Hi… my name is Wes, and I’ll be your guide as we begin out tour through the Bible. Even if you don’t like to leave the comfort of your home, you can sit back at your computer or your phone, and travel across the world, and across time, as we explore the ancient world of the Bible, together.
Welcome to the world of the Bible. It’s a rugged place: all at once, demanding, harsh, and beautiful. We may like to think its people are just like us, only in quaint costumes, but their world is so very different from ours, and it’s shaped them in surprising ways.
Almost all labor is done by humans or animals. A nasty cut could lead to severe infection, or even death. With no painkillers, antibiotics, or anesthetics of any kind, the rich and poor alike experienced pain on a level most of us never imagine. Childbirth was a truly dangerous activity.
Pottery is everywhere. While scarcity is common, the hillsides and riverbanks are packed with wonderfully sticky, pliable clay, which can be formed into all sorts of shapes. When baked in fire, it almost magically transforms into stone. To the people of this land, it’s a gift probably second only to the springs and occasional rivers, vital to life itself.
Metal is much, much scarcer, and most people own little of it, if any. Even their door locks are made of wood, and the hinges are peg-like extensions of the wooden door, pivoting into the stone threshold and lintel of the doorway.
Even wood is expensive, as forests are sparse in this hot, dry land. While fires may be kindled with twigs, a common fuel would be dried, flattened cakes of animal dung, which at least were fairly plentiful. The wood you owned was part of your valuables, including your wooden door, and ceiling rafters.
While we today have the luxury of seeing ourselves as individuals, the people of Bible times were solidly parts of a group: families, clans, tribes, groups, like pharisees. There were some individuals back then, like widows and orphans, but being alone only meant living without a vital support system. It was a situation to be feared.
These just touch on the differences we’ll see as we begin our exploration of the world of the Bible. In time, this tour will grow (both this page, and the blog entries). Please visit again to discover more of this amazing world.