Biblical Interpretation: Hellenistic and Hebrew Thought

When we come to the New Testament Epistles we must first grasp the difference in thinking. Between who? Between Jews and Hellenists (Greeks). Naturally by being westerners, who live in a society which descends primarily from Europe, the Greek thought has married itself to ours. I'd like to give a chart with a few differences which truly impact the original authors, and our interpretation of New Testament Epistles. 

Here's a few Books I'd Recommend (and where I learned most of the below):
  • Misreading Scripture with Western Eyes: Removing Cultural Blinders to Better Understand the Bible - E. Randolph Richards and Brandon J. O'Brien
  • Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes: Cultural Studies in the Gospels - by Kenneth E. Bailey

Hellenistic Approach
Hebraic Approach
Life analyzed in precise categories.
Everything blurs. "Holistic thinking"
A split between natural & supernatural
Supernatural affects everything.
Linear logic
Contextual / Circular
"Rugged Individualism"
Importance of being part of group
Equality of individual
Value in Clan / origin of person
Desire to be Free
Desire to be Safe
Competition is good
Competition is better
Man-centered universe
God/tribe/family-centered universe
Worth of person based on money/material possessions/power
Worth derived from relationships
Biological life sacred
Social life supremely important
Chance causes
God causes
All is Material
All is Spiritual / spiritually empowered
Linear time divided into neat segments. Each event is new.
Cyclical or spiraling time. Similar events constantly reoccur.
History is recording facts chronologically.
History is recording truths 
Oriented to the future
Oriented to lessons of history
Change is good = progress
Change is bad = destruction of traditions
Material goods = personal achievement
Material goods = measure of God’s blessing
Blind faith
Knowledge-based faith

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