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Background Resources - Since we live in a time removed, at best, by twenty centuries from that of the writers of the Bible it is almost impossible for us to react to the Bible's teaching as did the early believers. Our culture, our lifestyles, even our way of thought, all are radically different from what was normal in the days when the Bible was being written. Some tools that can help us to better understand what life was like back then and how the Bible would have been received are books that tell us about the culture of the day. Bible handbooks are a basic tool of this category and Bible dictionaries and encyclopaedias are more advanced devices serving the same purpose. What are really useful, however, are books that illustrate in detail the way in which life was lived back in Bible times as they can help bridge the gap of years and allow you to, as much as possible, pick up on the finer points of ancient culture. While we can never enjoy an intimacy with the culture of the times of the Bible as its inhabitants did such resources can serve to minimize the bias our own cultural experience has upon our study.