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Education news and issues in the Ozarks.

Bible Reveals Secrets of the Past

When you read historical text, such as the Bible, you can get glimpses at the cultures of the time periods. You can infer how they lived and what it took to survive in rather harsh environments.

Dr. Victor Matthews, dean of the College of Humanities and Public Affairs at Missouri State University, has been a Biblical scholar for approximately 40 years and shares about his research and latest book, "The Cultural World of the Bible: An Illustrated Guide to Manners and Customs." It is one of 17 books he has authored, and he has published numerous articles on the subject as well.

As he researches for his publications and his courses, he constantly is drawn back in to the text in part due to the stories and how much they reveal. He elaborates.

Biblical narratives, like most stories, assume that the audience shares a defined set of social understandings or customs. When we don’t know what these customs are, we must use several different methods to try to discover them. 

He has spent most of his career focused on the historical aspects of religious studies, and looks forward to continuing his studies on ancient Biblical culture and writing about what daily life was like thousands of years ago. But more than desiring to write for an academic audience, Matthews’ heart is with his students and the layperson and wants to continue to make his research accessible to those eager to take a peek at the past.

Nicki received a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Business Administration from Missouri State in marketing, in 2002 and 2004 respectively. After gaining experience in writing, marketing, special event planning, fundraising and public relations, she returned to the university to work in the office of strategic communication. There she tells the university’s story by sharing the stories of individuals at Missouri State.
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