Mind of the Scriptures ...thinking the way of the Scriptures

The difference between Eastern and Western thinking

Difference Between Eastern and Western Culture Minds

Western Culture Mind

Most people in the Western Hemisphere, including the United States and Western Europe think, act, and respond to life as Westerners, meaning they rely more on concrete facts – more abstract thinking.  Their thinking is more lineal, which begins with a thought and follows a lineal direction toward an ending.  In other words, there is a beginning and an end to every story. 

Eastern Cullture Mind

Every book of the Bible, on the other hand, was written by Easterners who came from a different time, culture, socio-economical and governmental/political structure 2000 - 3500 years ago.   These authors who thought Eastern, wrote Eastern, and wrote to an audience who were all Eastern-thinking people.  The authors were Eastern in nature, meaing they were more cyclical in their thinking and eastern thinking is about relationsips.   

The authors of the Bible were Eastern in nature, meaning they were more cyclical in their thinking. Their thoughts keep revolving back to its beginning and grows in cycles.  It is all about relationships. What was in the beginning stays in motion all through history.  What you read in the Book of Genesis really is no different than what you read at the end of the Book of Revelation.  God meant for all His creation, even in the Book of Revelation, to be just like what He created in the Book of Genesis.  The Bible is written about people, their relationships to one another and to their God, and it became a revolving, cyclical book.

The difference between...

As such, if you give a story to a Westerner and an Easterner, they would each process and reiterate the story in two different ways. In other words, each would come up with a different conclusion. The westerners would look at the facts and view it as a process to an end, maybe even as a historical one of facts. The Easterners, on the other hand, would look at the people, their relationship to one another, and go into detail about their lives. The essence of the story would be the intermingling of their lives together. Nothing would come to an end, because relationships are meant to last forever. This is way of the Bible - it is cyclical in nature, and it keeps revolving, having no end.

The Bible is a cyclical book about relationships and never ends

When you learned about Abraham in the Book of Genesis, you find that it is a foundation of relationships. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, the 12 tribes of Israel. continuing on to King David, then to Jesus, teaching that Jews and Christians alike must come to Him, tells us that our lives are all intertwined with one another. You see Abraham in the Book of Genesis and in the Book of Hebrews in the New Testament. God always brings you back to the roots of what He wants His people to know.

How to think like the authors of the Bible

To become Eastern in your thinking means you need to get into the head of the author of the book you are studying.  For instance, when you read any of the writings of the Apostle Paul, as he was inspired by the Holy Spirit, you must ask yourself, what did the apostle mean back 2000 years ago in a culture that is unfamiliar to me.  That will drive you to study about the times of the life of Paul, his culture, customs, his socio/economical/political culture, and everything you can learn about him and his times.  You can't always read the scriptures in its own context, but often, you need to study that scripture with the rest of the author's writings.  And ultimately, you will learn that you must always study scripture and compare it with other scripture, regardless of its author.  As a result, you will have a better understanding of what the original author intended when he wrote the scriptures.  

Knowing all this, this may teach you to disregard what you may have thought you knew about a certain passage of scripture, and instead, learn, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to study the Word of God in a deeper manner to discover its true meaning for you today. Then you can apply what you learned to your life today, which is centuries later, living in a different culture, and carry the correct meaning. That way, you can then rightly divide the Word of God to mean what the author intended to say to you. .2 Tim 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. KJV

Written by Pastor Joyce A. Erickson

Believers Bible School, Founder https://believersbibleschool.com/