Category: Bible

Esther 1 (HSP)

Here is an honor-shame paraphrase of Esther, chapter 1. This is excerpted from the new book Esther: An Honor-Shame Paraphrase, available as Kindle or PDF for $2.99. A long time ago, the king of Persia was a man named Ahasuerus. His glorious kingdom included 127 provinces from
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The Meaning of Romans 3:23

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”  That is how most English Bibles translate Romans 3:23. Western Christianity typically interprets these words as, “Every individual person has done something wrong and not lived up to God’s
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The Problem of “Grace” in English Bibles

All Bible translations face a problem—the cultural gap between the Bible and contemporary readers. English words evoke Western assumptions and values that are unlike those of biblical writers. The word “grace” (Greek: charis) is a good example of this problem of
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The Meaning of “Faith”

The latest issue of the magazine Modern Reformation includes my article “Talking About Faith in Non-Western Contexts.” This article explains the biblical meaning of “faith” in terms of patron-client relationships and recent New Testament scholarship. The opening paragraphs are included below, and
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Communion, from an Honor-Shame Perspective

God is the “King of Glory.” God does not have honor. He is honor. Glory radiates from his very being. He is the One who bestows and grants honor upon us. God is the only source of honor. David says,
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1 Peter 2:1–12 (HSP)

Here is an honor-shame paraphrase of 1 Peter 2:1–12. This is excerpted from the new book 1 Peter: An Honor-Shame Paraphrase, available as Kindle or PDF for $2.99. Put away the habits of your shameful past: degrading speech, manipulation, wearing a mask, status
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1 Peter: An Honor-Shame Paraphrase

My newest book is now available—1 Peter: An Honor-Shame Paraphrase ($2.99). Previous posts explain the cultural problem of all translations and how an Honor-Shame Paraphrase helps overcome the cultural gap.  The epistle of 1 Peter explains the gospel in terms of honor
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The Honor-Shame Paraphrase

Reading the Bible across cultures can be difficult; however, the task is certainly not impossible. With cultural awareness, people today can accurately interpret the Bible by bridging the cultural gap between our world and the biblical world. The Honor-Shame Paraphrase
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The Problem with Bible Translations: Your Culture

Anyone who reads the Bible today faces an unavoidable fact—Scripture was originally written in and for a culture different than our own culture. This makes the Bible difficult to understand. Consider the meaning of these words: He whistled at her,
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Improving Anselm’s Atonement Theory

Anselm’s satisfaction theory (explanation here) has shaped Western atonement theory. Unfortunately, Anselm’s theology “went wrong” in two ways: (1) Anselm himself overlooked key parts of biblical theology, and (2) then latter theologians misinterpreted Anselm.  Making Anselm More Biblical Anselm’s Cur
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Can You Shame God?

Can you shame God? The biblical answer is yes. Though this may initially sound sacrilegious, the fact that people shame God pervades scripture and profoundly impacts your relationship with God. People despise and scorn God. In other words, we fail to
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Lausanne Article: “Honor & Shame in God’s Mission”

The latest issue of the Lausanne Global Analysis includes my article “Honor & Shame in God’s Mission.” This short primer (1,600 words) is available online for free, so functions as a 5-minute introduction to honor-shame. The article explains: (1) the meaning of honor & shame,
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Set of 30 Bible Stories about Honor & Shame

Biblical writers communicated God’s honor for the shamed through stories. Narratives recount how God saves his people from disgrace and displays honor.Here is a story set of 30 biblical narratives that address honor and shame. For a more complete list ,
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4 Benefits of Learning about Honor & Shame

Why learn about honor and shame? Here are four benefits.1. HermeneuticsI once saw a Turkish person read Jesus’ parable of the prodigal son (Lk 15). He read the opening verse about the son asking for his inheritance, closed the Bible, and declared, “That
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Shame & Honor—Are They “New” Ideas?

Sandra Freeman has served with her husband in Botswana since 2001 doing discipleship and business mentoring. She blogs at “Edge of the Kalahari.”Someone recently expressed concern about honor and shame, saying they are normally cautious about new ideas. I agree it
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Honor & Patronage Among Church Leaders

Patricia Toland (Ph.D. in Intercultural Studies, Biola University) has served in Africa and Latin America since 1990 mobilizing the Latino church and training Latino Missionaries. She also lectures, trains, and ministers internationally to missionaries on the field and in universities.
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New Book: Ministering in Honor-Shame Cultures (IVP)

My latest book Ministering in Honor-Shame Cultures: Biblical Foundations and Practical Essentials (InterVarsity Press) is now available.This 270-page book equips Christians to proclaim and embody the gospel in honor-shame contexts. Our aim was simple: to show how honor-shame is central
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Sarah & Hagar: A Struggle for Honor

Dr. Marvin J. Newell is Senior Vice President of Missio Nexus, a network that connects evangelical mission agencies, churches and training centers across North America. He served over two decades in Indonesia and teaches at Moody and Western. This article
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NEW: Spanish Resources

The Latin America church has exploded in the 20th century, and is joining God’s mission to the nations in amazing ways. For those partnering and ministering in Latin America, here are some honor-shame resources now available in Spanish.  El evangelio en 3DThe 3D
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Honor & Shame in God’s Revelation (1 Kgs 22)

Martin Munyao (Th.M., Daystar Academy of Nairobi) was a pastor and theology teacher in Kenya. He is earning his Ph.D. at Concordia Theological Seminary.How did God use Israel’s cultural dynamics of honor-shame to reveal himself? As an example, we take the
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