2000 Catholic Press Association Award Winner!
Interpreting the Bible respectfully is a cross-cultural enterprise. For those who seek to understand the Bible as a document from the ancient Mediterranean world and communicate it to people in other cultures, The Cultural Dictionary of the Bible is an ideal tool.
Scripture expert John Pilch gives the modern Bible reader an appreciation for the world in which each book of the Bible originated and an in-depth look at the Mediterranean personalities who populate the pages of the Bible. With more than 100 distinctive, Middle-Eastern notions, from “Abba” to “Work,” this collection provides a cultural system of shared interpretations of persons, things, and events relating to the Mediterranean region.
By applying a social-scientific approach to interpreting the Bible, Pilch shows how a multi-cultural understanding, enriched with the discoveries and insights taken from contemporary anthropological studies, can be used to examine the distinctive, Middle Eastern cultural world of the Bible.
Since each article discusses a variety of persons, things, and events under its title, the alphabetized table of contents presents a comprehensive list of these subjects for ready reference. Uppercase entries identify complete articles; lowercase entries list some of the related topics treated in the articles. A bibliography is provided at the end of each major article. A list of basic resources at the end of the volume presents a selection of dictionaries, atlases, and similar books for supplemental information on each topic.
Preachers, readers, RCIA participants and students alike will appreciate the index to the Sunday Lectionary readings for the full three-year cycle that is provided and its citation of the words defined in the dictionary that appear in the given readings. Includes illustrations of appropriate entries.
If every priest and deacon would just read this one book during the next year, what a difference it would make in the quality of what we hear on Sunday morning, and of how we live the rest of the week.
—Don C. Benjamin, Kino Institute of Theology
John J. Pilch, a highly-regarded biblical scholar and author, taught at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland and passed away in 2016. Among his numerous publications are The Cultural World of Jesus, The Cultural World of the Apostles, and The Cultural World of the Prophets series published by Liturgical Press.