I think many people get confused when I make the assertion that the Bible is an “Asian” book.
In fact, given the tremendous influence the Bible has had on Western civilization, most would assert the opposite; that the Bible is the ultimate “Western” book.
I wouldn’t argue with that.
In terms of influence, yes, I don’t think it’s incorrect to say the Bible is a Western book.
However, in terms of origins, there is no doubt that the Bible is an Eastern book.
Let me explain.
The overall continental landmass that encompasses what we label the Middle East is Asia.
So the people who come from the Middle East are “Asians” or “Asiatics“.
They are all the People of Asia.
Let’s go over some terminology for further clarification.
Now I’m quite aware that in the United States this word is not politically correct when applied to people.
It would be rude to say “he’s Oriental” when talking about a Japanese person for example.
However, in a strict academic sense, orientals are just a subgroup of Asians referring to Middle Easterners and people extending to China.
“Orientals” does NOT refer to people from the entire continent of Asia.
First, if we’re going to be true to the etymology of this word, this word should be pronounced “Shemite”, not “Semite” because this word means a “Son of Shem”.
Abraham was a son of Shem which is why all his descendants, both Arabs and Jews, are considered Semites.
Interestingly, although the term “anti-Semitic” is used to refer to Jew hatred, it actually means “against the sons of Shem”. So this would include many Arabs and other groups who harbor a vicious hatred toward Israel.
Incidentally, in case you’re wondering, Egyptians stem from the cursed line of Ham.
“Bedouins” are Semitic desert dwellers and wanderers.
Now what’s interesting is that all of the above terms could be applied to the Hyksos Kings, the Asian invaders who ruled Egypt during Joseph’s time.
They were Semitic desert wanderers who were “Orientals” because they were part of a Middle Eastern culture and they were also Asiatics because they came from the continent of Asia.