I constantly emphasize that if we are going to understand the Bible we must do so in its historical context. Cultures differ depending on where you live in the world today. In the ancient past too cultures significantly differed and we are veritable foreigners to that world. In the video lectures below, New Testament scholar Dr David deSilva takes us through the major cultural values that influenced the ancient Mediterranean world of which the Bible belonged to. Without these indispensable cultural lenses we will inevitably misread scripture.
As you go through these illuminating lectures, if you are familiar with the Bible and particularly the New Testament, you will begin to notice there are many resonances and references to the literature and by extension the larger cultural world. By knowing what people in the New Testament valued, you will better understand the concerns and issues they addressed in the text. This has been particularly helpful to me because I have heard a lot of remarks that the ancient world had an honour-shame value system without a clear explanation of what that meant. This lecture does that clearly and concisely. I hope you enjoy and benefit from it as much as I have.