For years, Teach One Reach One Ministries has advocated using the foods, feasts and meals mentioned in the Bible to help young Bible students understand the cultures in the Bible and thereby, making scripture more understandable. We’ve even suggested a few activity ideas and recipes to get you started. What we hadn’t found was a resource that contained everything a teacher could possibly want to make food part of their Bible class curriculum.
That is until now. To be honest, we are a little late finding this gem as it has been out for almost a decade. The Food and Feasts of Jesus by Douglas Neal and Joel Pugh is one of those rare books that has all of the academic and practice information you need, without boring you to death with too much academic jargon or minutiae in the process.
The research that went into writing this book means you will save a lot of time trying to Google to find what you want. It starts out by giving you lists of the various types of food common in the diets of the people in the Bible. The rest of the book is broken down by type of meal, from an every day meal to a wedding feast and everything in between. But that’s not even the best part! It also contains carefully researched recipes. No more wondering if the recipe is historically an authentic one or merely part of the more modern Jewish cuisine.
If you want more detailed information about things like food preparation and storage in biblical times, it’s in there along with tons of other helpful cultural information. It’s organized in such a way that you can skim it easily for specific information or read it thoroughly to absorb everything in it.
Honestly, my only complaint is that I wished it were a larger book and covered the various cuisines of the cultures in the Old Testament as well. There is plenty of overlap of course, but it would have been fun to have some Babylonian and Persian recipes and cultural insight as well. Bottom line, this is a great resource for any Bible class teacher!