Eastern vs. Western Mindset – What You Need to Know to Understand the Bible Better

I’ve been fortunate to be living in the East for around ten years. I love living here because I see the eastern way of life as much more natural and certainly more stress-free.

So although it can be a hassle to work out the matters to do with visas and flights in order to continually live in the East, the benefits of living here far outweigh these few negative points.

And although some of the greatest advantages of living in the East are a lower cost of living in general, as well as many choices of living affordably in places not infected with urbanization and commercialization, the most important reason which keeps me here is the eastern mindset.

Some of my readers say that watching my videos makes them feel relaxed, and this is due to the fact that I have “easternized” my mind, so to speak, to quite a great degree. As I’ve already told, the traditional eastern way of life is stress-free. It has nothing to do with competition or working in a toxic environment because of a good pay (and by this I mean the traditional and not the westernized way of life, which is creeping into the East).

It takes time to understand another mindset

Westerners who have never lived in the East cannot understand the Eastern way of life and thinking. It takes time to really understand the way easterners view the world because it’s in almost complete opposition to the way that we think.

If you are attentive, it will take at least a year of living in a traditional eastern environment to really understand how easterners view the world, and that’s only if you are attentive. I know this because I came to know many westerners who live in the East who do not understand how the orientals think, even though they might have been living in the East for twenty or thirty years.

Most westerners will never come to find out that the eastern mind is opposite to the western mind. And that’s a big problem, especially when you base your whole life on the book that was mainly given to the eastern culture, which is the Bible.

Many Westerners make the mistake of reading the Bible through their modern lens. And when this is coupled with prejudiced English translations, the result is thousands of interpretations leading to thousands of denominations all thinking they are right.

Opposite mindsets

Here are some major differences between the East and the West. Westerners tend to talk more than listen. In fact, listening is so rare in the West, that even when westerners listen, they don’t really listen, but wait for their turn to speak, and think in their minds what to say next.

Traditional easterners, on the other hand, tend to not only carefully listen, but to read your body language as well, and because westerners are focused on getting their message across, they completely miss this careful analysis that is taking place of them by the orientals. This, of course, gives the orientals a better understanding of who you are, and westerners don’t get this kind of understanding of the easterners, since they are focused on themselves and their message.

When Westerners visit traditional eastern countries, they appear loud and obnoxious to the easterners, because westerners assume that the whole world thinks and acts like them, which is totally false. So we get women like this appearing in a traditional Indian village (and I have nothing against this woman, I’m just using her picture as an example):

Western style

And then you get traditional Indian women looking like this:

Indian style

(I’m sure Satan laughs at the fact that we as Christians who are supposed to be the light of the world look more pagan than those people who don’t know God.)

So such women coming straight from the West, without doing any research about the Eastern culture, assume that easterners view them in the same light as they view themselves, when in fact they view such foreign women as prostitutes. I know it sounds harsh, but that’s how average Indian people, both men and women, see us. And because there are so many women dressing in such a disrespectful way, Indians think all western women to be of loose morals.

So those western women who care to research the culture and dress modestly are still seen as morally loose, because of many tourists dressing in revealing clothes as well as the impact of Hollywood movies.

I know many Indians would deny this, and that’s again because of the culture. In their culture it’s acceptable to lie if that lie will cause another person to feel better about themselves. And since they are community-oriented, they do not want to be the cause of their nation being seen in a negative light, therefore they would rather lie than to cause such a thing.

In their culture, revealing clothes are not even worn by prostitutes. In their culture, kissing in public is seen as pornographic. In their traditional movies couples never kiss; and so when they see women dressed in such a disrespectful way and being loud and lawless, they don’t see this as an expression of freedom, but as an insult to the womanhood.

And interestingly, although westerners are individualistic, they are globalists; many view humans of different nations and races as equals and entitled to equal opportunities; many speak in the same way to the people of any culture or occupation, seeing them simply as a fellow human.

Yet Indians, although they are community-oriented, see a foreigner as a complete stranger, and do not even feel the common ground of being of the same sex, for example. They stand for their community, and they view those not belonging to their community as complete strangers that can be cheated and lied to, because they don’t belong to their community.

