The Influence of the Honor/Shame Culture in the New Testament Writings

Teaching the New Testament presents a challenge to the modern preacher. To accurately impart the message of the Bible, he must step into the world of the first century. Before applying the Biblical text to the modern day listener, he must initially seek to enter the world of the original audience. To understand the history of the text, the preacher must take into account many factors including knowledge of the language and culture as well as authorial intent. While the truth of God’s Word is eternal, the culture in which the author penned the Scripture is not. Fee summarizes the importance of this as he writes; “Good exegesis must be a combination of the historical and theological, without being predetermined by the hermeneutical question.”[1] Each preacher must work to find the full truth of each passage before yielding its proper application. This cannot be done without a clear understanding of the many historical aspects that influence the final text of the New Testament.