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ENVIRONMENTAL AND CULTURAL DIFFERENCES PERTAINING TO THE BIBLE
This is a list of free digital resources to help you study the environmental and cultural differences between modern day America and the lands referred to in the books and letters that are, or are closest to, the original copies of what the bible is comprised of at any of the times indications of those differences (which are in the books and letters) were probably first created as indicated by archaeological finds and the current terrain, plants, animals and traditions found in the lands referred to in those books and letters.
This list was last updated on August 12, 2015
Rules & Recommendations (This section is to help you use the following pages.):
I recommend that if your going to use a link on the following pages to download a book that, when there’s more than one file type, you download the kind referred to as a PDF, because, unlike the other (the DjVu), it’s likely that you’re computer will be able to use it. But that problem will be fixed if you’re able to install the computer program referred to as “Sumatra”, which is free, (The address to the website made for Sumatra is http://blog.kowalczyk.info/software/sumatrapdf/). Once it’s installed you should download the DjVu files instead, because they’re often smaller in size and display their virtual pages more clearly and much faster.
There are also a few things you should know about this list that will be true unless otherwise stated in red text with a dotted underline.
- I’ve sorted each listing above the yellow division (you may find it on page seven) based on what I thought would be the most desired and I sorted them with the greater ones above the lesser ones.
- I’ve typed the text above internet addresses for books in the font Lucida Handwriting, web-sites or divisions of them (which aren’t designed to be downloaded) in the font Informal011 BT, and videos in thefont Alba Super.
- Each internet address for a book leads to a scanned copy (which is an e-book comprised of a collection of pictures to represent each page) that has been processed by an OCR scanner (which is a computer program, or part of one, designed with the intention to enable it to turn whatever writing it sees into editable text. Which typically means that the text it creates is the same kind that is typed into a computer using a keyboard) and has mistakes that were made by it.
- This means that it will appear that you can use your computer to select, copy, and search text from thesee-books as if they weren’t a scanned copy (but the text you do that with is not the original text, it’s what the OCR scanner created).
- Because of how most of the books were digitized I recommend that you only download them using the internet addresses I provide for you.
- If you don’t you might be downloading an unreadable copy.
About colored pictures:
So far as I’ve seen, the books I have on this list don’t have any colored pictures except for the rare occurrence of one before the introductory material or the occasional color coded map. So if I do list a book that I’ve noticed uses them I will mention it using the red text with a dotted underline that I use to mention the rest of the exceptions mentioned on this page.
“Manners and Customs of Biblical Lands” Written by, “Fred Wight” and Copyrighted in “1953″
This is actually the first book about the environmental and cultural differences pertaining to the bible that I ever read. I found it extremely useful, even though it was a little difficult to understand the old English in some parts.
None of the three addresses below lead to a scanned copy
This PDF is lacking in it’s text format but it’s the only free one I found that includes pictures, so it’s worth it to preserve it. Some of the text problems are:
- It has some of it’s text blue and underlined making each section like that look like a hyper-link, but they’re just blue and underlined text.
- It has the word “picture:” below and to the right of each picture.
- It doesn’t seem to include any italicized text.
- It doesn’t seem to include any underlined text.
With a superior text format:
This version is divided into a series of PDFs, missing it’s pictures, and missing a downloadable version of it’s introductory material, but it’s text is represented in a beautiful way. http://www.baptistbiblebelievers.com/OTStudies/MannersandCustomsInBibleLands1953/tabid/232/Default.aspx
“Hand-Book of Bible Manners and Customs” Written by, “Rev. James M. Freeman, A. M.” and Published in “1875”
This is my favorite book on the list, it’s extremely detailed, it’s very well organized, and I’ve managed to find both a web-site division made from it and a scanned copy of it. I recommend you use the scanned copy because the web-site version doesn’t have any of it’s pictures (which I found extremely helpful). But both of them have their own advantages and disadvantages and are very informative. How-ever, because it was first made so long ago, the English was a little difficult for me to understand in parts.
ABOUT THE SCANNED COPY: GOOD:
- If you don’t you might be downloading an unreadable copy.
It has a lot of pictures (and no useless ones).
- It has three indexes at the end of it that organizes its contents in different ways, the most useful is probably the index titled “II. TEXTUAL INDEX.” which allows you to use it as a commentary.
- It’s letters are partially eroded.
- It has some defects that occasionally obstruct the text (but I’ve always been able to figure out what the words were).
