THE SHORT ANSWER:
This site is a place for…
…people who like to explore and who like to be surprised by new and interesting things.
…people who learn more easily from a pleasant conversation than from a list of facts.
…people who’d love to add another layer to the depth of their Bible reading. If it turns out to be fun and to not take too much work, so much the better.
…people who suspect that the folks in the world of the Bible might have been very different from ourselves, and in many ways.
This is a place to learn fun and surprising things about the Bible. We’ll investigate the characters, places and events in the Bible and its history, but with a difference. Instead of just studying facts, we’re going to meet the people, see their world, and understand how they lived. Once we meet them, it’s almost impossible not to love them. It’s especially impossible not to love the amazing God who made them and cared for them.
The Bible has all sorts of nooks and crannies that we hardly ever hear about. There’s also a fascinating world of archaeological data, as well as historical documents, produced by a parade of ancient people. As we examine all the pieces together, we’ll see the Bible’s characters come alive. They have a remarkable story to tell us.
Best of all, as we read more of God’s Word we’ll get a clearer picture of what He has to say. In the end it’s the Bible, not this website, that makes the real difference.
THE LONG ANSWER:
Since you’re okay with the longer answer, let’s start with an example (though not a very long one!) We’ll check out Song of Solomon 4:2. This book is a love poem, in which two young lovers gush about their delight for one another. While scholars may debate as to how literal or how symbolic it’s to be taken, we needn’t worry of that just now. In the verse we’re reading, the young man says to his lady:
Your teeth are like a flock of sheep just shorn
coming up from the washing
Each has its twin, not one of them is alone.
Look again at that last line. The young man is ecstatic about the fact… that his lady has a full set of teeth.
My advice to any young man reading this site is that this would be a terrible example to use to impress a young lady today. Yes, I know it’s right there in the Bible, but it’s very, very common nowadays for a young lady to have all of her teeth. In Biblical times, it clearly was not.
It was even worth gushing over.
This shouldn’t surprise us. In their day there were no dentists, no floss, no toothbrushes. There doesn’t appear to be much knowledge of oral hygiene at all. To make things worse, their breads were made from grains ground by hand, between stones. This filled their bread with stone flecks, which gradually wore away their tooth enamel.
Let’s think of consequences beyond their simply losing one tooth after another. Consider that while an abscess is just an expensive nuisance today, back then it could kill. Consider too that these people lived in a world without painkillers, anesthetics, or antibiotics. Consider that even the very wealthy in those days would have had to deal with pain, illness, and disease on a level that even much of today’s third world doesn’t bear.
And so here we’ve seen one way that their world was radically different from ours. It reminds me of just how much I have and how much I take for granted. How about you?