Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Home Life in Bible Times by Arthur W. Klinck (Now: Everyday Life in Bible Times)

This is another volume of the Concordia Leaders Training Series written by Arthur W. Klinck in 1947. He also wrote the Old Testament History volume, a review of which may be found here, along with a bit more information about the series.
Home Life in Bible Times is an excellent resource for the parent, pastor, or teacher. It gives helpful information about the biblical world: its customs, agriculture, occupations, husbandry, food and drink, construction and architecture, weaponry, the trades, travel, art, science, commerce, and much more.

It strikes the perfect balance of information for the Christian home or parish. It is not overwhelming in the amount of detail, yet gives a satisfying look at what life was like during the Old and New Testaments--neither too cumbersome nor too cursory.
Klinck had the books' educational helpfulness in mind as he prepared it. For example, he opted to forgo pictures and instead include numerous simple hand drawings of various articles and items so that the teacher and/or student could easily reproduce them on their own. This left the book both small and inexpensive.

Klinck does an excellent job weaving important theological points while explaining various details of daily life. On the first page, it is pointed out that work, far from being a result of the Fall, was a wholesome activity and intended by God from the very beginning. The agriculture section is especially helpful in explaining the many references to harvesting, planting, gardening, etc. made in the Scriptures.
Home Life in Bible Times was revised twice, once by Klinck himself and the the third edition completed by Erich H. Kiehl. The third edition is still sold by CPH as Home "EVERYDAY Life in Bible Times" (pictured below). Concerning the differences between the versions, of which I have all three, I recommend each of them. However, I miss the harder punches from the original, and I think the questions are slightly better in the first edition as opposed to the third. Some of the sections (ie. Social Customs and Family Life) seem to have been revised in a way that does not seem as clear as in the original, tending to be more descriptive rather than both descriptive and making the connection to the many things which were and are prescriptive for believers today. However, this book, regardless of edition, truly does belong on the shelf of your home and parish library.  
Need to Get Level: 10/10
Yes, 10/10, and I really mean it too. If you are a pastor, this is a no brainer, a quick reference that will aid you immensely. If you are a parent, it will help answer many of the questions that you may right now be replying to with an, "Uh...I'm not sure. I'll have to look into that...(Where though?)" If you are a day, Sunday, or homeschool teacher/parent, this will be an indispensable addition to your library and will quickly become one of the children's favorite books if you let them get their hands on it. Basically, there is no good reason not to get it.
For used copies, Amazon has a good number of them:
     Here are two first editions. (I believe)
     Here are some second editions (for very cheap on Amazon (<$2.00 plus s/h)
     Here are some third editions. (for very cheap on Amazon (<$2.00 plus s/h)
Even new from CPH, it is only $10.99.
Or check out bookfinder for more options.


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