The Bible and Culture in Ethics Summary

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The Bible and Culture in Ethics
Phoebe Hailu
Summary 2
Bernard T. Adeney begins The Bible and Culture in Ethics by illustrating the importance of the Bible or the scripture in a Christian individual’s life. He quotes David Kelsey when he writes, “that its use in certain ways in the common life of the Christian community is essential to establishing and preserving the community’s identity,” referring to the scripture. The culture of the Bible, as Adeney describes, is determined by the reader. Different readers deem different readings important or applicable to their lives depending on the time that they are reading it. The Bible can be interpreted various ways which are all legitimate. He gives the example of Exodus 23:19 and whether one should take a literal translation of the word. He also mentions how one may wrongly think Korah to be doing the right thing, however given their cultural context during their time period, Korah was in fact disobeying Moses. Adeney concludes this section of the reading by saying, “Ethics in the Bible are contextual.” The one underlying force of the Bible that will never change is the character of God, which we should always rely on.

In the next section, Adeney encourages us to stop viewing the world through the lenses of our culture and use the Scriptures as our lenses. He describes how every person has their own perception of reality depending on the situation that they are in. Our reality affects every part of our living including how we act towards others. He states, “Christians learn to be good from the Bible by telling themselves and each other the story of their lives as a part of the story of the Bible.” But an issue we face with this is how to learn the story of the Bible. The Bible consists of many stories that any person can interpret in their own way or relate to their own life. Given the fact that each person has their own experiences, this can get confusing at times. This is an issue that Adeney...
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