Cultural Dictionary of the Bible   -     By: John J. Pilch
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Cultural Dictionary of the Bible

Liturgical Press / 1999 / Paperback

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Product Description

(PUBLiturgical)Part of our misunderstanding of Scripture is due to insufficient knowledge of the customs and values of ancient Mediterranean culture. Pilch chooses 100 key words (Abba, evil eye, humor, individualism, lying, vengeance, wine) and carefully explains their context and probable meaning. 224 pages, softcover.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 224
Vendor: Liturgical Press
Publication Date: 1999
Dimensions: 9 X 6 X .25 (inches)
ISBN: 0814625274
ISBN-13: 9780814625279
Availability: Usually ships in 24-48 hours.

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Publisher's Description

2000 Catholic Press Association Award Winner!

Interpreting the Bible respectfully is a cross-cultural enterprise. For those who seek to understand the Bible as a document from the ancient Mediterranean world and communicate it to people in other cultures, The Cultural Dictionary of the Bible is an ideal tool.

Scripture expert John Pilch gives the modern Bible reader an appreciation for the world in which each book of the Bible originated and an in-depth look at the Mediterranean personalities who populate the pages of the Bible. With more than 100 distinctive, Middle-Eastern notions, from Abba" to "Work," this collection provides a cultural system of shared interpretations of persons, things, and events relating to the Mediterranean region.

By applying a social-scientific approach to interpreting the Bible, Pilch shows how a multi-cultural understanding, enriched with the discoveries and insights taken from contemporary anthropological studies, can bemused to examine the distinctive, Middle Eastern cultural world of the Bible.

Since each article discusses a variety of persons, things, and events under its title, the alphabetized tale of contents presents a comprehensive list of these subjects for ready reference. Uppercase entries identify complete articles; lowercase entries list some of the related topics treated in the articles. A bibliography is provided at the end of each major article. A list of basic resources at the end of the volume presents a selection of dictionaries, atlases, and similar books for supplemental information on each topic.

Preachers, readers, RCIA participants and students alike will appreciate the index to the Sunday Lectionary readings for the full three-year cycle that is provided and its citation of the words defined in the dictionary that appear in the given readings. Includes illustrations of appropriate entries.

Entries include:
ABBA
Agriculture
Alternate Reality
ANGER
Animals
Antonia Fortress
Bailey
Beard
Bread
Blindness
Boat
Burial
Carpenter
Caves
Centurion
Christians
CLOTHES
COINS
Corban
COSMETICS AND JEWELRY
Culture
DANCE
DEATH
DECEPTION AND LYING
DRINKING AND EATING
Earrings
Eating
Emotions
Evil Eye
Eyes
Fishing
FORGIVENESS
Fortresses
Frankincense
Goats
Good Shepherd
HAIR
Hands
HEALING
Heaven
HOLY MAN
Honey
Honor and Shame
HOUSE
HUMOR
Individualism
Insider/Outsider
Israelite
Jewelry
JEWS ANDCHRISTIANS
John the Baptist
Judeans
Laughter
Life
Literary Forms
Lying
MILITARY
Milk
MUSIC
Mother
Nazirite
NONVERBAL COMMUNICATION
Oath
Oil
Perfume
Peter's House
Poor
PRAYER
Puns
Rabbi
Revenge
Roads
Salt
Satan
Sea
SECRECY
Shalom
Shame
SHEEP AND GOATS
SICKNESS
Sign
Sin
Singing
SKY
SMELLS AND TASTES
Sorghum
Space
SPIRITS
Stonemason
SYMBOLISM
Tastes
Teeth
Tents
Translation
TRAVEL
Vengeance
Water
WEATHER
Wheat
Wine
Wool
WORK

J. Pilch, PhD, teaches Scripture at Georgetown University, Washington, DC. He is the author of The Cultural World of Jesus Sunday by Sunday: Cycles A, B, C, and the leaflet Selecting a Bible Translation, published by The Liturgical Press. Other The Liturgical Press publications include his commentary on Galatians and Romans in the Collegeville Bible Commentary series, and articles in The Modern Catholic Encyclopedia, The Collegeville Pastoral Dictionary of Biblical Theology, and The Bible Today.

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Author Bio

John J. Pilch, PhD, is professor of theology at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. He is author of numerous articles and books, including ,Visions and Healing in Acts of the Apostles: How the Early Believers Experienced God(Liturgical Press, 2004). He is a member of the Catholic Biblical Association of America and the International Society for Shamanistic Research, among other professional organizations.

Editorial Reviews

Pilch is at his very best. He does not merely rehearse historical objects or relationships, but situates them in their proper cultural context. From 'Abba' to 'Work,' Pilch relentlessly creates a broad social map on which to locate the items discussed and to appreciate them as part of a whole. In the Dictionary Pilch has chosen important topics for comment, written a crisp, clear and cogent interpretation of them, and informed readers of their significance. The contents are easy to follow, rich in depth, and terse in length. In short, this book would make an excellent adjunct commentary for classroom use; I certainly intend to use it as such.

Jerome H. Neyrey, University of Notre Dame

Dr. Pilch has created a delightful, inviting essay for each entry that combines a marvelous selection of texts from the Bible with just enough information to be satisfying and enlightening. His ability to compare contemporary experience with biblical experience is quite remarkable.
Mary Margaret Pazdan, OP, Aquinas Institute of Theology, St. Louis, Missouri

John J. Pilch has been in the forefront of those scholars who enable ordinary Bible readers to acquire the cultural sensitivity required to make these historical documents come alive. For many years now, he has drawn up scenarios required by readers to imagine what is being presented or talked about in various passages of the Bible. This book is a collection providing access to some of the most significant reading scenarios that will stimulate a meaningful encounter with the world of the Bible and our ancestors in faith.
Bruce J. Malina, Professor of Biblical Studies, Creighton University

Who would believe that a dictionary could be hard to put down! The Cultural Dictionary of the Bible is a book to be read from cover to cover and one that will be used again and again.
Mary Connor, OSC, Poor Clare Nuns, Greenville, South Carolina

In his scholarly A Cultural Dictionary of the Bible John Pilch gives us an entire book of windows into the life of the ancient world of Jesus and the prophets. The view is marvelously informational. A companion book for every inquisitive reader of the Bible, an idea book for preachers and a guidebook for the teachers.
Edward M. Hays

If every priest and deacon would just read this one book during the next year, what a difference it would make in the quality of what we hear on Sunday morning, and of how we live the rest of the week.
Don C. Benjamin, Kino Institute of Theology

Dr. John Pilch has provided an excellent resource for all persons in ministry as well as those who simply enjoy reading the Scriptures.
Eleanor A. Krupa, Associate Director, Archdiocesan Catechetical Center, San Antonio, Texas

The essay text is written in clear, easy-to-understand language that brings life in the ancient world into the living rooms of the modern world. Highly recommended for anyone wanting to understand more behind the context of life as described in the Christian Bible.
The Midwest Book Review

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