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Culture and context

February 23, 2011

I have written previously about how some people struggle with the violent nature of some of the Old Testament. I’ve been reading over at “Living Spirituality” and Greg has posted on the subject The Violent God? It is an interesting read.

I think it is helpful to remember as Greg calls it, “The progressive unfolding of the revelation of God in Scripture.” Hebrews 1:1-2 puts it this way, “In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son…”

God speaks to us in context. In the Old Testament the culture was very violent. God spoke to them in ways they understood. In the Old Testament we read, “eye for eye” in context this was a statement of grace because in that culture people retaliated tenfold.

In the New Testament the culture was different again and Paul’s letters address many cultural issues that we don’t struggle with today. However by studying the Bible and understanding the context we learn to hear God’s heart and then we know how God wants us to live in our context.

by Susan Barnes
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Susan Barnes

~ writer of insightful posts about God and faith