Though the Bible is the greatest book we could ever read or study, its unfamiliar manners, customs, and culture often make it difficult to fully appreciate.
A good understanding of this world creates a fascinating background for making the Bible come alive, and Bible study more interesting and meaningful. Greater insight into those times and places can help us more fully appreciate the Scriptures and respond to their great truths.
My hope is that this blog will serve as a useful tool for your own Bible study: a spellbinding journey into the world of the Father’s immense love, grace, and truth.
Fishing and fishermen form an important element in the New Testament narrative. Most of Christ’s earthly ministry centered around the Sea of Galilee. It is where he imparted most of his parables and performed all of his miracles, and 4 of the 12 apostles were fishermen. Read More »
Pagan societies in Biblical times devalued women, granting them little more dignity than animals. Even Greek philosophers, with their great learning, regarded them as inferior creatures by nature. Aristotle once said, “Woman may be said to be an inferior to man.” Read More »
Bible scholars believe that few Israelites in Old Testament days were fishermen. Partly because Israel was mostly an agrarian society. But also due to the fact that the Phoenicians and Philistines controlled the Mediterranean coastal waters.Read More »
Poll tax, salt tax, and crown tax! Wherever they went, along major highways, at city gates, or along quiet country roads, the Israelites encountered the tax booth. The main symbol of foreign domination, and that which most stirred their indignation. Foreign taxation was nothing new to them, but the unscrupulous dealings of the Roman tax-farmers and collectors ignited their fiercest hatred. Read More »
A brief reflection on Jews and Gentiles in the time of Christ.
When Christ appeared on the scene, it was during a time of hatred, factions, and divisions. Judaism was split into three factions: the middle class Pharisees, rich aristocratic Sadducees, and the Essenes who had taken vows of poverty. All three disliked each other and looked down on the Galileans, whom they viewed as uneducated country people. Read More »