Old Testament fishing.
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. Continue reading Fishing in Bible Times
Here in the western world, we no longer use pottery for much, other than plant pots and decorating. But potters and pottery played an important and vital role in Bible times. Continue reading Pottery Making in Bible Times
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. Continue reading Taxation in Bible Times
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. Continue reading Jews and Gentiles in the Time of Christ
Rabbis in Christ’s time used the following saying to express their disdain of Galilee. They proudly viewed southern Judea, with its traditional lore and religious academies, as far superior to the north. And could find no words strong enough to express their arrogant dislike of their northern Galilean cousins, from Nazareth in particular. Continue reading The Religious Climate in Christ’s Time