The 4 Volume ‘Dictionary of Daily Life in Biblical & Post-Biblical Antiquity’

9781619708617oThe Dictionary of Daily Life in Biblical & Post-Biblical Antiquity is a unique reference work that provides background cultural and technical information on the world of the Hebrew Bible and New Testament from 2000 BC to approximately AD 600.

The set is comprised of the four previously printed 6 x 9 paperback books collated into a set and inserted into a sturdy (heavy board) slip case.

This dictionary casts light on the culture, technology, history, and politics of the periods of the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament.

Written and edited by a world-class historian and a highly respected biblical scholar, with contributions by many others, this unique reference work explains details of domestic life, technology, culture, laws, and eligious practices, with extensive bibliographic material for further exploration. Articles range from 5-20 pages long. Scholars, pastors, and students (and their teachers) will find this to be a useful resource for biblical study, exegesis, and sermon preparation.

The set is now complete.  The entries cover every conceivable aspect of ancient life, including ‘sanitation’, ‘textiles’, ‘tools’, ‘perfumes’, ‘kisses’, ‘libraries’, ‘ivory’, ‘infanticide’, ‘dogs’, ‘food’, ‘diseases’, ‘death’, ‘calendars’, ‘camels’, ‘abortion’, ‘adultery’, ‘athletics’, etc., etc., etc.

Essays are very complete.  For instance, persons interested in something like ‘beards’ can read the entry on ‘barbers and beards’ and learn about beards in the Old Testament, the New Testament (where we are reminded that male prostitutes in the Greco-Roman world wore their hair long), the Near Eastern world, the Greco-Roman world, and the Christian world.  Then readers are treated to a thorough modern bibliography of the subject.

The set is unique in terms of the genre of the ‘Bible Dictionary’ precisely because its focus is on the stuff of which normal life is filled.  The now old and terribly dated ‘Manners and Customs of the Bible’, a one volume attempt at the same sort of thing, is superbly and usefully surpassed here.  The quality of the scholarship of the project insure that it will not mislead readers either.

I recommend it for inclusion in the personal libraries of bible teachers, Sunday School teachers, Pastors, and students as well as to those readers of the Bible who wish to know more of the cultural background of the biblical worlds than they will find elsewhere.1

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1Hendrickson has provided a gratis copy with the only request being that I share my opinion of the work with you, dear reader.

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