For centuries, Christian theologians and educators have been reading the Bible backwards.
Edicts from 4th century theological controversies have been read backwards into the first century biblical text. This has long been considered "orthodox". Very few Christians have ever considered how anachronistic  and intellectually dishonest orthodoxy really is.
If an archeologists were to intentionally misplace an object in the wrong century to prove his personal theory, it would be considered an outrage. But in the religious realm, this anachronistic outrage is the norm. Fourth century dogmas are placed backwards into the first century, as though they were there all along. It is both scientifically and intellectually dishonest but this anachronistic method has been done for so long, no one even recognizes it or challenges it.
There is perhaps no more an ignored and misplaced truth than this: ALL of scripture is Hebraic thought. All teachings from the Bible are offered within the Hebrew worldview, belief structure and manner of communicating. But most Christian beliefs are based, not on Hebraic thinking, but on abstract philosophical thinking and traditions embedded in western culture. Theologians have read the Hebrew writings as though they were written in the western manner of thinking and speaking.
A Hebrew concept (biblical) that is little represented in Western minds is the importance of honor and representation. To an ancient Hebrew, the honor of one's family and village is the most important aspect of his culture. To an ancient Hebrew WHO you are is determined by your family lineage and home village. Therefore, all members of a family are duty bound to uphold the family's honor and village reputation in everything they say and do. Each individual represents his family and village.
The ancient Hebrew's legal agreements and contracts were based on upholding honor and accurately representing the family and village. In ancient times, agreements were made verbally through a representative. Sometimes an object was exchanged as a sign of the agreement or rocks were piled at the place of the contract as a reminder. In the negotiations, the representative spoke and was addressed as the original person, the Principle. This responsibility to represent the Principle accurately in legal matters was so deeply set that in transactions, the difference between the representative and Principle was often blurred until you could not readily distinguish one from the other.
The natural representative of a family was the first born son but in his absence, any other son could represent the father and family. If the first born son carried out his representation responsibility well, his reputation would be this: If you know the son, you know the father. The first born son would acquire an authority equal to his father as the family representative. Now a passage in the gospel of John makes perfect cultural sense:
This was why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God. John 5:18 [ESV]
Of course the Western Greco-Roman mind has a completely different take on this passage. But Jesus goes on to explain the first born son's responsibility to his father, in terms very familiar in the culture. He clearly lays out the "Hebrew Concept of Agency" in a family. His explanation should set in stone this cultural context for every reader:
 So Jesus said to them, Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father  does, that the Son does likewise.  For the Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing. And greater works than these will he show him, so that you may marvel. John 5:19-20 [ESV]
This Hebrew cultural view of honor and representation underlies all Scripture. Jesus, his apostles and all of his followers were culturally Hebrews. When reading scripture in its proper cultural context, one must keep in mind these Hebraic social values. This view will set the proper context for many passages in the gospels. This view is also expressed by the apostle Paul in two of his letters where he called family Agents, ambassadors (Strong's #4243):
Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. II Corinthians 5:20 [ESV]
 and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel,  for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak. Ephesians 6:19-20 [ESV]
Jesus and his apostles were representatives and ambassadors of the Father in heaven. There is no other honest way to view these and many other passages, if they are left in their proper Hebraic context. Even as they were ambassadors, so are we in this world. Let us all uphold the God's family honor in the finest tradition of the first born son: Jesus Christ.
 An anachronism, is a chronological inconsistency in some arrangement, especially a juxtaposition of person(s), events, objects, or customs from different periods of time. Often the item misplaced in time is an object, but it may be a verbal expression, a technology, a philosophical idea, a musical style, a material, a custom, or anything else associated with a particular period in time so that it is incorrect to place it outside its proper temporal domain. URL http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anachronism