That sense of community can extend to as a large group of people as a state within India, but that’s how far it goes. Different states view each other as total strangers; most westerners don’t know that India is not unified in this sense – different states maintain totally separate identities; that’s why you see a different way of life, dressing and even different foods across different Indian states.

Individuality vs. community

Community is everything to them. Those who have to live apart from the community due to work or study experience large amounts of stress and some even commit suicide; they are so community-oriented that they cannot imagine how a person could live alone and enjoy it. In their minds, this is one of the worst things that could happen to a human being.

For example, when I was renting a house from a traditional Indian family, whenever the grandmother from that family would find herself at home alone, she would come to talk to me. She wanted to escape the time alone at all costs. Most people would think she would feel relieved having some private time, but that’s the opposite of how she felt!

It’s usual for a thirty-year-old male to be living in his parents’ house. In traditional places, people never live on their own. They always stay with their families, and when they get married, a woman leaves her family and moves into the husband’s family. So they never experience what it’s like to live alone.

Not even nuclear families work in the traditional East, since they are used to living with extended families. In the past houses in Kerala (South India), were huge – because several generations would live under the same roof. The houses were so big that they even had an open courtyard in their centres:

Old Kerala house

We find the same thing in Egypt, where the centre of the house was the family area.

So their whole life revolved around their community. Men stayed with men in one part of the house, and women stayed with women in another. They even had different entryways to the house! It’s even usual today in traditional families for grandparents (who are married to each other) to live in the same house yet to never speak to one another – because they communicate with their own sex most of the time.

Westerners falsely assume that when they see men in India holding hands, they must be homosexuals. Actually those are best friends; such closeness is seen as a sign of friendship, yet the Western mind cannot see it in this way.

So westerners who don’t know anything about the eastern culture read the Bible passage about two men sleeping in one bed (Luke 17:34), and assume they must be homosexuals. Firstly, the word “men” is a KJV addition and is not in the original, but it’s likely that that’s exactly what was meant, because in the East two men can sleep in one bed if they get tired, or they work together, or because they are good friends, and there’s absolutely nothing sexual involved.

So can you see how westerners can misinterpret Bible verses as they view what’s written through the lens of their own culture?

Indian culture is much more similar to Hebrew than Western

And although ancient Hebrew culture is not identical to the Indian culture since Hebrews knew real God and Indians always worshipped demons, both of these cultures share the eastern mindset, and therefore the Indian mind is much closer to the Hebrew mind than the western mind.

Also, since Satan wants to usurp the throne of God and pretend to be God, you can notice some very similar ways of worshipping demons in the East to the way that Hebrews worshipped YHWH, such as burning incense, blood sacrifice, singing and dancing before their demonic deities, and other practises that Satan and fallen angels introduced for their worship.

So we can learn a great deal about the Hebrew way of thinking and acting from the way that traditional communities of the East live today. My experience of living in the East combined with the research on the Hebrew mindset convinced me that traditional Indians of today (villagers and not the elite families that are very westernized) think in a very similar way to how Hebrews used to think.

Though now, in my opinion, most Israelites are much more similar in the way that they think to the Greeks rather than to the ancient Hebrews due to the hellenization process, and because many of them have been living in the West for a long time.

Jerusalem in the second century BC had to experience an official hellenizing programme which the elite Jews embraced, which shows that the gradual hellenizing of Jews that started from the fourth century BC (and was most intense in the second century BC) was quite successful.

This hellenization process which started from the fourth century BC affected many countries – even India. And from then on the western mind always wanted to impose itself on the eastern. Therefore, now it would be hard to find a pure eastern mind, maybe even impossible. It’s a miracle that the eastern way of life exists at all, after more than 2000 years of the western influence, and this attests that the eastern way of life is more natural, and therefore harder to turn away from.

To give you an idea of how different the eastern way of life is from the western, we can take travel as an example. Travelling for pleasure is a very usual activity in the West. Yet such an activity is totally foreign to the traditional East.

