Discover fascinating, thorough, and enriching insights into the Bible with the bestselling and internationally acclaimed fifth edition of the Zondervan Handbook to the Bible. From the history and design of the temple to God’s relationship to the universe, you’ll find it here. The land and cultures, battles and feast days, heroes and villains of Scripture all come alive through entries of meticulous clarity and detail, and through breathtaking, full-color images. It contains over 120 articles by an international team of experts, with over 700 color photographs, 68 maps, 20 charts, a complete Rapid Factfinder, and lots more. This is perfect for church libraries and an excellent resource for individual Scripture studies.
Subject: Bible Background
Why Do We Recommend This Book?
I Dare You Not to Bore Me with The Bible is one of the best books I recently read. Do you also sometimes come across passages in the Bible that you think are just too obscure, too odd, too perplexing, maybe even too frightening? What would you do about those passages? Ignore them, skip them? Michael S. Heiser describes his experience as a teacher at a Bible college, where his students were all grown up in church and all came to class with that outlook on their faces that scream: ‘I dare you not to bore me with the Bible.’ For people that have grown up with God’s Word, the Bible can simply be too familiar. You have heard all those stories so many times since childhood, can they really spark anything in you anymore? The answer is an absolute: ‘Yes!’ and this book gives evidence of it.
The book is divided into two main sections: the first section deals with the Old Testament. Each chapter offers a short discussion of a curious detail from the Scriptures. And the author does not shy away from the difficult bits and pieces. You will read about the bloody event in which God wanted to kill Moses because his son was not circumcised. You will learn why the word ‘scapegoat’ is not the best translation in the context of the Day of Atonement ritual as described in Leviticus 16:8-10. The author discusses a range of topics, from the love potion from Numbers 5, through the relevance of the Dead Sea Scrolls, to the most horrific story in the Bible (Judges 19-20).
The second part of the book contains chapters on the New Testament. Have you ever considered that the rock in Matthew 16:18 is not Peter, nor his confession, but the foot of Mount Hermon which is the demonic headquarters of the Old Testament and the Greek world? They were standing right besides the ‘gates of hell’ and hell will be buried under the church. I bet this does not sound boring, does it? Does the New Testament authors make mistakes when they quote from the Old Testament? When did Satan fall like lightning? Why does Paul tell the Corinthians to deliver one of their people to Satan? These and similar questions as well as the author’s answers to them guarantee that you will not be bored a moment while reading this book about the Bible.
Heiser is very familiar with the ancient cultural background of the Bible and this knowledge often helps him better understand difficult passages that we often find just too obscure to be relevant.
Why Do We Recommend This Book?
Our time and culture is in many ways so different from biblical times and cultures, that it is often hard to get a clear picture of what life in Biblical times actually looked like. The New Manners & Customs of Bible Times helps filling the gaps in our knowledge and experience by providing us a ton of cultural background information.
Topics are arranged in two sections. The first part focuses on family life and includes the following topics:
- Domestic activities
- Food and meals
- The family
- Collecting food
- Craftsmen and traders
Part two focuses on institutions and customs and includes the following topics:
- Towns and villages
- Journeys and travel
- Social and political groupings
- Government and society
You can read the book from cover to cover, or choose to use it as a reference book. For the purpose of the latter the book has a topical index and a Scripture index at the back. The book is rich of full color pictures, photos, maps and illustrations, that helps bring to life this ancient culture of Biblical times.
Note: the Logos edition is a previous version of the one offered on Amazon and ChristianBook.com.