With impeccable skill, detailed research, and a thoroughly engaging style, Victor Matthews has produced a text that captures the complexity, beauty, and magnificence of the ancient biblical world. The study provides a window into the richness of an ancient people's historical, cultural, social, and religious life, beginning with the ancestral period and continuing through the intertestamental and New Testament periods. This work is perfect for undergraduate and beginning graduate courses in Bible.
-Carol J. Dempsey,
professor of theology (biblical studies), University of Portland
Matthews provides a reliable guide to the world of the Bible. Readers will be enlightened by the many details that he pulls together from a wide range of sources. His broad knowledge of the ancient world and its texts will serve well the reader who desires to dig deeper into the Bible and understand it in its cultural context.
professor of Old Testament, Wheaton College
This classic work is packed full of fresh information from archaeology and from texts outside the Bible that provide a multitude of insights into the Bible's social and religious practices. With its accessible style, the book contextualizes Israelite ways of life within the broad sweep of the ancient periods that the biblical books purport to represent. Highly recommended as a companion to reading the Bible.
-Mark S. Smith,
Skirball Professor of Bible and Ancient Near Eastern Studies, New York University
This fourth edition will be of great use in the classroom. Maintaining the historical summaries and discussion of everyday life of earlier editions--including everything from fashion to child rearing to sewage systems--and with an expanded text, discussion questions, annotated bibliography, and glossary, this is an unparalleled resource for university instructors and students. As in his other work, Matthews takes a balanced view of the historical accuracy of the Bible, presenting the centrist position in current debates about the patriarchs, settlement period, and united monarchy. This book will greatly assist students to read the Bible with ancient social worlds in mind.
-Robert D. Miller II,
The Catholic University of America
The Cultural World of the Bible provides a comprehensive, sophisticated, and stimulating overview of the world standing behind the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament and the impression it left on their varied contents. Matthews navigates a remarkable spectrum of history, geography, and civilizations with masterful skill. Both seasoned scholars and newcomers to the study of the Bible will find this to be a valuable and eminently readable resource.
director of Jewish studies, Temple University