Jesus Through Eastern Eyes: 'Seminar Session Summaries'

Jesus Through Eastern Eyes: Understanding the Semitic Background of the NT.

Jesus Through Eastern Eyes: Understanding the Semitic Culture Background of the NT.

If you are considering participating in our live-streaming seminar (click here for details) on June 9 and 10, 2018, you may be interested in the content of each of the six sessions. Here are brief session summaries of each:

Session 1 – This Ain’t Kansas, Toto

Introduction to the importance of culture and context when interpreting and applying scripture; difference between Mid-Eastern/Semitic/Mediterranean culture and values and Western European (Baltic) values; the importance of understanding an honor and shame-based culture versus a European truth-guilt-falsehood culture; genealogies as they relate to honor and shame.

Session 2 – You Bastard Seed of Snakes

Challenge and Riposte, In-group/Out-group social bonding and interactions, individualist versus dyadic culture, fictive kin groups and embedding, love/hate, gender issues.  Understanding the significant cultural and interpersonal role played by the skillful use of insults in interpersonal relationships. Why many things in the gospels seem “harsh” or rude to us, but were normative for them.

Session 3 – Money – Who Had it and how they kept it!

Economics and commerce: Understanding a Patron-Client culture, understanding a worldview of finite resource and how it affects economics, capital, investment and interpersonal social interactions. Importing western assumptions of finance and capital upon the biblical text is a gross injustice to the text. Western presuppositional economic values did not exist at the time of Christ.

Session 4 – Living and Dying in First Century Roman Judea

Understanding daily life issues in first century Roman Judea: food and diet, life spans, geographic stereotypes, practices surrounding death and dying. Their daily existence was a brutal struggle to stay alive for everyone other than the elite.  When we as westerners think “we have it tough” and our problems are so hard, we have no idea what the people who heard Christ preach had to deal with every day of their short and miserable existence.

Session 5 –  Healing, Health, and the Kingdom Message

Understanding health and healing issues from a non-individualistic basis. The role of community integration in the worldview of health and healing; folk-healers and how they operated; the values differences between professional healers and miracle working folk healers, understanding the Semitic difference in understanding between sickness and disease: an individual’s place, function and relationships in the community were integral to their “healing.” First century people were generally in poor health and died very young of many horrible diseases. The element of Jesus’ ministry as a folk healer would have had a much bigger impact upon His audience as a central part of His message than it does for many modern people for whom the topic is at best an “addendum” to the gospel, if valued at all. 

Session 6 – The Lamb of Heaven and the New World Order

Interpersonal zones of interaction-what different bodily features represent metaphorically to a first century Semite; Jewish and Roman cosmology–how their cosmological imagery is different than ours and how it affects our interpretation; the “Lamb of God/heaven” – how did pagans understand the term as announcing a new world order, not just the Jews (and ours?!) understanding of a “spiritual salvation” issue. Jesus versus Caesar: Who is Lord?


Copyright 2018,  Dr. Stephen R. Crosby, Would you like to partner with us in distributing our materials and perhaps generate some income for yourself?  Please go to for details of our Affiliate program. This ministry is sustained by the freewill offerings of those believe in the message of a radical grace in a new covenant understanding. If this article has been a blessing to you, would you prayerfully consider making a contribution through our Paypal button to help? Stephanos Ministries is NOT a 501-c-3 corporation Click here to understand why. Thank you and God bless you


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