Help in Understanding the Ancient Biblical Cultures

People often ask me where they can learn about the cultural and historical backgrounds of the biblical text.  Well, this is sometimes a tricky question to answer because much of the good (i.e., accurate/trustworthy) resources available are a bit academic and, therefore, most people would have difficulty working through it.  And sometimes there are great resources which are very readable/usable, like Zondervan's Illustrated Bible Background Commentary, but they're too expensive and, therefore, inaccessible to most.

Well, here's a resource that is both useable and accessible to just about everyone - Ancient Context, Ancient Faith Series.  I highly recommend it.  It will challenge you and bless you in your Bible study and open your mind to the life and times of the ancient Middle East.

The teaching ministry of Ray Vander Laan at has proven to be very helpful on shedding some light on the ancient biblical cultures and contexts as well.

These books will make want to read "The Book"!

No offense to the above author (and the producer of this lame promo video) but the book series is much better than this video.  I promise!  Haha.