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Jesus and the Jewish Festivals (Ancient Context, Ancient Faith) Paperback


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Product Details

  • Series: Ancient Context, Ancient Faith
  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (August 11, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310280478
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310280477
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.2 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #174,007 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Gary M. Burge (PhD, King's College, Aberdeen University) is a professor of New Testament in the Department of Biblical and Theological Studies at Wheaton College and Graduate School, Wheaton, Illinois. Gary has authored a number of books, including Who Are God’s People in the Middle East? What Christians Are Not Being Told About Israel and the Palestinians; John and Letters of John in the NIV Application Commentary series; The New Testament in Antiquity (coauthored with Lynn Cohick and Gene Green); and the first three volumes in the Ancient Context, Ancient Faith series, The Bible and the Land and Jesus, the Middle Eastern Storyteller, and Encounters with Jesus. Gary specializes in the Middle East, its churches, and its history in the Hellenistic period.

More About the Author

Gary M. Burge (Ph.D., Aberdeen University, Scotland) is a professor of New Testament in the Department of Biblical & Theological Studies at Wheaton College and Graduate School near Chicago, IL. Gary also keeps an active speaking schedule (see www.garyburge.org). In addition he has accepted invitations to lecture in the Middle East, Africa, and Europe.

Gary has authored a number of books both on the New Testament and the Middle East. His theological works include commentaries on the Gospel and Letters of John, a textbook on the New Testament, four volumes explaining the cultural background of Jesus and the gospels, and technical volumes on the study of Johannine theology. His book Whose Land? Whose Promise? (2003; 2nd ed. 2013) won national awards as a critical analysis of the current Arab-israeli conflict from a Christian perspective. His recent Jesus and the Land (2010) is a theological examination of this same conflict.

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By MasterAP on September 21, 2012
Format: Paperback
Gary Burge knows how to write biblical, historical help books for Americans: quick and easy with lots of glossy pictures.

With Jesus and the Jewish Festivals, Burge highlights how Jesus interacted with the many celebrations in his time and how he used those images and ideas to further his case to be Messiah.

This is the thickest Ancient Context. Ancient Faith book I've read by Burge. There is alot of information in this book. It is perfect for pastoral aids, and small group study.

Burge first explains how hard it would be for Americans to describe some of our "lesser" holidays to people of other countries where we take some things for granted. He then pivots into how ancient Jews used imagery and symbols in different ways.

We explore The Sabbath, Passover, Tabernacles, Hanukkah and finally Jesus' final Passover. Each chapter explains how they were originally celebrated and how Jesus hijacked the festival for his own use.

The final chapter explores how the early Christians tried to incorporate the Jewish festivals with their own celebrations.

This book, like his earlier work, opens the possibility and understanding of Ancient Israel for modern times. You'll look at Scripture's familiar stories with fresh eyes. It will get you excited to read your Bible!

This book was provided for review, at no cost, by Zondervan Publishing.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Philip Thompson on August 21, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The work is a brief and colorful introduction to the cultic and seasonal background of the New Testament, and the Gospels in particular. Burge skillfully introduces the content and the need for the text (9-34), addresses the Sabbath (37-49), explains the Passover (51-65, 101-118), details the feast of Tabernacles (67-82), unfolds Hanukah (85-98), and offers a number of conclusions regarding these and other feasts of Jesus' day (121-136).

In analysis, two critiques should be noted prior to summarizing the work's strengths. First, the book appears to be poorly edited. For example, the text has "there" instead of "they" on page 18, "pelted a hundred..." on page 72 should read "pelted with a hundred...", and Colossians gets a fifth chapter on page 135, to name a few issues. Further, the book is filled with a slew of pictures. Many of these pictures detract from the text and only serve to buffer the content of the work. In reality, the text would probably only fill about 50-75 pages in a normally-formatted book, but the pictures and formatting spread the book out physically.

Second, the writer promotes a number of his personal approaches to the feasts in question without really making any strong arguments for or against his position. On the one hand, Burge advocates the continuance of the Sabbath (48-49, 131-133), albeit on a different day, but on the other hand sees the other feasts abrogated and replaced by Christmas, Easter, etc. (33-34, 134-136). These seemingly contradictory positions are argued heavily from a historical theological vantage point and little time is taken to deal with the underlying reasons for the positions.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Greg Stone on April 24, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Burge is an intelligent scholar bit a full-blown Replacement Theologian. What is the difference between what he says and the most extreme Replacement Theologian?

For example, he argues that communion has replaced Passover. In fact, the disciples were at Passover when Jesus instituted communion.

Burge says, "Passover helps us understand his death, but as a festival it does not lead us to his death; Passover leads us to the exodus." How odd that Burge can say that Passover does not lead us to the death of Jesus when Jesus was crucified on the actual day of Passover!

Burge says, "It has often been the judgment of the church— consistent throughout history — that Christians embrace their own festal markers that announce the gospel in worship. And when they use the Jewish festivals (as we see among modern Messianic Christians), the changes affected by Christ must always be present. Passover provides us with how we frame what we do, but it is the gospel that gives it its meaning. Thus we do not worship God with a Passover Meal."

Why can the church not worship God with the Passover? Isn't that akin to saying that "The church must worship only with hymns?" The apostles of the first century worshipped God with the Passover. Somehow the Christians of today are mistaken if they willingly choose to do the same?

He seems to argue that Messianic Jews belong in a Theological Ghetto. I think the church ought to welcome and embrace her roots without legally requiring it. That would be fitting with the principles of the Council of Jerusalem in Acts 15:20.

Legalism says the Feasts are required. But, legalism also says the Feasts must be avoided.

Burge is focusing on Matthew 5:20.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Paul F Mitchell on December 10, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Knowing "what" a writer said is only half of understanding. Knowing "why?" he said it is the other half. To understand 'why' the reader is well-served by authors who can transport him back to the moment of the things said or done, as this book does so well. Be prepared to increase your knowledge exponentially very quickly. The information is worth far far more than the price of the work!
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