Travel in Eastern countries was only associated with two things – pilgrimages and visiting relatives. These were and are in most traditional eastern cultures today the only reasons why people would leave their homes to travel someplace else. And when they do travel for the purpose of visiting some temple or relative, they never do it alone, but only with families (with the exception of men travelling with other men to visit temples for men, for example). And here I’m talking about the traditional way of life, and not the westernized way that the wealthy Indians, for example, try to adopt these days.

The difference in the understanding of religion

The same applies to religion. In the West religion is an aspect of one’s life. In the East, it’s the totality of life. Religion in the East is everything. It’s the background in which everything takes place. In the mind of a westerner, however, religion can be totally divorced from other aspects of one’s life.

In fact, neither in Hebrew nor in Aramaic can we find the word which means “religion”! That’s because serving God was their way of life, it wasn’t something compartmentalized and labelled as an aspect of one’s life as it is in the West. It wasn’t some kind of a thought-form detached from the everyday life – it was their life, so there was no need to philosophise about such a concept.

This kind of compartmentalization of the mind allows people to be very religious when they are in churches, but then to be very cruel to their family members. As you see, this is the mark of the Greek mind – to divorce different aspects of life from one another, so that everything is put into separate boxes and no connection is allowed to be made between them.

Community-oriented life

Since Easterners are community oriented, they travel in families, eat with families, celebrate with families, and do everything else with families. In some languages they don’t even have the word for “privacy”, like in Bangladesh, for example – because it doesn’t exist. Something that we cherish as westerners is completely foreign to their way of life. We view ourselves as individuals and put ourselves first; but they view themselves as parts of a community, and in many cases even today put others first, especially women who make great sacrifices for the well-being of their family.

Jesus, of course, also had the eastern mindset, since He told that the greatest love is to sacrifice your life for your friends (John 15:13).

Since I’m currently in Nepal, this community-oriented mindset is obvious as well. For example, when I travel on the bus, I often witness strangers taking on their laps the children of other passengers if there’s no place to sit. Also, people who carry bags and have no place to sit simply put them on the laps of those who sit, sometimes without even asking for their permission, and nobody thinks it strange.

Apostles also taught new believers to carry each other’s burdens (Galatians 6:2).

So in the East people still think themselves inseparable from the whole, but we lost this kind of thinking. YHWH also had the same understanding – that we are part of the whole, and not independent of the whole. That’s why He told us not to turn away from our flesh and blood, meaning that we should care for the poor. So He called other people our “flesh and blood” (Isaiah 58:7).

In the Bible, this mindset is also obvious from the sacrifices of individuals made for the community. For example, Moses would rather have his own name deleted from the book of life than choose the extermination of his community, as we read in Exodus 32:32 when he said to YHWH:

Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written.

In the Old Testament we also read how Esther risked her own life in order to save her people (Esther 4).

We also see this community-mindedness of YHWH in the fact that those who openly transgressed the law were stoned. This was done for the well-being of the whole community, so that the sin wouldn’t spread.

You would not keep a rotting limb but cut it off, so that the rest of the body doesn’t get corrupted. So YHWH instituted preventative measures so that the whole community is not corrupted from lawless individuals.

YHWH cannot be understood with the Greek mind

This is also seen from YHWH’s orders to destroy entire nations and sometimes even their animals. A compartmentalized Greek mind views this with horror; it doesn’t connect the dots of why YHWH would order to wipe out entire nations with even animals.

It cannot comprehend why sometimes not even possessions are allowed to be taken from the defeated nations, and why sometimes the possessions are allowed to be taken; why sometimes animals are killed, and why sometimes they are kept alive. Why sometimes women and children are killed, and why sometimes they are allowed to live.

The answer is in the Bible, but the compartmentalized mind which focuses on details and cannot connect the dots cannot see it. The reason YHWH ordered to wipe out entire nations and not even to take their belongings is because those nations were cursed; their DNA was corrupted by fallen angels, and evil spirits dwelt in their unclean, genetically-modified animals. We see how those animals probably have looked like from the Greek and Egyptian ancient paintings and reliefs.

