to be true ... even pastors.

So, now my wondering is at a more macro level. Ergo the commentary series 'Africa' or 'India' (both major mission destinations).


Posts 220
Jeremy White | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Feb 25 2019 10:48 AM

I think of more value is the other end of the exposition task, being application. It is often the case that two people can agree on exegesis but then diverge significantly as to how the text applies to their context.

I've heard a well-known US preacher look at the Parable of the Sower as a breakdown of the percentage of people who will accept the gospel that we should just accept (some people will never believe) - as opposed to a message I heard delivered by a non-Western pastor whose focus was more on how the soil should be prepared to maximize the amount of seed that falls on the good ground.

It is also of interest to me to see how cultures that don't have historical underpinnings of Judeo-Christian ethics apply Biblical truth. Bible translators often face this issue - for instance how to communicate certain Biblical concepts that hinge off an understanding about sheep - what do you do when culture (and therefore the language) does have any concept of sheep and their only domesticated animal is pigs? 

The book "Peace Child" https://ebooks.faithlife.com/products/44886/peace-child for instance details a culture where treachery and trickery is the highest virtue - they think that Judas is the hero of the gospel story!

This is the reason why I am interested in these types of resources.

Jeremy

A song I wrote and recorded : He Who Sits Upon The Throne

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Lee | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Feb 25 2019 12:38 PM

Well said. Yes

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