4 Stars Out Of 5
Good Bible background book
January 17, 2011
Debbie from ChristFocus
"Food at the Time of the Bible" is a Bible background book focusing on food and eating. It had nice full-color pictures and illustrations of the various foods, animals, and harvest & storage methods mentioned in the text. The author used the Bible, the Mishnah and Talmud (oral law), and archaeological findings to describe what people ate during Bible times (especially in Jesus' lifetime). There were 11 recipes in the text which used Bible verses to provide the ingredients while the author filled in the missing amounts. At the end of the book, there were an additional 36 recipes (from bread to sweets) also based on Bible or Mishnah cooking descriptions. They allow you to sample what the food was like back then.
The topics were covered with some detail--probably with as much detail as is available. Still, me being me, I would have liked to know even more. The topics covered were dining customs; grain & bread; grapes, wine, vinegar, & beer; olives & olive oil; fruits (dates, figs, pomegranates, carobs, citron, walnuts, almonds, peaches, apples, plums, apricots, & caper); vegetables; fish; (livestock) meat; milk, cheese, & other milk products; sweets (honey, etc.); herbs & spices; storing & preserving food; the last supper; and biblical measures & food costs.
The book was easy to read and interesting, and I would recommend it. However, I was disappointed that the author placed archeology (human interpretation) over the Bible. She used a timeline that went back past 6000 BC, said things like "some people say that humans didn't used to eat meat based on Genesis 1 & 2" like she thought humans have always eaten meat, and twice said that Jericho is "the world's oldest city."