Grade 9 Up–These volumes offer a wealth of fascinating information on such aspects of everyday life. Things comprises objects, but also groups, events, animals, titles, and concepts, targeted to a lay audience. Tischler avoids controversy, for example describing two creation stories without mentioning their likely disparate origins. There are a few problems, such as unsupportable assertions (Jesus …had a commanding presence, but dressed simply in peasant garb), and minor issues with the index and see also references. Gothic script headers are difficult to read. However, black-and-white line drawings are helpful. Bible sources are given for each entry, and Bible references are in the text, with cross-references in bold. A further-reading list follows most entries, and a selected bibliography and an index appear in volume two. An impressive assemblage of data for research papers.–Patricia D. Lothrop, St. George's School, Newport, RI
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• Illuminates daily life in biblical times
• Supports the literature curriculum by helping students understand the central text of the Western tradition
• Supports the history curriculum by using the bible to explore the customs and cultures of the biblical world
• Fosters an appreciation for the Judeo-Christian heritage
• Assists general readers in learning about the foundations of Judaism, Christianity, and Western civilization
• Includes more than 200 alphabetically arranged entries
• Provides numerous illustrations
• Entries cite works for further reading
• Offers a selected, general bibliography
• Contains a variety of finding aids, including lists of entries, cross-references, and a detailed index
"[S]urveys the material culture, customs, and beliefs of the biblical world through more than 200 A-Z entries on the tools, animals, foods, habits, laws, professions, and people of the Bible. Each entry provides definitions; scriptural references; etymological, historical, and archaeological information; and, when possible, a discussion of the topic's relevance to modern readers."
Library Media Connection
"[P]resents over 200 entries on physical objects, animals, concepts, groups, titles, cultures, events, places, and pagan gods that are referred to or part of the culture of the peoples in the Bible….Ranging in size from one paragraph to several pages, the entries comprise Bible sources, etymology, cross references, and recommended readings. The overall format is easy to read….Recommended for high school libraries where there is a strong interest in Bible culture."
"These volumes offer a wealth of fascinating information on such aspects of everyday life. Things comprises objects, but also groups, events, animals, titles, and concepts, targeted to a lay audience. Tischler avoids controversy, for example describing two creation stories without mentioning their likely disparate origins….Bible sources are given for each entry, and Bible references are in the text, with cross-references in bold. A further-reading list follows most entries, and a selected bibliography and an index appear in volume two. An impressive assemblage of data for research papers."
School Library Journal
"This attractive two-volume set is printed in large type on pages with lots of white space. The author intends it for lay readers who are less interested in scholaryly debate, detail, and discussion and more interested in the facts leading to a better understanding of Scripture….The author's hope that these two volumes will help readers gain a richer understanding of vineyards and funerals, weddings and hospitality, Pharisees and Sadducees, kings and shepherds… I think they will."
Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith
"The entire work is well written and well presented. I welcome the allusions to biblical stories and images in English literature, since T's background is in that field of study. The illustrations are well done and helpful."
The Catholic Biblical Quarterly
"Having produced 2003 a reference to men and women in the Bible, Tischler here describes groups of people such as professions or nationalities, commonly referenced cultures and places such as Egypt and Galilee, theological constructs such as the Fall of Man and the Resurrection, events and activities, pagan gods, and other matters of possible interest to lay readers of the Hebrew or Christian Bible. Entries range from a page or less to several pages, cite biblical passages and cross-references in the text, and suggest further print and online sources for deeper study. The two volumes are paged and indexed together."
Reference & Research Book News
"Nonspecialists will find the work helpful in that the entries are easy to read and concise enough for someone to receive a basic knowledge of the material….Public libraries and lay church leaders will benefit the most from the set."
Religious Studies Review
"As a religious text, the Bible is rooted in the common life of people and full of imagery drawn from it. These alphabetical listings explain both the familiar and unfamiliar-nationalities, places, events, activities, professions, tools, animals, and pagan gods-and provide reference points for readers and researchers. Black-and-white line drawings and maps aid in understanding those long-ago cultures that continue to impact modern beliefs."
Curriculum Connections School Library Journal