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  1. Understanding Jesus: Cultural Insights into the Words and Deeds of Christ
    Understanding Jesus: Cultural Insights into the Words and Deeds of Christ
    Joe Amaral
    FaithWords / 2011 / Trade Paperback
    $10.49 Retail: $16.00 Save 34% ($5.51)
    4.5 Stars Out Of 5 5 Reviews
    Availability: In Stock
    CBD Stock No: WW584760
4.5 Stars Out Of 5
4.5 out of 5
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Quality:
4.5 out Of 5
(4.5 out of 5)
Value:
4.3 out Of 5
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Meets Expectations:
4.3 out Of 5
(4.3 out of 5)
83%
of customers would recommend this product to a friend.
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  1. Prescott, Ontario
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: male
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Makes the Bible much more meaningful.
    November 17, 2014
    Graham Cudlipp
    Prescott, Ontario
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: male
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    I enjoyed reading Joe Amaral's insightful book very much - I understand so much more about first century culture and realise I have much more to learn!
  2. Age: 45-54
    Gender: male
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Better than I could of imagined.
    January 27, 2014
    Randall Banfield
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: male
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    I thought I knew a lot about Jesus and the feasts of Israel...I learned so much more. Every word, every movement of Jesus had meaning and purpose. Love the book.
  3. Washington, D.C.
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    November 18, 2011
    Marlow
    Washington, D.C.
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Great book and author! Our Bible study group is totally enjoying studying the Jewish culture and the influence on Jesus. Well worth the read; be sure to take the time to explore the Jewish holidays and their meaning. This book helps us to understand Jesus and that time and how it all applies to us today.
  4. Toronto
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Loved this book
    August 17, 2011
    Irish
    Toronto
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    So often we read the Bible from a 21st.Century mindset - This book helps you understand the culture of Jesus day and what some of His sayings meant from a 1st Century perspective.

    It also covered the Feasts of the Lord and gave me much more understanding of what they mean.

    I would highly recommend this book.
  5. Harrison, AR
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    2 Stars Out Of 5
    Okay, but some highly speculative info & errors
    March 28, 2011
    Debbie from ChristFocus
    Harrison, AR
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    Quality: 2
    Value: 1
    Meets Expectations: 1
    "Understanding Jesus" gave some cultural background information to the gospels and Revelation. The author spent most of the book exploring the Feasts of the Lord to provide insight into some things Jesus did and said. He also briefly covered information on the four messianic miracles, clean and unclean foods, binding and loosing, tear jars, fence laws, prayer shawls, and more.

    The author quoted large sections of Scripture before explaining the cultural insight he'd gained into those verses. This is good, but, of 180 pages of text, it seemed like only about half of them were spent explaining the cultural insights. Many of the topics weren't explored in-depth.

    Perhaps because of this, I sometimes felt his statements were misleading. For example, the way he explained the timing of John the Baptist's birth and Jesus' birth would lead the reader to believe everyone who has studied the topic agrees with his timeline. However, the timeline he gave is based on many assumptions, and not everyone agrees with those assumptions.

    Also, sometimes the author took an idea or tradition further than the evidence supported it. For example, on pages 28 and 29, he said that people took their burial shroud with them whenever they took a long journey. From this, he concluded that the "strips of cloth" that baby Jesus was wrapped in were from a burial shroud. I suppose this might be true, but babies have been swaddled for centuries. It's just as likely that Mary used stripes of cloth specifically intended for swaddling Jesus (since they knew she was near birth and would have been prepared for that) rather than hastily using a shroud to make swaddling stripes.

    Sometimes the information he gave conflicted with information that I've read elsewhere. Like he gave a slightly different order for the steps of a betrothal-wedding than the very detailed information given in "Women of the Bible" by Smith, Phillips, and Sanna. Amaral implied that the marriage was consummated before the wedding feast, but other sources say that the first day of the wedding feast is celebrated before the marriage is consummated.

    As another example, the information he gave on page 96 and 97 about the scarlet thread and the Day of Atonement doesn't actually match up with what the Rosh HaShanah 31b, Babylonian Talmud says on the topic.

    So some of the information in this book was solid and insightful, other parts sounded neat but were highly speculative, and some parts seemed to be in error or were potentially misleading.

    Personally, I'd recommend books that covered more certain topics and covered them in-depth (like "Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus" by Spangler, Lois Tverberg) before I'd recommend this one.

    I received an Advanced Reader Copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes.
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