Because most people in the ancient world constantly lived on the edge of starvation, obesity was neither an option nor, for most, something to be avoided. Only the rich could afford the luxury of being fat, and for this reason fatness became a mark of status and wealth.Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY (OBESITY)
Contaminated water was a problem in Bible times, just as it still is in many parts of the world. Paul’s practical advice to Timothy was to drink a little wine along with the water that he had been drinking, which had caused a stomach ailment. Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS AND CURIOSITIES (MEDICINAL USE OF WINE)
There are a number of cautionary tales in the Bible, but few are as seamy and sad as this one.
Looking down on the city of Jerusalem form the atop his royal palace one fine spring evening, Israel’s King David spotted a fine young woman. She wasn’t merely attractive; she was “very beautiful.” And, of all the things she might have been doing, she was bathing. Continue reading WOMAN OF THE DAY (BATHSHEBA: THE VERY BEAUTIFUL WOMAN WITH THE VERY TRAGIC LIFE)
Conservative churches that discourage or ban use of alcoholic beverages are bewildered at the production of wine as Jesus’ first miracle. Such churches have sometimes insisted that the wine in John 2 was nonalcoholic, despite the wedding guests’ unusual delight and appreciation of it. Surely, Jesus did make very good wine, yet not hint of alcoholic abuse clouds this account. Continue reading DOES JESUS’ MIRACLE AT CANA ENCOURAGE THE USE OF ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES?
Cisterns of Bible times were little more than deep pits dug in the ground or shallow reservoirs carved out of limestones rock. Rainwater water directed into these holding thanks and stored for use during the dry season (see notes on Genesis 37:24 and 2 Samuel 17:18-19). Continue reading DRINKING FROM A CISTERN