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Interpreting the Bible With the Poor
  • Larry W. Caldwell
DOI: 10.7252/Paper.000017
Association of Professors of Mission 2013 - Workshop Paper #3
Publication Date
First Fruits Press
  • Association,
  • of,
  • Professors,
  • Mission,
  • APM,
  • Conference,
  • Papers,
  • 2013


Good Bible interpretation is basic to the doing of good theology and missiology. It is foundational to individual and cultural transformation, especially among the poor. Such interpretation involves exegeting both the biblical text and the culturally-specific audience with whom the Bible interpreter is attempting to communicate that text. While the theory of this Two Step approach has dominated western and non-western theology/missiology, in reality the exegesis of the biblical text has far overshadowed the exegesis of the culture of the audience. This paper will attempt to better understand the interplay between textual and cultural exegesis in the context of ministry with the poor by asking: How might this Two Step approach be enhanced in order to help the poor do better Bible interpretation and thus theology/missiology? This question will be answered in three parts. Part 1 will set Bible interpretation in its worldwide context by examining the relationship between colonization and theological/ missiological education, followed by an examination of Bible interpretation and the constituencies it serves. Part 2 will focus on whether or not courses and curricula are truly contextualized for the worldwide church and the need for “lower-based” training programs and “border” pedagogies, including a case study from the Philippines specifically addressing the urban poor. Part 3 examines strategies for professors and institutions as they endeavor to exegete both the biblical text and the culture of the audience. The paper concludes with practical suggestions to help make Bible interpretation with the poor more relevant and engaging within their local contexts.

Call Number
BV2090 .S624 / BV2020 .A876 2013
Citation Information
Larry W. Caldwell. Interpreting the Bible With the Poor. Wilmore, Ky.(2013)
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