In every society, many cultures are present. Additionally, every culture is laced with presuppositions that undergird interactions between its members. Often, these presuppositions go unstated and unnoticed. Because the Bible was authored in different times and cultures by different people, different subtexts may be present within biblical texts that are not readily discernible to the modern reader. This article will demonstrate that since cultural presuppositions are often not obvious, considering different cultures, both ancient and contemporary, is a necessary step for an in-depth study of Scripture.
This article compares the culture of the United States to a couple of other modern cultures to illustrate both spoken and unspoken differences between them. Furthermore, an inductive Bible study with emphasis on ancient cultural practices and their relevance to the interpretation is outlined to further demonstrate the importance of acknowledging cultural presuppositions.
By examining the story told in the book of Ruth, it is easy to perceive how culture played a role in what was written. An even closer look shows that culture most likely played a role in what was unwritten as well. The examination of other modern cultures shows how a limited perspective of Scripture can fail to illuminate certain details within the text, and how broadening one’s perspective can help to unlock truths previously unnoticed. Therefore, the study of Scripture from both the perspective of other cultures and from the perspective of the cultures in which the text was written is an important aspect of inductive Bible study and thorough Scriptural examination.
Capps, Evan W.
"Culture's Impact on Scriptural Interpretation,"
Diligence: Journal of the Liberty University Online Religion Capstone in Research and Scholarship: Vol. 8
, Article 1.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.liberty.edu/djrc/vol8/iss1/1