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Paperback Bandits, Prophets, and Messiahs: Popular Movements at the Time of Jesus Book

ISBN: 0866839925

ISBN13: 9780866839921

Bandits, Prophets, and Messiahs: Popular Movements at the Time of Jesus

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Format: Paperback

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Book Overview

Ann Cleeves returns to her critically acclaimed Shetland Island series with this stunning mystery featuring Inspector Jimmy Perez, who readers will remember from "Raven Black, White Nights, Red Bones,... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Ken's review

But it, buy it, but it! This is a great book and will help anyone understand better the sayings of Jesus in their context. Can't say enough about this book. I have used some of the material in my Bible class and it has worked well for me.

Help in Understanding the World of Jesus

The world of Jesus Christ was hardly static. Uprisings, rebellions, and subversive groups popped up all of the time, especially in Jewish lands where Roman occupation was equal to slavery in the eyes of most Jewish people. This made rebellion almost a religious duty even though many of the religious authorities did not share this point of view. Some of the rebellious groups had limited success, others had disastrous ends. Bandits, Prophets, and Messiahs helps the reader understand the different movements in the days of Jesus and help modern readers understand why Jesus' message was so controversial, not just in terms of content, but politically and socially as well. The author looks at the historical realities of the Jewish people and the connection with religious and political figures that sprung up in the Roman Empire, particularly in Palestine, in the days of Jesus Christ and in the early New Testament days. Readers are able to distinguish those who might be "rebels without a cause" so to speak, and legitimate groups that had serious religious and/or political objectives. The author culled much of the information from lectures given to students which gives the work a scholarly feel in an accessible manner. The book contains a scripture cited index which will help readers who may be students researching a topic, preachers preparing a sermon or homily, or person who is fascinated by the background to the Bible.

Succint but thorough

When studying the New Testament you will run across books that deal with Pharisees, Sadducees, Scribes and Essenes and seeing there is such a glut of info on these it is amazing to realize that they comprised a very small segment of the population. What the ordinary citizenry of the time were doing is not usually reflected in the writings of these religious elites and this book delves into that area of popular movements surrounding the insulated lives of the rich and powerful that led to change and ultimately to the revolt of AD 66- 70. Within this context you will learn, among other things, of the Messianic expectations of the general populace that led to "false prophets" spoken of by Jesus. This book helps flesh out the bare-bones accounts within the Gospels by describing the backdrop wherein everything was played out in the first century AD.This is a moderately difficult read that I found very, very informative (I have highlighted quite a few passages for further study). Succinct but thorough. -- Moza

A Voice for the Average (1st Century) Palestinian Peasant

An old maxim claims that, "History is written by the winners." That may be true, but it is also true that history is written by the literate elite of every society. Those with enough knowledge, motivation, and leisure time write the histories that inform the attitudes and opinions of the rest of us. Unfortunately, the bulk of humanity does not consist of articulate, highly motivated, and independent elites. Thus, most histories end up biased in favor of society's masters, and against the proletariat.One quick survey of the average New Testament history will demonstrate our fascination with kings (e.g.: Caesar), priests (e.g.: Ananus and Caiaphus), ethnarchs (e.g.: Herod Archelaus), tetrarchs (e.g.: Herod Philip and Herod Antipas), governors (e.g.: Pontius Pilate), prophets (e.g.: John the Baptist), pharisees (e.g.: Paul), sadducees (e.g.: Jonathan, son of Ananus), philosophers (e.g.: Philo of Alexandria), historians (e.g.: Josephus), rabbis (e.g.: Jesus), and other people of note. Very seldom do we examine the lives of the ordinary people who left little, or no, written records of their experience. Too quickly our image of first century, Palestinian life becomes colored by the proclaimed experiences of the elites. Too quickly we forget or dismiss the experiences of the illiterate majority, barely eaking out an existence in a subsistence economy.By focusing his attentions on the miserable lives lived by the majority of the peasants, Professor Horsley gives us a more balanced view of Palestine in the time of Jesus and the earliest Church. He shows us a peasantry, not only resentful about Roman occupation and taxation, but also deeply distrustful of their own political and sacerdotal institutions. He shows us subsistence farmers pushed off their land, or ever more deeply into debt, by Roman and Jewish over-taxation. He places before our eyes people whose lives could end instantly and violently on the whim of a king, governor, or ordinary Roman soldier. He shows us a people yearning for their ancient and legitimate kings. He brilliantly paints the picture of a people pushed to the edge of life, and made ready for revolution, whether that be the political revolution of 66 a.d., or the revolutionary preaching of Good News by an itinerant Galilean rabbi.Professor Horsley helps all of us to see first century Palestine more clearly: more honestly. For that alone, this book is worth reading.

Magnificent account of outrageous religious turmoil.

Chaos abounds between ancient Palestine and Rome in this historic look at early Christianity. Out of desperation due to oppresive Roman rule, Jewish Palestine revolts in a variety of unique ways. The proliferation of bandits is only the first indication of this troubled time. A host of diviners and self-made holy leaders gain following in Palestine as people seek a way out of the horrific situation. This book gives a stunning look at the incredible measures and actions a group will take when their way of life is being destroyed.
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