The book, newly titled “The Cultural World of the Bible,” explores what life was like for people living during Biblical times. Matthews said the book aims to start conversations and to bring narratives and biblical characters to life, rather than serve primarily as a reference work.
“The Bible deserves close study and students should have the opportunity to exercise their critical thinking skills to raise questions and to seek out a fuller understanding of how the ancient world differs from their own,” he said. “While they cannot physically enter Jerusalem in the time of King David, they can explore what it is like to live in a world without automobiles, electricity, and smart phones.
Matthews has published 17 books and dozens of articles and is a specialist in the Hebrew Bible and social world of the ancient Near East. He has been a part of the Missouri State faculty since 1984.