The Cultural World of the Bible: An Illustrated Guide to Manners and Customs - eBook
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|Format: DRM Protected ePub|
Vendor: Baker Academic
Publication Date: 2015
In this new edition of a successful book (over 120,000 copies sold), now updated throughout, a leading expert on the social world of the Bible offers students a reliable guide to the manners and customs of the ancient world. From what people wore, ate, and built to how they exercised justice, mourned, and viewed family and legal customs, this illustrated introduction helps readers gain valuable cultural background on the biblical world. The attractive, full-color, user-friendly design will appeal to students, while numerous pedagogical features--including fifty photos, sidebars, callouts, maps, charts, a glossary of key terms, chapter outlines, and discussion questions--increase classroom utility. Previously published as Manners and Customs in the Bible.
Victor H. Matthews (PhD, Brandeis University) is dean of the College of Humanities and Public Affairs and professor of religious studies at Missouri State University in Springfield, Missouri, where he has taught for thirty years. He is the author of numerous books, including The Hebrew Prophets and Their Social World.
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John M KightMichiganAge: 25-34Gender: Male5 Stars Out Of 5An Up-To-Date Refinement of a Classic WorkSeptember 12, 2015John M KightMichiganAge: 25-34Gender: MaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Victor H. Matthews is dean of the College of Humanities and Public Affairs and professor of religious studies at Missouri State University. He holds a Ph.D. from Brandeis University and is the author of numerous books, including, A Brief History of Ancient Israel and The Hebrew Prophets and Their Social World: An Introduction. He has also co-authored a number of highly acclaimed books, such as The IVP Bible Background Commentary: Old Testament and The Old Testament: Text and Context. The most recent contribution by Matthews, The Cultural World of the Bible: An Illustrated Guide to Manners and Customs, is the fourth edition of his popular manners and customs textbook previously titled Manners and Customs in the Bible: An Illustrated Guide to Daily Life in Bible Times.
The Cultural World of the Bible is an up-to-date refinement of a classic work. Matthews provides the reader with a reliable guide to the world of the Bible that will inevitably open new insights to the biblical narrative. Matthews begins the book with a helpful introduction that sets the context for the discussion that follows, as well as arranges the foundation for the overall approach of the book. There are five periods addressed: (1) Ancestral Period, (2) Exodus-Settlement Period, (3) Monarchic Period, (4) Exile and Return, and (5) Intertestamental and New Testament Periods. Within each of these five periods Matthews seeks to guide the reader into the world of the Bible as he discusses a number of diverse issues, such as physical appearance and fashion, food preparation and diet, marriage and religious customs, legal customs, weapons and warfare, family and social life, as well as economic life, health issues, etc.
Overall the reader will be impressed with the brevity and clarity with which Matthews is able to address such issues. I found his lengthy discussion on cultural issues faced by immigrants during the Ancestral Period both fascinating and enlightening. This was also the case in a number of other places, such as the social life and health issues of the Monarchic Period, and the economic and religious life of the Intertestamental and New Testament Periods. Throughout the book, Matthews sheds light on specific customs and practices and then roots them in the biblical narrative. Matthews also draws from a host of primary source material and provides a healthy annotated bibliography for further research. Each chapter closes with discussion questions, and there is both a glossary and index of Scripture and other ancient writings.
If you are looking for an up-to-date guide to the manners and customs of the biblical world, then The Cultural World of the Bible is the book for you. Matthews is a leading expert in the social world of Ancient Israel, and the present volume, now in the fourth edition, testifies to this reality. My only complaint is the lack of illustrations presented in An Illustrated Guide to Manners and Customs. There are approximately 55 illustrations total within the over 300 pages of text. The book is certainly visually pleasing, but for some the lack of illustrations will be an issue. Another complaint is the lack of a hardcover edition. I understand the economics of having a paperback edition and readers will certainly appreciate the cheaper price-point. But this is a beautiful and informative volume, and my concern is that the paperback will not last frequent useand this book is one that is sure to see frequent use.
I received this book for free from Baker Academic in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 : Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
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