A Cultural Handbook to the Bible by John Pilch has arrived courtesy the fine folk at Eerdmans and I’ll review it sooner rather than later.
In A Cultural Handbook to the Bible John Pilch bridges this cultural divide by translating important social concepts and applying them to biblical texts. In short, accessible chapters Pilch discusses sixty-three topics related to the cosmos, the earth, persons, family, language, human consciousness, God and the spirit world, and entertainment. Pilch’s fresh interpretations of the Bible challenge traditional views and explore topics often overlooked in commentaries. Each chapter concludes with a list of useful references from cultural anthropology or biblical studies, making this book an excellent resource for students of the Bible.
It looks at first blush to be pretty interesting. More when I’m finished working my way through it. Until I do, here’s what Halvor Moxnes thinks of it-
“Once more Pilch has given us what we have come to expect from him — thorough knowledge from Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cultures giving new and unexpected insights into the texts of the Bible. Short essays on a wide range of topics provide answers to the curious Bible reader, and bibliographies give students tools to pursue their own explorations into the fascinating world of the Bible. This is a book to enjoy and learn from!”
What we need more of, an anthropological approach to the bible.