Dictionary of Daily Life in Biblical and Post-Biblical Antiquity is a dictionary from Profesor Edwin M. Yamauchi and Dr. Marvin R. Wilson that provides background information for things that have to do with daily life in biblical times. It’s available in a multi-volume set and a complete one-volume edition. I’m reviewing the Complete in One Volume edition, ISBN:9781619701458.
This is a hardcover edition without a dust jacket. The front and spine show the title and images, while the back cover provides a description with lots of testimonials from scholars. It seems to be well-made.
The paper is similar to what’s found in a good study Bible. I’d guess it to be in the upper 30’s in gsm. It’s white in color, has no glare, and it’s extremely opaque. I didn’t try it, but I think it would be good paper for highlighting. This paper is a joy to read from. I had no trouble turning pages.
It has 1818 pages with more than 115 topics that cover 6 cultures and time periods in the Bible. The entries take around 7-30+ (with most being between 10-20) pages and they’re printed in a large and dark font. Quotes are in a smaller font. It’s printed in a single column. The header shows the entry in the center and the page number in the outer margin. It’s easy to read from. It seems to be line-matched.
All of the entries are in alphabetical order. Each entry includes a definition and then is divided into the 6 cultures and time periods with detailed information for each one. The cultures and time periods include:
- A. The Old Testament
- B. The New Testament
- C. The Near Eastern World
- D. The Greco-Roman World
- E. The Jewish World
- F. The Christian World
Each one includes lots of Scripture and highly detailed information that’s excellent for study and sermon prep.
There are no theological entries. You won’t find ‘baptism’, ‘soteriology’, etc. It does include information about Jewish laws, home life, work, customs, art, music, and a lot more. The topics were chosen based on their significance during biblical times.
The end of the entry includes a detailed bibliography and similar topics to see. The bibliography is more complete than the one in the back and sometimes takes a few pages.
Here’s a look at the other features found in the front and back of the dictionary.
Abbreviations – This is a detailed list of every abbreviation that’s used in the dictionary. It includes places, manuscripts, events, etc.
Periods, Ages, and Dates – This covers how the dating of events is handled in the dictionary. It includes the terms used and what is meant by them. It also discusses problems with the accuracy of dates in ancient times and how they’re dealt with.
Select Bibliography – The bibliography provides a list of books for each of the 6 cultures and time periods. It divides them further into locations. It includes the major books that are referenced in the dictionary. A more complete bibliography is found at the end of each entry.
Figures – These are color photos and descriptions of biblical locations and archaeological artifacts.
Dictionary of Daily Life is an interesting dictionary. It includes lots of facts about daily life that I haven’t seen in a typical study Bible or commentary. Rather than telling you what to believe about something, all of the definitions and descriptions cover what was believed for different time periods in biblical history. Providing detailed information about the topics from multiple times periods makes this an excellent dictionary for Bible study and sermon prep. I highly recommend it.
This book is available at (includes some affiliate links)
and many local Bible bookstores
Hendrickson provided this dictionary in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to give a positive review, only an honest one. All opinions are my own.