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Readings and Ramblings

This is Readings and Ramblings. It is readings because this is a site for blogging about books and I intend to do that. It is ramblings because I might want to write about something else now and then.

Everyday Life in Bible Times

Everyday Life in Bible Times - National Geographic Society Despite what the title would lead you to expect this book does not push religion. When it gets to the part about the New Testament it comes close, but it remains a secular work even if it does come near to pushing religion. I do think it does quite a bit of tiptoeing around to avoid offending the faithful though. It is a National Geographic publication and it reads pretty much like one long National Geographic article. That is, the authors traveled the regions that are being written about interviewing the people who live there and then writing about their experiences. There is, of course, much in the way of references to the Bible and to the archaeological discoveries that are pertinent to the stories found in the Bible. It could be said that this is an overview of the findings of biblical archaeology. There are also references to the meager historical records of ancient times and how Middle Eastern archaeology back them up and how they relate to the Bible. It is in the way that the archaeology is presented that constitutes the tiptoeing. That is, there is no hesitation in telling us about evidence that supports biblical accounts, but you will have to look pretty hard to find any mention of evidence that contradicts the Bible. The book was published in 1977 and I don't really know National Geographic's policy concerning references to religion at that time, but it may have changed because I have read some recent issues of the magazine that do not hesitate to talk about the evidence that contradicts the Bible. There was an issue in 2009, for example, that strongly states that King Herrod was almost certainly innocent of the slaughter of male babies that the Bible accuses him of. That will not be found in this book though.