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Galilee in the Late Second Temple and Mishnaic Periods, Volume 1: Life, Culture, and Society

ISBN: 9781451466744

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Place Jesus’ ministry in context with these in-depth studies of ancient Galilee. Drawing on the expertise of archaeologists, historians, biblical scholars, and social scientists who have devoted a significant amount of time and energy to the research of Jesus’ home town, this accessible volume includes modern studies of Galilee and its history. Contributors dig into issues of taxation, ethnicity, religious practices, road systems, trade and markets, education, health, village life, houses, and the urban-rural divide in Jesus’ historical context. This volume also includes a rich selection of images, figures, charts, and maps that present Jesus’ location and culture in vivid detail.

For more insights into Christianity’s earliest context, check out the Jewish Origins of Christianity Collection (2 vols.).

Resource Experts
  • Draws on the expertise of archaeologists, historians, biblical scholars, and social scientists
  • Studies the government, demographics, religion, infrastructure, economy, and society of Jesus’ home town
  • Designed for both the student and nonexpert
  • “Galilee and the Historical Jesus in Recent Research” by Roland Deines
  • “The Political History in Galilee from the First Century BCE to the End of the Second Century BCE” by Morten Hørning Jensen
  • “Religious Practices and Religious Movements in Galilee: 100 BCE–200 CE” by Roland Deines
  • “The Ethnicities of Galileans” by Mark A. Chancey
  • “The Synagogues of Galilee” by Lee L. Levine
  • “Notable Galilean Persons” by Thomas Scott Caulley
  • “Social Movements in Galilee” Richard Horsley
  • “The Galilean Village in the Late Second Temple and Mishnaic Periods” by David A. Fiensy
  • “Household Judaism” by Andrea M. Berlin
  • “The Galilean House in the Late Second Temple and Mishnaic Periods” by David A. Fiensy
  • “Mortality, Morbidity, and Economics in Jesus’ Galilee” by Jonathan L. Reed
  • “Education/Literacy in Jewish Galilee: Was There Any and at What Level?” by John C. Poirier
  • “The Galilean Road System” by James F. Strange
  • “Urbanization and Industry in Mishnaic Galilee” by Ze’ev Safrai
  • “Never the Two Shall Meet? Urban-Rural Interaction in Lower Galilee” by Agnes Choi
  • “Inner Village Life in Galilee: A Diverse and Complex Phenomenon” by Sharon Lea Matilla
  • “Late Second Temple Galilee: Socio-Archaeology and Dimensions of Exploitation in First-Century Palestine” by Douglas E. Oakman
  • “Late Second Temple Galilee: A Picture of Relative Economic Health” by J. Andrew Overman
  • “Taxation and Other Sources of Government Income in the Galilee of Herod and Antipas” by Fabian Udoh

Top Highlights

“According to Josephus, as far as the Romans were concerned, Galilee was Jewish at this point, even though geographically disconnected from Judea by Samaria.” (Page 58)

“there is a solid line of connection between Judea/Jerusalem and Galilee from the Hasmonean era onward” (Page 73)

“You would likely have lived in a house with plastered stone walls, a dirt floor, and a flat roof made with wooden beams, other smaller branches, and mud plaster. Your house would have been one room—possibly two rooms—and it would have shared a courtyard with other nuclear families, most likely your cousins. You would have built your house with materials you gathered locally at no cost: stones, wood, and clay soil for mortar. Your family would have provided the labor to build the house, but you may have employed a master builder to supervise the work.” (Page 238)

“Both of these earliest Gospel texts, moreover, portray Jesus’ renewal of Israel in opposition to (condemnation of) the rulers, specifically the Jerusalem ruling house, the high priests, and their Roman patrons.” (Page 173)

“Galilee flourished in this period, with new settlements being founded on more remote and less defensible plots of land, while old towns grew in size and activity.” (Page 73)

This is a volume of considerable use to both experts and nonexperts and belongs on the shelf of anyone trying to situate texts in their Galilean context.

—William Arnal, professor of religious studies, University of Regina

The present volume—written by top scholars for the lay student, but also with researchers in mind—offers an excellent overview . . . with a generous helping of archaeology.

—Danny Syon, head of scholarly assessment, Israel Antiquities Authority

These detailed and rich discussions bring to life the world of Jesus and his contemporaries.

Craig A. Evans, Payzant Distinguished Professor of New Testament Studies, Acadia Divinity College

David A. Fiensy is the author of The College Press NIV Commentary Series: New Testament Introduction. He has been a professor at Kentucky Christian University since 1995. Prior to this he served for six years as the senior minister at Grape Grove Church of Christ, Jamestown, Ohio.

James Riley Strange is associate professor of religion at Samford University and director of the Shikhin Excavation Project. He is also the author of The Moral World of James and The Emergence of the Christian Basilica.


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  1. Veli Voipio

    Veli Voipio


    Provides lots of current information and is written so that the reader stays interested
  2. Bill Shewmaker


Print list price: $69.00
Save $22.01 (31%)