By Study and Also By Faith

An LDS (Mormon) blog representing a search for knowledge, understanding, and wisdom.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Daily Life in Bible Times

I am always interested in reading about what ordinary people did as they pursued their ordinary activities in various historical times. I have found an engrossing little book called The New Manners & Customs of Bible Times by Ralph Gower. This book especially interests me because it refers to items and customs that can make the scriptures more clear. As it tells about clothing, for example, it refers to verses in the Bible that mention clothing. The poor often had just one set of clothing and clothes were expensive and hard to come by. That makes what John the Baptist said in Luke 3:11 about giving away one's spare cloak somewhat "revolutionary." That's a minor example, but knowing what ordinary life was like can help one understand how difficult things were or how unusual and that in turn can help one get a fuller understanding of what various scriptures mean.

I have just started the book, but it covers Dwellings, Food, the Family, Education, Towns and Villages, Religion, and much more. There are lots of pictures and drawings to help understand the descriptions and many scriptural references. It's not hugely detailed, but it gives good general information. My copy is marked Student Edition and it looks like a new edition will soon be released, judging from what I saw at

I'm always looking for "daily life" books, especially for biblical times and for medieval times. I guess it's the writer in me wanting detail for the books I hope to write, but it also helps bring the people to life. They are more real when you know what their houses were like and what they did about food and clothing and all.

Colonial America is another time that interests me, but I haven't spent much time on it yet--for some odd reason I can't spend all my waking hours reading and writing! Sad, isn't it?

I am still reading Eusebius and Josephus. I'm finding it interesting, but am in the early pages yet and so don't have much to write blog posts about, though I hope to as I absorb it more.



Blogger s'mee said...

Good post! I am anxious to pick up a copy of this book, it sounds great. Thor is reading Eusebius and Josephus on his hand held. He seems to find it interesting too.

5:05 PM  
Blogger Mary A said...

Thanks, s'mee! I'm really enjoying the book. It's interesting and it's divided up into little bits so it's one of those you can skip around in or pick up and put down as you please. I'm really enjoying Eusebius and Josephus, too.

8:12 AM  
Anonymous Barb said...

While the message of the scriptures is timeless, I do think it is important to have a knowledge of the customs and lifestyle of that day to make the most of the messages found there. Growing up when I heard about how a rich man on a camel could pass through the eye of a needle easier than enter the gates of heaven being raised in the Midwest, I thought it spoke of a sewing needle. That would be impossible. Then I learned about the needles in nature that were eroded passages where one could cautiously pass.

8:28 AM  

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