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Palestine in the Time of Jesus: Social Structures and Social Conflicts


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Hanson and Oakman’s award-winning and illuminating volume has become a widely used and cited introduction to the social context of the early Jesus movement. Along with an overview of the ancient Mediterranean worldview, it explores major domains and institutions of Roman Palestine: kinship, politics, economy, and religion.

Through a judicious use of the social sciences, Hanson and Oakman’s enormously helpful volume explains in a readable way the primary social institutions and structures of ancient Palestine, with a view to how they are reflected in and shaped the early Jesus movement.

After an overview of social analysis and of the ancient Mediterranean worldview, the core of the book systematically presents major domains and institutions of family, politics, and economy, always with reference to specific biblical and other ancient texts. In a concluding chapter, the authors explore Palestine’s religious institutions, especially Herod’s Temple systems and Jesus’ relation to it.

From the preface:

We have the following general goals in mind through our work:

  • To examine the primary social institutions of first-century Palestine through a social-scientific methodology
  • To present testable models of society that can be employed when studying the Bible, and therefore be refined or modified as the reader acquires more information
  • To relate the systemic analysis directly to New Testament passages in each chapter in order to demonstrate how this material is applicable
Resource Experts
  • Presents domains and institutions of family, politics, and exonomy
  • Topics related to New Testament passages
  • Shows models of society that can be employed when studying the Bible
  • Catching the Drift
  • All in the Family
  • Pyramids of Power
  • The Denarius Stops Here
  • Was Bigger Better?
  • In the Rearview Mirror
K.C. Hanson and Doug Oakman are terrific cross-cultural guides to first-century Palestine—its kinship patterns, political power, economic configurations, and religious dynamics. Their book sparkles with insights illuminating life in ancient Israel and the teachings of Jesus...

David Rhoads, Professor of New Testament, Lutheran School of Theology, Chicago, Illinois

  • Title: Palestine in the Time of Jesus: Social Structures and Social Conflicts
  • Authors: K.C. Hanson and Douglas E. Oakman
  • Publisher: Fortress Press
  • Publication Date: 2002
  • Pages: 256

K.C. Hanson has taught biblical studies at Episcopal Theological School and the School of Theology at Claremont, Creighton University, and St. Olaf College. He is the author of numerous scholarly articles and two volumes in the Proclamation series. K.C. Hanson is the biblical studies editor at Fortress Press.

Douglas E. Oakman is Professor of Religion at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington. He is the author of Jesus and the Economic Questions of His Day.


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Print list price: $23.00
Save $2.01 (8%)