Probably one of the best one volume background of Jerusalem during the time of Jesus that I've seen in quite a while. A great read. Describes the religious world in which Jesus lived vividly. Answers lots of questions about things I wasn't 100% sure about.
This very erudite text is a rarity: an English translation of the late great Theologian Dr. Jeremias, scarce as hen's teeth. Of course, you would have to know the basics already because Jeremias jumps into the social and economic aspects and how they shaped or were shaped by the message of Jesus. And that's just for starters.
If you can get ahold of a copy, any copy, you have a rare and valuable book!