We can make such conclusions about YHWH’s decisions by paying attention to the Bible passages about giants dwelling among those evil nations; and that in Genesis it was told that the DNA mixing between humans and angels took place.

Everything these creatures touched was cursed, therefore nothing of them was allowed to stay. Were they not wiped out, they would have corrupted the entire world through inter-marriages with pure humans. They had to be wiped out for the well-being of the children of Adam and Eve.

On the other hand, those who were not corrupted DNA-wise but had reprobate minds, were wiped out but their cattle were allowed to live, and possessions could be taken. There might be other reasons for YHWH’s selective dealings with different evil nations, but these are the reasons that I see.

So we see that YHWH is community-oriented, and therefore Hebrews were community-oriented as well. But although community is very important to easterners, I see that Indians (and maybe this was true for Israelites as well, though not to the leaders of Israel) keep their family first in their minds, and that family order is most important.

The husband is the head, and even if he is obnoxious, all family suffers rather than changing the order of the family or leaving the husband. The most important thing for them is to uphold the order. This order is more important than personal happiness.

In the West, however, it’s the opposite. Everyone is their own master, there is no order as everyone does what’s right in their own eyes. Everyone lives by their own interpretation of what’s right. Today people can even decide whether they are male or female, which depends on how they feel, and not what is actually true.

And the result of this is chaos and unhappiness. Sure, if a husband in a traditional eastern family is obnoxious, He will have to answer to God about his mistreatment of the family; but the suffering family will be considered as not having sinned, because they respected the divine order of the family.

And although it might be hard for us to understand this way of thinking, and we might even consider it unfair, that’s the biblical understanding of the way of life as well, because we read, for example, that Sarah’s handmaid was asked by an angel to return back to her mistress, though she was mistreated by her. She wasn’t admonished for having ran away, but the advice was to go back to her mistress.

So although it’s hard for us to understand it, people of the East were and are willing to sacrifice their personal happiness for the sake of upholding the order within the family.

Three tests to determine which mindset you have

But we, as westerners, have pagan minds because we were conditioned in this way since our births, through our parents, schools, universities, and so forth.

Our minds have been changed from the way that they would naturally function to the Greek way. This was done through the conditioning received from our parents that also had their minds changed, as well as through kindergartens, schools and universities. This unnatural mind makes it difficult for us to understand other cultures, and to understand what the Bible really says.

Here are three tests that you can take to see which mindset you have.

I saw this first test (and the rest) in one of Jeff A. Benner’s videos but I didn’t write the title down so I had to find a similar picture for this test.

In this test easterners and westerners were asked whether they thought that the boy was smiling in this picture or not:

Eastern vs. Western mindset test

Both easterners and westerners believed that the middle boy was smiling.

Then this picture was shown, and easterners and westerners were again asked to decide whether the boy in the middle was smiling or not:

Eastern vs. Western mindset test

Westerners again believed that the middle boy in the picture was smiling.

Easterners, however, were of a different opinion. They reasoned that the boy could not smile in this picture, since his friends were unhappy. So in their minds it meant that the middle boy was just pretending to be happy, but could not be so in reality, since his friends were unhappy.

As you can see, this test clearly showed that our mindset will influence the way that we see the world; and different people may see the same situation in completely different ways.

Here is another test which will show the difference between the mindset of ancient Hebrews and the Greek mindset.

Describe the object that you see in this picture:

Hebrew mindset test

You have likely described this object as having sharp tines, as maybe being made of silver, and having a beautiful design on it.

But the way that this fork would be described by ancient Hebrews is this – that you eat with it.

The Greek mind, therefore, focuses on the appearance of an object; but the ancient Hebrew mind focuses on the function of the object, which is a big difference.

Why did Jesus say that we are the salt of the earth?

If salt is described using a Greek mindset, we get “white powder” that gives no insight into the words of Jesus. But if we look at salt through the Hebrew mind as well as minding their ancient culture, we come to the conclusion that makes total sense.

