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Episode 174 Reading Scripture in Africa with Liz Mburu

Episode 174 Reading Scripture in Africa with Liz Mburu

Liz Mburu (pronounced BU-ru [the “M” is silent]) is an African New Testament scholar. 

She was resident at the Lanier Theological Library for six weeks in the fall of 2023.  While there she did research for her upcoming projects, and she lectured in a class for Truett Seminary in Houston. 

She sat down with David Capes on The Stone Chapel Podcasts to talk about how Africans read and interpret the Bible.

Who is Liz Mburu?

Liz Mburu is the Langham Literature Regional Coordinator for Africa and she also teaching New Testament courses for the Africa International University in Nairobi, Kenya. 

She lives in Kenya and has three adult children.  She did graduate studies in the United States and taught for a time at Montreat College in North Carolina.

Dr. Mburu’s first visit to the Lanier Theological Library came during the Covid outbreak when the Committee on Biblical Translation convened in the summer of 2021. 

This committee, headed by Dr. Doug Moo (retired Professor of New Testament, Wheaton College), is responsible for the ongoing work on the New International Version of Scripture. 

Liz is under contract to write the new edition of the commentary on 1, 2, 3 John for the Word Biblical Commentary. 

Reading Scripture in Africa

Dr. Mburu has written an important book entitled African Hermeneutics.  In that book she lays out a five-step method for reading Scriptures. 

It begins with the idea: How we read Scripture depends on our contextual perspective.  Our worldviews shape how we read Scripture and what we find valuable and important. 

It also assumes a characteristic, that is, we need Scripture as we approach Scripture.

Liz tells an interesting story about the tortoise and the hare from an African cultural perspective to illustrate how Africa culture differs from a western mind. 

The west has only a residue of honor-shame culture.  But it is a significant force in the way Africans perceive the world. 

Liz’s methods are not just for Africans.  They can be followed by any who want to read Scripture seriously.

More Resources

Click here for her book African Hermeneutics by Elizabeth Mburu (Langham Global Library, 2019)

She is also an active writer for the Africa Society of Evangelical Theology

You can find a transcript of this podcast here.

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You can get information on upcoming lectures at Lanier Theological Library by clicking here.

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