The World of Jesus: Making Sense of the People and Places of Jesus’ Day

William H. Marty. Bethany House, $12.99 (192p) ISBN 978-0-7642-1083-9
Students of religious history understand that prophets and messiahs, kings and priests, do not arise in a vacuum, but rather come to life in often hostile and volatile environments. Jesus of Nazareth, arguably the central figure of human history, is no exception. New Testament literature is filled with references to movements and leaders, many arising in the 400-year period of history before the birth of Jesus and after the events described in the Old Testament leave off. Marty argues that teachings and thought currents from that period strongly influenced the Jewish people and, in important ways, defined the ministry and teachings of Jesus. Who were the Pharisees and the Sadducees? Who was Herod? Why was Greek culture so influential in Jewish history? Who were the Essenes? These questions, and so many more, are answered in this concise and very readable work from Marty, Professor of Bible at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. Solidly historical in nature and aimed toward a nonscholarly audience, the author lays out the political and religious context of Jesus’ world in a clear, concise manner that will appeal to a wide audience. (June)
Reviewed on: 05/13/2013
Release date: 06/01/2013
Genre: Nonfiction
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