Salt was used to prevent corruption of foods since Israelites lived in a hot climate and had no fridges; and the purpose of salt is also to enhance the taste of foods. So we are the salt of the earth because we prevent the corruption of the world, and because of us the world becomes more acceptable to YHWH (and therefore the world is saved from total destruction), just like some foods that aren’t that tasty become tasty by adding salt to them.

When Jesus called as the light of the world, we should also search for the meaning of this saying by looking at the function of light. Its function is to remove darkness. And we were also called the city that’s set on a hill. Such a city is seen by everyone, therefore we, as followers of Jesus, should stand out, and we should live in a way that people get convicted in their own minds for their dark deeds.

Here is another test that will help you to understand the Hebrew mind better.

What’s beyond the horizon?

Hebrew mindset test

You might have said that there might be trees, or rivers, or a plain beyond the horizon.

The way that the ancient Hebrews would answer this question, is this – that nothing is beyond the horizon.

That’s because they cannot see what’s there, so they think there’s nothing. They only believe in that which they can see and touch. They do not philosophise about something they cannot see or touch, because such philosophies would be based on nothing tangible.

So there’s a huge difference between the philosophical mind of Greeks and the down-to-earth mindset of Hebrews.

Greek heritage

Josephus wrote that it was a disaster for Jews when Olympic games were introduced as they knew that such games would corrupt their culture, and Jews thought it abominable for the players to be rewarded with the trophies that had images on them. They knew that the introduction of the Greek culture with its nudity, worship of the human body and theatres would lead people away from God.

In the Bible we also find nothing good said about these two cultures. Romans crucified Jesus, the citizens of Athens were described as those who spend their time in nothing else, but in selling, or hearing some new thing (Acts 17:21). Even in the Old Testament we find YHWH against Greeks, as in Zechariah 9:13 He says:

When I have bent Judah for me, filled the bow with Ephraim, and raised up thy sons, O Zion, against thy sons, O Greece, and made thee as the sword of a mighty man.

Greek mindset is focused on the self. Hebrew mindset is focused on the community. We know that God despises those who think only of themselves and are their own gods. We must strive to get de-conditioned from this pagan mindset so that we not only understand the Bible better, but we please God as selfishness no longer guides us – but the well-being of the community.

It was from the Greeks that came the adoration and worship of a naked human body, and the worship of humans. It’s from the Greeks that the deification of human performers sprang, such as actors and Olympic games players. It’s from Greeks that theatre came into being, as well as other ways to spend time which leads people away from God and into the worship of demons or self, or into various lusts.

It’s from the Greek philosophies that the science as we know it today came into being; and it’s from their theoretical thinking detached from the reality that the roots of the spherical earth sprang forth, as well as the theory of evolution. All these theories changed people’s minds, and turned them away from the reality into their own thought processes. This culture did a great damage to the humanity, and most humans are in its trap even today.

Most people believe these theories freed or advanced humanity, when in reality they entrapped humanity into the satanic deception. Satan will always make us think that what he introduces is for our own good, for our enlightenment or freedom, and that’s why people so passionately defend those nicely-packaged theories even till this day, and they will continue doing this unless God shows them the truth.

We see that all these inventions waste human life and mislead humans, and pervert their healthy minds, and take them away from the reality into the realm of their own thoughts.

The leading men of Greeks and Hebrews

Leaders of the Greek society were philosophers. These were the men who stood around all day and expressed their opinions about different things and argued with one another about different things. This was their occupation, and they were respected for sharing their own theories based on their own thoughts with others.

In ancient Israel, on the other hand, even those who were most respected because of their knowledge of Torah had occupations that benefited the community. In our culture we find that the Greek influence is dominant in the sphere of work, since it’s those who contribute to the society the least, or, in fact, damage the society, that are usually most highly paid, like porn stars, stock-brokers, secular movie producers or basketball players.

Tangible Hebrew words vs. abstract Greek words

Greeks were full of philosophies and ideas about life that were totally detached from the reality. They did not feel the need to apply what they were philosophising about, as these two realms – the realm of action and the realm of theory – remained totally unrelated in their minds.

