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How can one fully comprehend the Old Testament book of Ruth without understanding ancient Israelite marriage traditions? Even a quick skim of the Gospels starts readers wondering about tax collectors, religious officials, fishermen and farmers. And so much is missed when reading Acts and the Epistles without some grasp of Roman law and government.
Countless questions crop up when reading the Bible:
• Why would Lot even think of throwing his daughters to a mob?
• How did the Exile change Israel's religious life?
• What were the differences between Sadducees, Pharisees, scribes, and Essenes?
Offering much more than fascinating color pictures, each chapter furnishes an introduction to the political and physical setting of specific periods in Israel's history, and outlines the basic structure of its social world. Featuring Scripture passages alongside the text to keep relevant biblical passages in view, it includes all new illustrations and photos for an invaluable visual experience of the world of Abraham, David, Jesus, and Paul.