Tool 6: Bible Customs

Lesson ▪ 1997
Tags: Bible; Culture; Customs
Excerpted from Bridging the Gap: Developing Tools for Better Bible Understanding

An accurate interpretation of the Bible is often dependent on the reader’s understanding of the customs that are implied—but not necessarily explained—in the text. On the other hand, a lack of cultural insight is often the cause of inaccurate interpretation.

Students of the Bible whose native culture is non-Oriental must approach its contents cross-culturally; they must make mental effort to view cultural references through eyes other than their own.

It follows, then, that the tool of Bible customs, then, must be acquired by the serious Bible interpreter. Much of the biblical message is loaded with cultural content. Westerners are at a particular interpretative disadvantage, and must look through the lens of Oriental culture in order to bring biblical meaning into true focus.