- The OCR scanner’s mistakes (An OCR scanner is a computer program, or part of one, that types any word’s, letters, or symbols it sees in a picture in an overlapping invisible text so you can use those pictures like they were pages created using a modern computer) were never fixed.
ABOUT THE WEB-SITE DIVISION: GOOD:
- It has an option to purchase a printed copy of the book that has all of it’s pictures.
- In each section it has a list of all the verses, that pertain to the lesson of that section, placed just above the lesson.
- It has hyper-links to the King James bible for each verse or group of verses below the lists mentioned at the previous bullet.
- It has hyper-links to a bible dictionary for a lot of seemingly random words.
- The text on their website doesn’t have the mistakes an OCR scanner would probably make.
- Each abbreviation of the name of a book or letter in the bible has been replaced with it’s full name.
- The Roman numeral system used to represent the chapters of the bible’s books has been replaced with the one most people use (the Hindu-Arabic numeral system).
- It has a word search feature on it’s home-page.
- It has a separate webpage that contains the entire book, so you don’t need to link to other webpages in it to read all that the book has to say.
- It has a downloadable version of the it as a RTF.
- It has instructions for sending a copy of it as a RTF to a Kindle or eReader, such as a Nook or iPad.
- It has an option to e-mail a copy of it to any person you want (but that copy doesn’t have an index for you to click on).
- It has an option for each section to download it as a RTF or a PDF (which takes you to a PDF making website that’s ready to make one out of that section).
- It has an option for each section of it to put a link to it on Facebook or Twitter
- It has an option for each section that takes you to webpage, that’s a copy of the section, which is better suited for printing.
It doesn’t have any of the book’s pictures.
- It doesn’t have the section titled “List of authorities consulted in the preparation of this volume.”.
- It doesn’t have the section titled “List of engravings.”.
- It doesn’t have the three indexes placed at the end of the book or an equivalent to them.
Webpage (The entire book is on this one webpage):
“Bible Lands” Written by, “Rev. Henry J. Van-Lennep, D. D.” and Published in “1875” I’ve only just started this book but it looks to be very promising. It has more pictures than the one listed above and it includes maps that it uses to familiarize you with the territory by referring to them in the text. Unfortunately some of the colors the maps to the first part are tinted with (especially the color gold) are unrecognizable in parts, but they’re mostly
readable and the tinting only refers to levels of elevation which you may compensate for by studying other maps (which is necessary anyhow since the first map doesn’t show everything that’s talked about in the book.), I recommend you use “Marble” or “Google Earth” (which is much more detailed). One outstanding feature I noticed in this book is that, unlike the others I’ve read, it doesn’t have clear divisions between the subjects but reads in a way that one subject flows into another seamlessly. But please keep in mind this is just what I’ve noticed so far.
Christian Computer Art
This website is simply wonderful, it has lots of pictures I’ve been searching for, and they’re organized so well you hardly need to read at all. The only problem is that they usually don’t have any explanatory material to accompany them aside from the subcategory they’re in and that nearly all of them seem to be in a low resolution, which I assume is so that they won’t break copyright laws.
Life in Bible Times (Housing, Lifestyles, Occupations, Animals & Plants.):
Places and Nations in the Bible World (Places, Maps, Nationalities, Soldiers.):
I was extremely impressed with this web-site. It gives lots of good pictures (both photographs and drawings) for each section, describes things very well (it even includes some descriptions of various customs), and has a list of related web-sites in every section. I’ve never seen a better free resource for learning biblical architecture.
The nineth edition of “Palestine and The Bible” Written by, “Rev. Samuel Schor, A Native of Jerusalem” and Published sometime in the nineteen hundreds.
I found this book to be very easy to read and I haven’t found one I enjoyed more, but unfortunately it doesn’t have any pictures and is not as complete as the ones I listed above. That is why I won’t recommend it as highly. It should also be noted that unlike the other scanned copies the PDF version displays it’s pages rather quickly.
“Strange Scriptures That Perplex The Western Mind” Written by, “Barbara M. Brown” and Published in “1984”
This is a handy book and if it weren’t for it’s lack of clarity in some of it’s descriptions and that the author isn’t from the bible lands she wrote about I would recommend it more than the one I listed before. Some good qualities about it are that the author occasionally speaks from personal experience (indicating that she has been to the holy land), it lists it’s information in each section as a series of independent subjects (in other words no part of it directs you to reference another, doing so is not necessary), and that unlike most of the e-books this one is not a scanned copy so you may use it without worrying about encountering any mistakes made by an OCR scanner.
