Jesus and His World: An Archaeological and Cultural Dictionary by John J. Rousseau
This fascinating work, by two biblical scholars and archaeologists, one Christian and one Jewish, is neither a life of Jesus nor a guidebook to Israel, but an attempt to combine the two. Although it has the form of a dictionary, with entries in alphabetical order, it can be read like a book, and will prove invaluable for the general reader, the student and the serious scholar. Drawing on the vast amount of archaeological work done in recent decades, the articles it contains cover places in Palestine connected with the ministry of Jesus from Capernaum to Jerusalem, and a wide variety of features of everyday life in the first century which have implications for an understanding of Jesus' world, from boats, coins and fishing nets, to magic, medicine and temple activities. There are photographs, diagrams, maps, and tables, references to the relevant passages in the New Testament and extensive bibliographies for further research. Up-to-date, factual, and clearly written, here is a rich quarry of often new material offering important new insights into the life and teaching of Jesus of Nazareth. John J. Rousseau is Research Associate at the University of California, Berkeley. He is a Fellow of the Jesus Seminar and Co-Director of the Bethsaida excavations. Rami Arav was Research Associate at the Zinman Institute of Archaeology, University of Haifa, and he participated in the archaeological survey of Israel. He now directs the Bethsaida excavation.