The Cultural World of the Bible

An Illustrated Guide to Manners and Customs

by Victor H. Matthews (Author)VICTOR MATTHEWS (Author)
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A leading expert on the social world of the Bible offers students a reliable guide to the manners and customs of the ancient world. The fourth edition has been updated throughout.

"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, University of Portland

"A reliable guide to the world of the Bible. Readers will be enlightened by the many details that Matthews 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."
--John Walton, 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, 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 and with an expanded text, discussion questions, annotated bibliography, and glossary, this is an unparalleled resource for university instructors and students. 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

"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."
--Mark Leuchter, Temple University


Victor H. Matthews, Author

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 Old Testament: Text and Context, The Hebrew Prophets and Their Social World, and Studying the Ancient Israelites.

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