5 Stars Out Of 5
Very informative & interesting
June 6, 2013
Debbie from ChristFocus
"The World Jesus Knew" is a Bible backgrounds book about the time of Jesus. The focus was on what Jesus would have experienced (as a Jewish male raised in Galilee, etc.). This information was based on ancient sources (like the Mishnah) and archaeology.
The book was easy to read and understand, and I found it very interesting. She included some information that isn't often focused on. The topics that she talked about helped me to better understand the gospels. A few sections, like about the day of Jesus' birth, were full of speculation, but the author was clear about how she got the idea and that it was speculation. Her speculations were reasonable even if her arguments didn't necessarily change my mind.
There were some black and white photographs illustrating the text, like of clothing or agricultural tools. Overall, I'd recommend this book to those who would like to better understand the time of Jesus and who'd also like a readable text rather than a more formal one.
Some of the topics covered were: betrothal, the day Jesus was born, his genealogy, circumcision, naming, purification after childbirth, redemption of the firstborn, the educational system, clothing, jewelry, prayer shawls and phylacteries, the language (with examples of certain words that don't translate easily into English), the countryside Jesus traveled, seasons, wells and springs, ploughing, sowing, reaping, threshing, winnowing, selling, buying, baking, types of common foods, hospitality, greetings, farewells, traveling, gates, bazaars, clean and unclean, vows, fasting, charity, the festivals, the temple and how it was run, prayers prayed, synagogues and how they were run, the scriptures Jesus read, pharisees, sadducees, scribes, priests, Levites, Herodians, Zealots, Samaritans, and Essenes.