Not so with ancient Hebrews. Their mindset was practical at is very foundation. Even their language was and is based on the words of action – verbs. Greek abstract words for “faith” and “love” are not abstract in the Hebrew language. They have tangible meanings. For example, in our minds “faith” is something that cannot be clearly described (because our minds are hellenized), but in the Hebrew language “faith” means “to stand firm in something”.

So if you “stand firm” in YHWH, this will show in your actions. If you really believe in Yeshua, you will obey His commandments. Those Christians who say that they believe in Yeshua but don’t believe that the commandments still apply to them, though Yeshua said that the law will stay as long as this earth stands, in reality don’t have true biblical faith.

Instead, they have faith that’s defined by their own standards, and is therefore not valid. James said that faith without works is dead (James 2:17). If your actions don’t reflect the fact that you believe in Yeshua, you don’t really believe in Him, whether you say you do or not.

If you really believe in Yeshua, you also believe that He will come back to take his spotless bride. So if you believe in this, you will try your best to remain spotless from the world. If you really believe in Yeshua, you will strive every day to be perfect, because you will know that one day you will have to stand before Him and give account of all that you did.

If your actions are measured by this measure, you have the biblical faith. If your actions are divorced from your faith in Yeshua, you have your own defined faith that cannot save you.

It’s important to understand that the words that we read in the Bible cannot be interpreted our own way, we need to seek what they really stand for. Because if we only assume what they mean without caring to figure out their true meaning, we risk making theological errors that might even decide our eternal destination.

In the Hebrew mind, making someone your Lord means surrendering all your life to Him. It doesn’t mean surrendering your religious life to Yeshua and then living like pagans do. If you don’t surrender your entire life to Yeshua and let Him control it, He’s not your Lord. In the Greek mind it’s totally possible to keep Yeshua and the rest of your life separate, but that’s not the Biblical surrender and sacrifice.

So unlike the Greek counterparts, all Hebrew words have substance and can be grasped, whilst many Greek words are only concepts, which can be interpreted in different ways. This can lead one into great error if the Bible is read from such a perspective.

More Greek heritage

Competition is also the heritage of the Greek way of thinking. We are told by Jesus to be the servants of all, if we want to be the greatest of all. This is a totally foreign idea to the Greek mind, where the most respected person is the one who defeats his brothers and sisters with his force or intelligence.

The Greek heroes of the past who deflowered most virgins and killed most people were seen as sort of gods, and they were role-models for the growing generation. This idolizing of people is one of the major traits of the Greek mind, whilst in the Hebrew mind this is abomination, as only YHWH should be first in our minds and hearts.

The reason the Greek mind spread so widely in the world is because of this competitiveness. Greeks believed that their way of life and thinking is superior to those of others, and therefore they imposed it on others. And those who grew up with such mindset knew no better. I’m very grateful that I live in the East and therefore I understood that the Greek mindset is not only unnatural to humanity, but also harmful and in opposition to the principles of the Bible.

From such an unnatural, stressed, competitive and compartmentalized mind come all sorts of imbalances, such as paranoias and phobias that are unheard of among Indian villagers, for example. This is a result of living in an unnatural environment and thinking in an unnatural way.

Divorcing religion from the rest of one’s life

This compartmentalization of the mind makes people disobey the instructions of YHWH, and think that He doesn’t mind. For example, in response to my video about the importance of women to wear the clothes that are female as YHWH considers it abominable when women wear men’s clothes and vice versa, I got a viewer’s response that she doesn’t think that God cares what she wears when she goes to sleep.

So because religion is divorced from the rest of her life, she cannot comprehend that God doesn’t only pay attention to what you do about your religion, or how you act in public – but He pays attention to everything in your life. So you cannot say that God would not mind you wearing men’s clothes when you sleep just because nobody sees you then – God sees you whether you sleep or not.

God is interested not only in your religious life, but in everything about your life. This is hard for westerners to understand because they put their religion in a box that’s separate from the other boxes that they have in their minds.