“Manners & Customs in the Bible”
This is the only video series I’ve ever seen that was designed to teach you the environmental and cultural differences that pertain to the bible. Unfortunately it’s amateurishly done and the speakers tend to ramble and stammer, but they’re still useful.
Presentation Webpage (The videos are only for online viewing.):
“Israel Tour 2000”
This is a collection of videos from a tour of Israel in the year 2000. It was made by the same organization that created the “Manners & Customs in the bible” series listed just above and by the same person who created most of the videos in that series. Unfortunately It hardly shows any cultural evidence, which I hoped to see in abundance.
Presentation Webpage (The videos are only for online viewing.):
“The Ilistrated Bible Treasury” Written by, over 23 different authors and Copyrighted in “1896”
This book has lots of pictures and seems to have more to teach than any of the four resources listed just above, but unfortunately it includes a lot of information that’s of next to no use and most of it’s not organized for studying the environmental and cultural differences I made the list your reading for. But you may find the parts that are under the title “SECTION V. — GEOGRAPHY OF BIBLE LANDS.” in the “CONTENTS.” section at the start of the book (on pages “xi” and “xii”) just before the “LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.” and just after the “NOTE BY THE PUBLISHERS.”.
If you plan on reading all of the book, you should also know that a portion of the text is obstructed by what appears to have been a hole in the leaf for pages 29 and 30. You may compensate for it by reading a scan of a different (but less complete) copy of the book, which I’ve provided internet addresses for below under the listing “BOOK TO PATCH WITH”.
Book to patch with (For pages 29 & 30): Presentation Webpage: https://archive.org/details/theillustratedbi00unknuoft
“Levy Family in Bethlehem” Filmed in 1933
This is actually a collection of home movies put into a single video file and their the oldest home movies I’ve ever seen. They’re in black and white, silent, and they include a lot of useless footage.
RESOURCES I HARDLY KNOW:
The listings below this yellow division are unsorted because, since I’ve read so little of them, I haven’t been able to make an informed decision.
“Archeology and The Bible” Written by, “George A. Barton, Ph. D., LL. D.” and Copyrighted in 1916 by, the “American Sunday-School Union”
This book has a lot of pictures, but they’re not sorted like I’ve seen them in other books. you may find the pages they’re on by searching the index (just remember that since this is a scanned copy you must read the page numbers on the pages themselves to determine which page the index refers to).
“Bible Manners and Customs” Written by, “Rev. G. M. Mackie, M. A.” and Published in “1898”
I read the introductory material and liked what was said. I also browsed some of it’s pages to see what the pictures looked like and it appears that many of them are old photographs.
“Bible Times and Customs” Published by the Middletown Bible Church
This book appears to be an educational workbook for kids, but none the less while browsing it I did notice it seems to be informative, even though I didn’t see any pictures I thought would be useful.
This book was not processed by an OCR scanner.
Presentation Webpage (The book is separated into thirteen chapters and a cover page which have to be downloaded individually): http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/biblecus/biblec.htm
“The Sanctuary or Tent of Meeting, Usually Called The Tabernacle.” Written by “G. Woolworth Colton” and Published in “1895”
After I browsed a little I realized that this book appears to be only for learning a theoretical understanding of how the holy temple and tabernacle, and the things in them, were constructed. However I do believe it would have to explain some of the environmental and cultural differences I made the list you’re reading for in-order to clarify some details.
Because of my doubts about and lack of experience with this web-site I only recommend it as a good source for finding colored pictures of a decent quality.
“Orientalisms in Bible Lands” Written by “Edwin Wilbur Rice, D. D.” and Published in “1910”
This book seems like it would be very useful. The most defining characteristic I noticed about it is that it only includes old photographs (no drawings) and I didn’t find any index of them. I can be certain that they’re all photographs because I’ve been copying images from old books and I went through this one page by page to make a list.
“Oriental Customs ” Written by “Rev. Samuel Burder, A. M.” and Published in “1840”
After browsing it a little I realized that this book doesn’t seem to include any photographs or drawings.
“Jewish Nation” Revised by “D. P. Kidder” and Published in “1850”
This seems to be a very useful book with a lot of drawings, but it was not processed by an OCR scanner.
Manners And Customs
This is a composite of several different books that was made within a division of a web-site. The following quote from that division is a description of the composite.
“The division of the subjects is the same as it is in the book “Manners and Customs of Bible Lands” by Fred Wight.
The material however is a blend of Wight, Easton, ISBE (International Stand Bible Encyclopedia), Fausset, Hitchcock, Nave, Smith and Torrey.”