Recovering Capharnaum, by Stanislao Loffreda
An exceptional booklet for envisioning Capernaum, where Christ ministered the most. Lots of pictures and explanations about excavations, what was found by archaeologists, and what is known about the village in the first century.
Jerusalem in the Year 30 A.D., by Leen & Kathleen Ritmeyer
Exemplary at showing many aspects of Jerusalem as they look today and yet helping to envision how it would’ve looked in Christ’s era. Has artwork, photographs and explanations of what archaeologists found and how they were able to reach the conclusions they reached.
Food at the Time of the Bible, by Miriam Feinberg Vamosh
If you’re interested in food in the Bible plus envisioning Bible time eras, this book is for you. It covers koshur animals, ancient weights, customs, methods of working with food and food preservation, has lots of pictures, recipes, information, and is clearly well researched.
The Origins of Things (or how the hour got its minutes), by the Biblical Archaeological Society
A rather short book, a collection of a miscellaneous assortment of origins, quite interesting.
My Favorite 3 Books of Information with Lots of Pictures:
Daily Life at the Time of Jesus, by Miriam Feinberg Vamosh
First-rate pictures and artwork with lots of information and research, I find fascinating.
Living in the Time of Jesus of Nazareth, by Peter Connolly
Finest pictures, artwork, diagrams and maps, very informative and interesting.
Jesus and His Times, by Reader’s Digest
Although the binding in my copy fell apart, the content of this makes it my most favorite of these 3 (but by a slim margin). The research, accuracy, amount of information, diagrams, artwork, maps and pictures made it worth the cheap binding to me.
The Next 3 Books:
I purchased these while in Israel at Neot Kedumim, which was founded by the author. After lengthy studies of flora in the Bible, Hareuveni featured the more interesting details. The Bible translators sometimes didn’t translate accurately because they were unfamiliar with this world and the numerous species referenced. These books introduce us to the drug, grocery, clothing and hardware stores of the Bible times. Material possessions of any culture are a significant part of understanding any peoples. I highly recommend all 3 of these books for any serious student of the Bible eras. The author is Jewish, but a Christian won’t have to wonder whether he can agree with most of the material covered.
Nature in Our Biblical Heritage, by Nogah Hareuveni
Did you read my blog about monsters in the Bible yet? If so, you’ll understand the importance of knowing what things were used for. And if so, you’ll also know the need to discover what things they had to use. So how does where one lives in Israel change their occupations? Would a land flowing with milk and honey describe 2 different lifestyles? Can it represent both blessing and judgment? How do their seasons affect their harvest and feasts? What were their main forms of produce?
Tree and Shrub in Our Biblical Heritage, by Nogah Hareuveni
How did they make rope strong enough to lift the mammoth rocks in the temple mount? Survive in the wilderness when travelling or herding flocks? Make a fire with cold, wet wood? Make flypaper to catch flies? Hold back sand dunes? Bandage wounds? Insulate themselves from the cold ground at night? Preserve food on a hot day? And how much of these trees and shrubs explains things in the Bible?
Desert and Shepherd in Our Biblical Heritage, by Nogah Hareuveni
Why did farmers hate shepherds? What’s the difference between midbar and arava, and why does it matter? How do sheep and goats differ? And household sheep or desert sheep? What’s so treacherous about hiking in wadis in the winter? What challenges do shepherds face for their flocks with water or the lack of it?
For Slightly More Serious Students:
Ancient Scrolls, An Introduction to Archaeology, by Michael Avi-Yonah
A good introduction to the numerous ancient manuscripts that have survived from past ages.
Guide to the Dead Sea Scrolls, by Craig A. Evans
This book changed my opinion on whether the Essenes were likely the inhabitants of the area where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. It gives a strong overview of the Dead Sea Scrolls and their importance for Christianity. It covers their discovery, notes on the Dead Sea region, the contents and dates of the scrolls, who wrote and gathered them, 1st and 2nd generation scholars of the scrolls, and more.
The Holy Temple of Jerusalem, by Chaim Richman
Lots of awesome artwork and information, great for envisioning many aspects of the Jews’ ancient worship.
Pictorial Guide to the Model of Ancient Jerusalem at the time of the Second Temple, Copyright Holyland Corp. Inc.
In English, Francais and Deutsche, this little booklet is excellent for envisioning Jerusalem as it looked during the New Testament times. Great for a review if you’ve been to Israel and saw the model in person, or to picture Jerusalem if you’ve been pouring over maps of Jerusalem in the first century.
Origins of the Alphabets, An Introduction to Archaeology, by Joseph Naveh
A good introduction to how alphabets formed based on archaeological findings (such as stone, metal and papyrus) with writings on them.
Zondervan Dictionary of Biblical Imagery
This book added to my learning about ancient life in Israel for writing well-informed blogs.
Everyday Life in Bible Times
This book also added to my knowledge of Bible times for writing well-informed blogs.
For Those Who’ve Been to Israel or Plan to Go:
Being to Israel yourself gives you a unique perspective. Chiefly it gives a sentimental attachment, I suspect. But it also perhaps gives a desire to retain or even regain the memory of what you saw when you were there. If you’ve been there, or if you want to prepare to go so you’ll remember better what you see, this book is for you. If you went on a guided tour like I did on 2 occasions, you’ll know how much everything can become a blur. You’ll hardly know at times which way is North or South, and what did we see that day, etc. These books are an excellent review:
Journey to the Land of Jesus, by Sr. Alyce L. Waters, RSM and Kathleen A. Marsh
Beautiful pictures that connect the land as Jesus knew it with the land that tourists would recognize, including the churches on holy sites and a lot of beautiful scenery.
Israel – the Land, by Debbie Smith
A short book with information and lots of pictures to give a condensed, brief introduction to Israel and touring it today.
Holy Land – Follow the Steps of Jesus, by Etty Boochny
A thicker book than the previous one described, covers probably every holy site a tourist may go to. Each site is covered with beautiful pictures and rather brief descriptions. Includes a huge map.
Changes for my website
Praise the Lord! My students finished helping me with the latest technology and now I’ll be busy all summer with improving my presentations and organizing my material to significantly improve your experience here. If you want to keep tabs on the latest edits, check out the bottom of my blog index.
- Putting out a Fleece, Casting Lots, and Choosing that Hill to Die on February 24, 2020
- False Humility in the NT, Apocrypha, and Pseudepigrapha, Part 3 of 3 February 17, 2020
- False Humility in the NT, Apocrypha, and Pseudepigrapha, Part 2 of 3 February 10, 2020
- False Humility in the NT, Apocrypha, and Pseudepigrapha, Part 1 of 3 February 3, 2020
- Christ’s Temptation as our Inspiration January 26, 2020
– View previous posts –
My Plans for Blogging
My story of forgiveness and healing is quite unrelated to envisioning the Bible world. But since our world is sin and pain infested, I suspect many will want to hear more about my personal experience. I anticipate writing a couple of blogs about this, but mostly I’ll focus on envisioning the Bible world.
Heather, Christmas 2021
Plans for Improved Website:
The following documentary links are gradually going to disappear from here this summer, appearing instead under the menu option “Tour Israel.” There, I’ll cover more introduction and pictures to the areas these links cover.