Greek mindset produced rebelliousness that’s still seen as freedom by many. This is my body – I do with it as I please. This is my journey – I do what I want. These kinds of attitudes are pagan, not Hebrew. Our bodies do not belong to us – they belong to God. Yes, we are free to follow our own ways, but if we want to inherit eternal life, we have to follow the Author of that life.

The compartmentalized mind

We see this compartmentalised Greek mind in the divorce of the Old Testament from the New by many Christians. They think the law doesn’t apply to them although they may see in the Book of Revelation that the remnant will be keeping God’s commandments and the testimony of Jesus, or that Paul said that we establish the law rather than nullify it (Romans 3:31).

They can overlook the passages that clearly say that the law is not done away with because they focus on several passages that they believe affirm their lawlessness’ views, and they disconnect those verses from the context and place them in the “once saved always saved” box in their minds.

They are at ease with it because their minds are compartmentalized. If they would see the Bible as a whole, they would experience a rude awakening. Yes, it’s easier to ignore the truth and continue affirming disconnected verses in your mind, but is that wise when it comes to eternal life?

Public debates also sprang from the Greek mindset. Such discussions end up in verbal fights that cannot benefit anyone but the egos of those who win. Two males striving to prove their point can be compared to two elks fighting with their horns to prove which one is stronger:

Elks fighting

We are told by Paul to have nothing to do with foolish and ignorant debates as they breed arguments (2 Timothy 2:23), which is exactly what they do. People involved in such discussions are not seeking knowledge, but only seeking to prove their point, so that others would see they are right. The purpose is selfish – to show that one is superior over a fellow brother or sister. That cannot in any way benefit the body of Christ.

Here is another example of Greek versus Hebrew mindset.

Greek philosophy started from the false belief that mortal men can figure out God by using their God-given minds. In the Hebrew understanding, however, God will never be fully known, and we comprehend some aspects of Him not through out own reasoning of who He is, but by seeking Him out so that He would reveal Himself to us. In Proverbs 3:5 we are told to lean not to our own understanding, yet the Greek culture is fully dependent on the intellect of mortal men.

Greek vs. Hebrew concept of love

There is also a great difference in the way that love is understood in the Bible compared to the Greek way of understanding this word. To the Greek mind love is a feeling, or some nice concept that might differ from one person to another.

In the Bible, however, love is shown when you are obedient.

That’s why Jesus said that if you love Him, you will keep His commandments (John 14:15). So love is understood in a totally different way in these two cultures, and it’s the Hebrew understanding of love that’s required of all Christians.

Those who have another kind of faith, and another kind of love, serve another kind of messiah and another kind of God, the divine beings that they themselves came up with, and therefore Jesus will say to many in the day of judgement that He never knew those lawless ones (Matthew 7:21-23).

What it means to glorify God

In the Hebrew mind to glorify God means to always keep God in mind and take all actions to the glory of Him, whether it’s to do with eating, talking to someone, teaching, or anything else. But in the western mind to glorify God means to set some time apart to worship Him.

Again, this shows a compartmentalized mind which divorces religion from the rest of one’s life.

Invention vs. preservation

Another difference between the western and eastern mindsets is that westerners come up with new things and they like to change things; that’s why they always look for different interpretations of the Bible or its different translations. Easterners, on the other hand, preserve the traditions of ancient days, and therefore when you go to some Indian villages, for example, you can still see the way of life that wasn’t changed for hundreds of years.

In India you can also find the congregations that follow the customs of early Christianity, but you would find it hard to come across such congregations in the West – probably none of such congregations exist there. The concepts of evolution can also be blamed for the western need to always change things, since humanity is seen as evolving from primitive to developed, which is in total opposition to the Hebraic mindset which sees humanity as degrading, getting further and further from the image of God from the day of the creation of first human beings.

Parables vs. philosophies

Hebrews were grounded in reality. That’s why they found it difficult to understand the language of heavens – the parables which Jesus put forth to them. We know He spoke in the language of heavens since that’s how YHWH  communicates with His children through dreams and visions.

