n Missionalia : Southern African Journal of Mission Studies - Cross-cultural Paul : Journeys to others, journeys to ourselves, Charles H. Cosgrove, Herold Weiss and Khiok-khng YEO : book review

Volume 34, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0256-9507



The Apostle Paul was a cross-cultural missionary, a Hellenistic Jew who sought to be 'all things to all people' in order to win them to the gospel (1 Corinthians 9:19-23). He may have been at least modestly trilingual, fluent in Greek, but also able in a rudimentary way to read and communicate in Hebrew and Aramaic. He became such a champion of the gentiles that some of his Jewish compatriots accused him of disloyalty to his own people. But Paul was not cross-cultural in a modern sense. The modern concept of 'culture' refers to an integrated pattern of beliefs and practices. Paul did not think of cultures in the plural (p. 3), of each culture as an integrated symbolic world with its own inner logic, or of these worlds as social constructions (something human beings make). He did not distinguish nature and society (culture) the way we do.

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