Category: NT

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 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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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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Does Christ Impute Honor?

The doctrine of “imputed righteousness” is a mainstay in Protestant theology. So naturally people ask, “Can we say that God imputes honor?” The biblical answer is clear and obvious—Yes! But to explain, a little bit of brush clearing is order.What
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To Be, or Not To Be … a Patron?

This post is part of the online conversation “Leading and Ministering in Honor-Shame Contexts” in April 2016. Click here to read reflections and insights from mission practioners. In many countries, patronage is the de facto socio-economic system.Patronage can be defined as “a reciprocal relationship between unequals.” The
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Honor-Shame in Jude and 2 Peter

Andrew M. Mbuvi (Ph.D., Westminster) is Associate Prof. of Biblical Studies and Hermeneutics at Shaw University Divinity School. His latest book is a commentary on Jude and 2 Peter (NCCS: Cascade, 2015). In this post, he summarizes the honor-shame dynamics
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The Meaning of God’s Grace

Dr. John Barclay is Lightfoot Professor of Divinity at Durham University. His latest book Paul & The Gift (Eerdmans, 2015) is being hailed as “pioneering” and “ground-breaking.” At the recent Society of Biblical Literature, several people called it “the most important book on Pauline
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Jesus’ Death, for Muslims

How is Jesus’ death good news for Muslims? Ten years ago this month EMQ published my article, “A Muslim Theology of Jesus’ Birth and Death.” Though it was well before I began thinking in “honor-shame” terms, I was surprised to see how much my ideas were already
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How Jesus Atones For My Shame

Guest Mako A. Nagasawa is a campus minister at Harvard and Boston College with the New Humanity Institute, and founding director of New Humanity Institute.“Don’t you know how much I sacrificed for you???” Those words shaped my sense of self,
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7 Reasons Jesus Has Supreme Honor

God acted decisively through Jesus Christ to confirm his glory and restore honor to the human family. Jesus, being the essence and perfect embodiment of God’s Honor, was uniquely qualified for the task. For Jesus to atone for sin, he
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Towards an “Honor Christology”

by Jayson Georges“Who do you say that I am?”—Jesus Your answer determines everything. Interestingly, this question was for Jesus’ disciples, not unbelievers. Who we say Jesus is doesn’t always match who he actually is (Mt 16:13-20). The limited Christology found in
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The Apostolic Honor Code (1 Pet)

How does God’s Kingdom reshape morality and ethics in honor-shame contexts?The most common proposal for Christian’s ethics in shame-based contexts is something like, “People should not care about other people’s opinions, but just do what is right. Get rid of all vestiges
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How Jesus Changed the Honor Code

Was Jesus teaching an “honor code”? One dimension of Jesus’ earthly ministry was helping people realign their notions of “honorability” and “shamefulness” with God’s values of honor and shame. Jesus’ teachings reveals how people access true and eternal honor from God
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