Item description for Manners & Customs in the Bible: An Illustrated Guide to Daily Life in Bible Time by Victor H. Matthews...
Overview Directly after a good concordance and a Bible dictionary, a thoroughly reliable guide to the manners and customs of the Bible is the next must-have resource for any student of the Bible. Now fully updated with vivid new photos and images, this excellent resource will help readers gain valuable cultural background on the biblical world. What people wore, what they ate, what they built, how they exercised justice, how they mourned, how they viewed family and legal customs-all are "manners and customs" and all vary from period to period throughout Israel's history. How can one fully comprehend the Old Testament book of Ruth without understanding ancient Israelite marriage traditions? Even a quick skim of the Gospels starts readers wondering about tax collectors, religious officials, fishermen and farmers. And so much is missed when reading Acts and the Epistles without some grasp of Roman law and government. Countless questions crop up when reading the Bible: * Why would Lot even think of throwing his daughters to a mob? * How did the Exile change Israel's religious life? * What were the differences between Sadducees, Pharisees, scribes, and Essenes? Offering much more than fascinating color pictures, each chapter furnishes an introduction to the political and physical setting of specific periods in Israel's history, and outlines the basic structure of its social world. Featuring Scripture passages alongside the text to keep relevant biblical passages in view, it includes all new illustrations and photos for an invaluable visual experience of the world of Abraham, David, Jesus, and Paul.
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Victor H. Matthews (Ph.D., Brandeis University) is professor of religious studies and dean of the College of Humanities and Public Affairs at Missouri State University. He is the author or coauthor of twelve books, including "The Social World of Ancient Israel, Old Testament Parallels, "and "The IVP Bible Background Commentary: Old Testament."
Reviews - What do customers think about Manners & Customs in the Bible: An Illustrated Guide to Daily Life in Bible Time?
Good resource Oct 13, 2008
This is a very interesting book, even if you are just flipping through during a quick browse. It is a valuable tool for researching life in Biblical times in preparation for a sermon. Our pastors have used it many times.
Great new book! Aug 13, 2007
I have read several of Matthews' books, including The Old Testament Parallels, The IVP Bible Background Commentary, and his volume of the New Cambridge Bible Commentary series, Judges & Ruth. This latest book is just as well written and accessible. Matthews attempts to find realistic dates for Biblical stories, not always assuming them to be historical, and explains the cultural nuances of particular verses in light of his sociocultural knowledge of various time periods and regions. This book is suitable for all interested laymen, seminary students, and pastors.
A Help In Understanding Daily Life in Biblical Times Nov 28, 2003
While the Bible is a fascinating book to read and study, it is easy to forget that the Bible was written over a long period of time. Though historians differ about exact dates, Abraham probably lived anywhere between 1,250 and 1,500 years prior to the birth of Christ, David probably lived about 750 to 1,000 years before Christ's birth, and between 587 B.C. and the writing of the New Testament, life changed almost daily. This is why understanding the daily life of different periods in Biblical history, and knowing that there were often vast differences in customs and practices in the differing periods, is so essential to understanding scripture. Life in Biblical times changed quickly just as much as life in our own day changes rapidly.
Biblical scholar Victor Matthews attempts to explain the life and customs in different Biblical periods in his book MANNERS AND CUSTOMS IN THE BIBLE. The book is divided into five major sections: The Patriarchal Period (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and his sons), The Exile and Settlement (Moses, Joshua, and the Judges), The Monarchy, Exile and Return, and the Intertestamental and New Testament Era (The Persians, Greeks, and Romans). Nearly two thirds of the book covers the period prior to the writing of the New Testament, but this is actually a plus since there are many other resources that cover the New Testament. Readers get bits of information about warfare, government policies, family life, gender roles, marriage customs, business and trade, and a host of other small subjects that make the book interesting to browse through and a must have for scripture study.
Though the book is set up in chronological order, it is not really a comprehensive history of the Bible, but a supplement that enriches a historical text. It has a scriptural index which will help people involved in preaching and in research.
Certainly this book will be helpful for people who preach and conduct Bible studies, but it will also be of interest to anyone who wants to see how our day and age is both similar to, and differs from people of Biblical times.
Disappointed Jan 10, 2003
I thought that this would be about daily living but it is mostly about the politics through the different eras.
Wonderfully informative though emphasis on Higher Criticism. Dec 22, 2000
Mr. Matthews offers a good overview of the period between the beginning and finishing of the Scriptures, uncluding the Maccabean period. It is amazing how much better one can understand the Scriptures when you have read this book. The social customs and manners of burial, marriage, food preparation, farming, traveling, city-builing, etc. are all covered in this volume. It is very good for those just beginning to study the Scripture, or those that have studied for some time without a clear understanding of the customs of the peoples written about. Despite all this praiseworthy detail, however, Mr. Matthews shows his true colors as a Higher Critic of the Scriptures. This means he denies the infallibility, inspiration, and preservance of the Scriptures. New and old Christians be ware of this, for once these doctrines are denied you may as well throw the book of God's Word away (if that may be said reverently). With this warning in mind, I would highly recommend the purchase of this book for any Christian or otherwise.