This wasn’t something that the Israelites knew how to interpret, yet parables have nothing to do with Greek philosophies. Parables stood for actual things, but Greek philosophies were grounded on nothing – just the imaginations of men’s minds.

That’s where many Bible misinterpretations came from – when converted Greek philosophers (or those influenced by philosophies) sought for hidden meanings in the Bible with the reference point of their own thoughts.

False science theories stick to the Greek mind

Greek mindset is idealistic and detached from reality. That’s why false science theories find a fertile soil to flourish in such minds. Such a mind is already changed from its natural state, and coupled with the media influence, which, through the repetitive exposure, impresses upon our minds false facts (like that those with wearing certain uniforms must be smart, or that those with university degrees must be more intelligent than those without), a perfect environment is created for false theories to be accepted as real.

The Hebrew mindset is completely down to earth. We see an example of how they thought in the biblical story of when manna fell from heaven. When they first saw manna, they did not philosophise of what it was because they did not know what it was. They even named it “manna”, which means something along the lines of “What’s this?”.

Had this manna fallen on the Greek soil, many philosophers would have come up with many theories of what this substance was, which would lead to many false conclusions, as they could not have known what it really was.

How the two mindsets work

Another example of Greek versus Hebrew mind is about your personal breakthroughs. For example, you find that through long prayers you experience a spiritual breakthrough. If your mindset is strongly Greek, you would try to profit from this breakthrough, or tell about it to be seen as more spiritual by your fellow brothers and sisters.

But if your mindset is more Hebrew, you would be quickly sharing with your brothers and sisters in Christ (and I mean all of them and not only your denomination) how you achieved that breakthrough, so that they would achieve it also.

Another example is discovering some great teacher. If you have the Greek mindset you would be satisfied with the fact that you found him or her, and would learn all there is to learn from the teacher, so that you are smarter.

But if your mindset is Hebrew, you would be motivated to tell about that teacher to others, so that others benefit from their wisdom as much as you do.

I remember seeing a video of Mother Theresa sharing her experiences of living among the poor of India. She said, if I remember right, that once she gave bread to a starving woman, and the woman, instead of eating that bread, ran to her neighbours to share this bread with them – because she knew that they were hungry too. This is a beautiful representation of the Eastern mind, the mind that Yeshua had.

The language connection

The Greek conditioning of our minds is hard to break and the language maintains it. Those who know more than one language know that the language is the lens through which you view the world. You understand another culture much better when you learn their language.

I know several languages, and currently I’m learning Hebrew, and I cannot tell how much it helps me to understand the Hebrew mind through learning their language. And since this language, I strongly believe (and some rabbis affirm this also), is from Heaven, by learning it I see YHWH in a clearer light.

Finally…

Man-made Greek mind creates other man-made concepts, such as psychology. Eastern mindset returns you to the natural way of life that’s without stress and is spirituality-oriented. The Bible viewed through a pagan lens is indeed full of cruelty and unpredictable actions of YHWH. But viewed from an ancient eastern mind, YHWH’s actions make total sense and you discover just how much He loves those who are good.

Let’s not make the mistake of seeing our life, as well as the Bible, through a pagan man-made mindset, but let’s pray to God for our minds to be made whole, and for us to conform to the mind of Yeshua; so that we are not focused on the details to the extent that we miss the whole picture, but so that we make meaningful connections;

Avoiding the tendency to put the self first, but becoming community-minded; praying for the destruction of the individual boxes within our minds preventing us from wholeness; and asking our Father in the name of Yeshua to recreate us in His image and in His likeness, so that we are healed, and the pagan man-made thinking system is no longer holding us back from spiritual maturity.

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Comments

  1. <3

  2. Sofilu Junco says:

    Hi Simona, I really have to thank you for sharing God’s wisdom, knowledge and understanding with your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. Very much appreciated and I pray to YHWH to keep blessing you with all his spiritual gifts. 🙂

    Sofilu

  3. This article has really opened up my spiritual lens. Thanks for sharing! God bless you!

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