B103 Manners and Customs of Bible Times                

Fall 2015 - 2 Credit Hours

Instructor: Dr Ed Bez

Phone: 352-301-1445 cell

770-786-7293 office

Email: questbibleinstitute@yahoo.com


Course Description:

This course equips the student with greater knowledge about the world of the Bible and the relevant customs of major Bible lands; with an emphasis on Israel.

We look back on the Biblical world as a time of fateful battles, inspiring prophets, great empires and profound learning. Unfortunately, this picture is often skewed to highlight regal, rather than common, history. In this course the student learn how archaeology reveals what life was like for the average citizen.

By examining ancient societal structure, crafts and daily practices, we can reconstruct the lives of ordinary people to better understand the world of the Bible and breathe new reality into the ancient world we are trying to understand.  

It allows the students to see the ancient world of Israel as never before.

Course Outcomes:

By the end of the course students will be able to:

1. Demonstrate an appreciation of the location and role of territories and political entities which appear in the biblical narrative.

2. Discuss how knowledge of ancient lifestyles and points of view can enable one to elucidate passages objectively rather than subjectively.

3. Recognize how major biblical frameworks such as the seven feasts of Israel and the system of God’s covenants allow logical clarification of scriptural paradoxes.

4. Join the story alongside the biblical characters, feel the events of their lives in a more personal way, and bring the lessons learned forward in time making them more applicable to their own lives in the present.


QBIS Library Collection:

Beitzel, Barry J. Bible Atlas: People, Places and Events. (Birmingham, Sweet Water Press, 2014).

Feinberg-Vamosh, Miriam. Daily Life at the Time of Jesus (Israel, Palphot).

Freeman James M. The New Manners & Customs of the Bible. (Bridge-Lions, Alachua, 1998).

Gower, Ralph. The New Manners and Customs of Bible Times.  (Chicago, IL: Moody, 2005).

Howard, David M. Fascinating Bible Facts: People, Places &Events. (Publications International Ltd., Lincolnwood, 1998).

Jesus and His Times (Reader’s Digest Association, Pleasantville, NY, 1987).

LaSor, William Sanford. Daily Life in Bible Times (Cincinnati: Standard Publishing, 1966).

Matthews, Victor H. The Cultural World of the Bible. Baker Academic, Grand Rapids, 2015).

Millard, Alan. Treasures from Bible Times. (Oxford, Lion Publishing, 1991).

Vamosh, Miriam Feinberg. Food at the Time of the Bible. (Israel, Philpot).

Wagner, Clarence H. Lessons from the Land of the Bible (Jerusalem, Bridges for Peace, 1998).

Wight, Fred H. Manners and Customs of Bible Lands (Chicago: Moody Press, 1953).


Internet resources:



Required Texts:

The Illustrated Guide to Bible Customs & Curiosities. George W. Knight. Barbour Publishing, 2007.

Any version of the Holy Bible.

All assigned reading is to be completed prior to the beginning of each class session. Any supplemental readings or handouts will be for information or research purposes only unless otherwise specified.


Major Assignments:

1. Reflective paper, minimum of five pages in MLA style, per handout.

2. Middle term, open book

3. Final Exam, open book.


Attendance Policy:

All students are expected to attend a minimum of eight out of the ten scheduled class sessions. (Catalog pg. 13) The instructor is to be given advance notice of planned absences. The instructor will be considerate of crisis or emergency situations if informed within a reasonable time frame.


Evaluation and Grading Policy:

Letter grades will follow the “Academic Policies” section of the Catalog, pg. 13. Grades will be based on the following criteria:

20% Attendance

20% Mid term

20% Readings and class participation

20% Final exam

20% Final paper


Late Assignment Policy:

Assignments are due when specified. Be aware of the QBIS policy regarding incomplete work. (Catalog pg. 13) Assigning a grade of ‘Incomplete’ is a temporary extension of the due date for classwork, and must have the approval of the class instructor. The student will have 90 (ninety) days from the last day of class to complete and submit all outstanding work or accept a final grade of ‘F’.

Reflective Paper:

All papers are to be typed on a computer or typewriter, and formatted in MLA style per handout. You must use Times New Roman, 12 pt. font. Papers are to reflect appropriate research, source citation and English grammar.

Course Calendar

August 24                               Session 1

August 31                               Session 2

September 7                          NO Class- Labor Day

September 14                        Session 3       

September 21                        Session 4

September 28                        Session 5 Mid-Term Exams (Bible Institute)

October 5                                Session 6

October 12                              Session 7

October 19                              Session 8

October 26                              Session 9

November 2                            Session 10 Final Exams (Bible Institute)


Course Content

Daily life in Bible times was both simple and complex. This course will examine a broad spectrum of manners and customs from biblical measures, dress, house & dwellings, life cycle from cradle to grave, workers and work, war, feasts, fasts, and festivals, barter, trade and coins etc.