Why is teaching the Bible in a mission training centre such a privilege? There are numerous ways of answering this but one of them was highlighted to me again today as I taught a couple of sessions on the background to the Gospels.

Our primary focus at Redcliffe is to equip students to live and work in cross-cultural contexts, whether in their home country or elsewhere. As we looked at the history, political and cultural background of the Gospels it struck me once again that reading the Bible is itself a cross-cultural experience.

The Bible was written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit by people very much unlike myself: different languages, different cultures, different ways of seeing the world. So just as we need to be aware of cultural similarities and differences when engaging with another culture, so too should we be mindful of the cultural (and other) baggage we bring to the text.

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