While many periods in history have received intensive study, the late Second Temple Period in Judaism--the historical era into which Jesus was born, raised and conducted his ministry--none was more consequential for the formation of the embryonic, nascent, and apostolic Christian communities and thus for the church across the ages.In Stone and Dung, Oil and Spirit: Jewish Daily Life in the Time of Jesus
Jodi Magness (Professor in Early Judaism at the University of North Carolina) examines archaeological and literary evidence in order to shed new light on Jewish daily life in Judea, Galilee, Idumaea, and Peraea during it climactic period from the mid-first century (c. 50 BC) to 70 AD, the time of the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple by Rome.
Magness provides fascinating details on a broad spectrum of subjects including:
- Purification Rituals
- Animals and Insects
- Daily Household Tools
- Dining Customs and Communal Meals
- Sabbath Observance and Fasting
- Clothing and Tzitzit
- Uses of Oil and Spit
- Toilets and Toilet Habits
- Tombs and Burial Customs
In Stone and Dung, Oil and Spit Jodi Magness unearths footprints” buried in both archaeological and literary evidence to shed new light on Jewish daily life in Palestine from the mid-first century b.c.e. to 70 c.e. the time and place of Jesus’ life and ministry.
Magness analyzes recent archaeological discoveries from such sites as Qumran and Masada together with a host of period texts, including the New Testament, the works of Josephus, and rabbinic teachings. Layering all these sources together, she reconstructs in detail a fascinating variety of everyday activities dining customs, Sabbath observance, fasting, toilet habits, burial customs, and more.
Jodi Magness is Kenan Distinguished Professor forTeachingExcellence in Early Judaism at the University of NorthCarolina at Chapel Hill. In addition to Qumran and the DeadSea Scrolls, her research interests include ancientpottery, ancient synagogues, and the Roman army in theEast, and she has published and lectured extensively onthese subjects. She has participated in twenty differentexcavations in Israel and Greece, including serving ascodirector of the 1995 excavations in the Roman siegeworksat Masada. Her works include the award-winning booksThe Archaeology of Qumran and the Dead SeaScrollsand The Archaeology of the Early Islamic Settlement inPalestine.
-Oriental Institute, Oxford University
Jodi Magness brings the literary evidence from both Jewish and New Testament writings together with the extensive archaeological material to produce a literally 'down to earth' picture of the conditions and customs of daily life in the late Second Temple period which will be essential reading for all who are interested in the period.
Sidnie White Crawford
-University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Magness's latest work is a superb handbook on Jewish daily life in the late Second Temple period. She demonstrates how texts and archaeology, with careful scholarship, can mutually illuminate each other. This book will be valuable for undergraduates, graduate students, and all scholars of the period for a long time to come.
Lawrence H. Schiffman
-New York University
"Bringing together archaeological evidence, Second Temple period sources including the Dead Sea Scrolls, and early Christian literature, Jodi Magness illuminates numerous aspects of the daily life of Second Temple Jews. Her originality and mastery of the sources makes this a major contribution to our field.
Oriental Institute, Oxford
"Jodi Magness brings literary evidence from both Jewish and New Testament writings together with extensive archaeological material to produce a literally down to earth picture of the conditions and customs of daily life in the late Second Temple period. Essential reading for all who are interested in that period."
Sidnie White Crawford
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
"A superb handbook on Jewish daily life in the late Second Temple period. Magness demonstrates how texts and archaeology, with careful scholarship, can illuminate each other. This book will be valuable for undergraduates, graduate students, and all scholars of the period for a long time to come."
Lawrence H. Schiffman
New York University
"Magnesss originality and her mastery of the sources make this a major contribution to our field."
Exploring Our Matrix
"For anyone interested in the New Testament or its historical and cultural context, this is an important and very useful volume."