oa Conspectus : The Journal of the South African Theological Seminary - Honour and Shame in the New Testament - research

Volume 2018 Number Special Edition
  • ISSN : 1996-8167



A visitor to the Middle East is confronted by a bewildering mixture of ancient and modern, existing more or less happily side by side. Outside of an archaeological excavation, or a museum, there remains very little to put him or her in touch with the world of the Bible. But, at the same time, the visitor, has an awareness of the distance between themselves and this world. Unfortunately, when we read the Bible, familiarity with the text has virtually destroyed any sense of strangeness one might once have felt and the necessary sense of distance is lost. Consequently, we recreate the biblical stories and characters in the garb of our own time, and invest them with our own sets of values and culture. In the process we lose much of the original setting and colour. Cultural anthropology is one of the methods used by scholars of the Bible, to remind people of the gulf between twentieth-century Christianity and the world of Jesus, the wandering teacher from Galilee. The careful use of models, drawn from contemporary societies, enable us to re-enter the world of the Bible and to re-capture something of its rich diversity.

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