New Release: The Cultural World of the Bible, 4th Edition

Cover ArtIn this new edition of a successful book, now updated throughout, a leading expert on the social world of the Bible offers students a reliable guide to the manners and customs of the ancient world. From what people wore, ate, and built to how they exercised justice, mourned, and viewed family and legal customs, this illustrated introduction helps readers gain valuable cultural background on the biblical world.

The attractive, full-color, user-friendly design will appeal to students, while numerous pedagogical features–including fifty photos, sidebars, callouts, maps, charts, a glossary of key terms, chapter outlines, and discussion questions–increase classroom utility. Previously published as Manners and Customs in the Bible.


“With impeccable skill, detailed research, and a thoroughly engaging style, Victor Matthews has produced a text that captures the complexity, beauty, and magnificence of the ancient biblical world….Perfect for undergraduate and beginning graduate courses in Bible.” – Carol J. Dempsey, University of Portland

“[Matthews] broad knowledge of the ancient world and its texts will serve well the reader who desires to dig deeper into the Bible and understand it in its cultural context.” – John Walton, Wheaton College

“This classic work is packed full of fresh information from archaeology and from texts outside the Bible that provide a multitude of insights into the Bible’s social and religious practices….Highly recommended as a companion to reading the Bible.” – Mark S. Smith, New York University

“This fourth edition will be of great use in the classroom. Maintaining the historical summaries and discussion of everyday life of earlier editions–including everything from fashion to child rearing to sewage systems–and with an expanded text, discussion questions, annotated bibliography, and glossary, this is an unparalleled resource for university instructors and students.” – Robert D. Miller II, The Catholic University of America

“A comprehensive, sophisticated, and stimulating overview of the world standing behind the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament….Matthews navigates a remarkable spectrum of history, geography, and civilizations with masterful skill. Both seasoned scholars and newcomers to the study of the Bible will find this to be a valuable and eminently readable resource.” – Mark Leuchter, Temple University


Victor H. MatthewsVictor H. Matthews (PhD, Brandeis University) is dean of the College of Humanities and Public Affairs and professor of religious studies at Missouri State University in Springfield, Missouri, where he has taught for thirty years. He is the author of numerous books, including The Old Testament: Text and Context, The Hebrew Prophets and Their Social World, and Studying the Ancient Israelites.

For more information on The Cultural World of the Bible, click here.


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