I was born in 1981 and the last war on American soil was World War II, which ended in 1945. If you do not count the wars since then in which America has been involved overseas, my lifetime has been war-free. Though both my grandfathers served in the military, neither my father nor I have served in any capacity. Wars and small battles, as real as they are, have been the stuff of TV for me. I have read about them in the paper, heard about them on the radio and I can distinctly remember watching live footage of Desert Storm.
However, for many people around the world, war is an everyday part of their lives. For those born during times of war, they cannot imagine their lives without it. Similarly, this is how it was for much of the Ancient Near East (ANE), including Israel. To help the modern reader of Scripture better understand how war is so intricately woven into its fabric, Boyd Seevers has written Warfare in the Old Testament: The Organization, Weapons, and Tactics of Ancient Near Eastern Armies. Dr. Seevers is an expert in the Old Testament and ancient warfare and has participated in many archeological excavations in Israel where he lived as a professor for eight years.
Everyone loves a good story of discovery. Whether it is in the pages of a good book or watching Indiana Jones on the big screen, people love to be drawn into the discovery of lost artifacts, and even more so, lost worlds. Archeology has unearthed artifacts, buried tombs, treasures and entire villages that give us a glimpse into the lives and ways of the people and civilizations of the ancient past. In many ways, we are discovering things and worlds that have been lost and are very different than ours. Among these discoveries are the ancient writings of various cultures. These ancient writings provide us with a wealth of information on how people thought and lived in the past. They are a window into ancient cultures. And for Christians, they are a look into how the Hebrews and early Christians viewed and used Scripture.
There is no doubt that modern readers of the Bible have to fight reading their own world into the world of the Bible when it comes to the task of interpretation. Unfortunately, many readers of Scripture, Christians included, do this without knowing it. The world in which the Bible was born is lost to them and they don’t realize it.
(11 benefits of studying church history)