Jerusalem in the Time of Jesus, by Joachim Jeremias
An excellent study for envisioning Jerusalem in the 1st century era. This author has recently become my favourite and I’ve recently been buying most of his books. He does quote Greek and Aramaic a lot, and gets into a lot of involved logic, so I don’t buy all of his books. This book covers industries, commerce, economic and social status, and maintenance of racial purity (which includes sections on slaves, women, etc.)
Unknown Sayings of Jesus, Joachim Jeremias
Fascinating study on how the gospels were written and determined to be part of the canon, and yet there were other traditions of “what Jesus said” that fell into oblivion. Of these sayings, most are spurious, but about a dozen or so are well worth analysing in light of all else that Jesus said. They give surprising insights.
The Prayers of Jesus, by Joachim Jeremias
An analysis of the Lord’s Prayer and particularly of the context into which Jesus introduced addressing God as Father or “Abba.” How his praying was unique to his Jewish world, and what he meant by his example of the Lord’s Prayer.
Poet and Peasant and Through Peasant Eyes, by Kenneth E. Bailey
A more in-depth study of cultural differences from the book of Luke. Even today Israel in general has some differences from our westernized thinking that sheds bits of light on the Bible time eras and culture better. Bailey studied and spoke with Bedouin and select peoples in neighboring countries so understands that ancient culture better than us. Reading this book establishes its own credibility.
The New Manners and Customs of the Bible, by James M Freeman
This is a thorough, easy-to-read introduction to the many differences between our culture and the Jews in Bible times. It selects story after story starting with Genesis and ending with Revelation. Explaining cultural differences, it adds insights and logic to the many things we’d otherwise miss. I highly recommend this book to all Christians.
Ancient Israelite Literature in its Cultural Context, by John H. Walton
An in-depth study on the parallels between the Bible and literature of the ancient Near East. It offers insight into how much Israel shared with its neighbors in literature of cosmology, laws, historical, apocalyptic and prophetic literature, personal archives and epics, covenants and treaties, hymns, prayers and incantations.
Ancient Israel, It’s Life and Institutions, by Roland de Vaux
I just started reading this. De Vaux was a leading-edge scholar who led the Catholic team that initially worked on the Dead Sea Scrolls. His work was considered ground-breaking but, since he died in 1971, it’s somewhat dated among scholars, since archaeology quickly advances and changes what’s generally accepted. I highly recommend him since my goal is to familiarize us in the west with middle-eastern culture and ancient times. I’m very impressed with how much he helps recapture the past, showing how Israel was a part of the culture around them.
The Dead Sea Scrolls, a New Translation, by Michael Wise, Martin Abegg, Jr., and Edward Cook
This is translated into English all that was found in the Dead Sea Scrolls minus the many portions of scripture (much of the content of the Dead Sea Scrolls was the Old Testament). This book starts out VERY interesting on the discovery and translation process. After that, the translation of the rules and beliefs of the peoples that wrote them is quite dry. My conclusion after reading it: this book gives the best views possible as to why the Essenes weren’t the ones that wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls. But most scholars agree it likely was the Essenes, and after more research, I agree with them. I’m just glad I considered both sides of the arguments on the matter.
Crucifixion, by Martin Hengel
A thorough survey of the cruel practice the Romans employed and why this method of capital punishment was so repugnant to the Jews.
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Changes for my website
My 2 students are nearly done wrapping up the work for my website. Check here for a few adjustments and at the bottom of my blog index in another week.
- Putting out a Fleece, Casting Lots, and Choosing that Hill to Die on February 24, 2020
- False Humility in the NT, Apocrypha, and Pseudepigrapha, Part 3 of 3 February 17, 2020
- False Humility in the NT, Apocrypha, and Pseudepigrapha, Part 2 of 3 February 10, 2020
- False Humility in the NT, Apocrypha, and Pseudepigrapha, Part 1 of 3 February 3, 2020
- Christ’s Temptation as our Inspiration January 26, 2020
– View previous posts –
My Focus in Blogging
My story of forgiveness and healing is quite unrelated to envisioning the Bible world. But since our world is sin and pain infested, I suspect many will want to hear more about my personal experience. I wrote a couple of blogs about this, but mostly I focused on envisioning the Bible world. I learned lots after being in Israel, and now I can share that with you.
Plans for Improved Website:
Now that my documentary links are all moved under the Tour Israel menu heading, I’ll see if I can get my website working better for the visually impaired. This requires a lot of work and my student may be too busy with other technical fixes. I’ll see what I can get done by the end of May, 2023.
Thanks for your interest.