…. on a new way of looking at the New Testament ….

“At a General Assembly luncheon in Birmingham, Alabama, in 2006, the then executive presbyter of Shenango Presbytery, David Dawson, introduced Kenneth E. Bailey as “the most important New Testament scholar in our generation.” ….five years before [Bailey’s memorial service was in California last May (2016),] Jim Walther, a New Testament scholar at Pittsburgh [Theological] Seminary [said,] “Ken’s work will be discovered and become widely influential fifty years from now.” (Pittsburgh, PA)
—Presbyterian Outlook

“In the introduction to the revised edition, Bailey laments the near invisibility of Arab Christians in the West today. Though “there are more Arabic-speaking Christians in the Middle East than Jews in the entire world,” he explains, most Westerners continue to think that all Arabs are Muslims. This is a tragedy for Western scholars of the Bible as the traditional languages of their Middle Eastern counterparts (Syriac, Coptic and Arabic) are generally unknown in the West. Though Western biblical scholars learn Hebrew and Greek, for 1,500 years they have been cut off from Eastern scholars who, Bailey writes, “are inheritors of the traditional culture of the Middle East and thereby the culture of the Bible.””

“In “The Cross & the Prodigal” and in all the books that followed, Bailey attempted to fill this lacuna in biblical scholarship by analyzing the stories of the Bible in terms of Middle Eastern culture as he learned and experienced it over the course of his long career. He also shared these stories with Middle Easterners in classrooms and villages in order to test his ideas and gain new insights. In addition, he studied medieval translations of the Bible in Syriac, Coptic and Arabic; examined Hebrew sources such as the Babylonian Talmud and the Midrash Rabbah; and consulted Arabic Christian scholars (both medieval writers such as Ibn al-Tayyib and modern writers such as Matta al-Miskin) to tap into their cultural observations as well.”

“Bailey’s most important book may be “Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes: Cultural Studies in the Gospels,” published in 2008. [He] gives prominence to those aspects of the Gospel story that have been misunderstood or overlooked because of Western ignorance of Middle Eastern culture.”

Kenneth Bailey: A scholar with a new way of looking at the New Testament

Kenneth E. Bailey’s first and
perhaps most well-known book

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s