Unlike most books on Bible customs, this work presents customs in chronological order, with chapters on each major period of biblical history: ancestral, Exodus settlement, monarchic, exilic, postexilic, and intertestamental/New Testament. This arrangement makes sense because the pastoral nomadic culture of the early years of the Bible, for example, differs significantly from the urban life of the New Testament in Roman times.
Each chapter begins with a summary of the historical and physical settings of the period and then discusses specific social customs of that period.
The book is replete with about one hundred color photos, twenty-nine maps, and about a dozen illustrations.
A glossary, bibliography, and indexes of subjects, personal names, place names, and ancient texts make the material in the book readily accessible. Marriage customs, religious practices, legal proceedings, agricultural methods, city and rural life, weaponry, clothing, burial customs, travel—readers can find information on these and many more cultural issues and how an understanding of these customs illumines the pages of Scripture.