74 of 76 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes, Eye opening.
The information in Part 1: "The Birth of Jesus" is worth the price of this book. Previous commentators had remarked that Luke has the Greek word katalyma in Luke 2:7 and again in Luke 22: 11. In the first instance it is commonly translated "inn". In the second instance it is commonly translated as "guest room" or "upper room". Bailey states, "it is 'an upper room' which...
Published on June 21, 2008 by David Jackson
9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Beware of the Yeast of Replacement Theology and Arabism
I am a Jewish tour guide from Israel who was given this book as a gift from one of my tourists. I cautiously opened the book after seeing that among the names of its endorsers was the likes of Wheaton's Gary Burge, one of the leading proponents of "replacement theology" and keynote speakers at the biannual "Christ at the Checkpoint" conferences in Bethlehem. I figured...
Published 5 months ago by Hungry-4-the-Word
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74 of 76 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes, Eye opening.,
64 of 70 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Few Can Offer The Unique Insights Bailey Brings,
In his latest book, Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes, Kenneth Bailey provides further discussion of various parts of the New Testament Gospels, from the perspective that has been his own unique contribution over the past three decades or so. To my knowledge, there is no comparable New Testament scholar who is a native speaker of English and yet who has grown up, lived and taught in the Middle East and been fluent in Arabic, and as a result has been able to mediate the cultural perspective of that region on the New Testament to English-speaking readers. As such, Bailey provides a genuinely unique perspective, and I expect anyone interested in understanding the New Testament will want to read his latest book, as well as earlier ones.
The book is divided into six main sections, each containing several chapters each of which is focused on a particular passage from the Gospels. The introduction should not be skipped, since it emphasizes the importance of the unique perspective Bailey offers and the neglected sources he draws upon. Bailey draws heavily not only on his own experience of life in the Middle East, but also the neglected witness of Christian authors writing in Syriac and Arabic over the centuries. The insights that can be gleaned both from contemporary life in this part of the world, and from the Christians who lived there prior to the modern era (and in particular those who spoke Syriac, a dialect of Aramaic, the language Jesus himself spoke) are extremely important. So too is being aware of the poetic structures in which storytellers and writing authors expressed themselves. The book's introduction focuses on such materials, not uniformly neglected by scholars, but certainly not the focus of sufficient sustained and detailed attention. At the very least, as far as the awareness of such matters among Christians and other readers of the New Testament more generally is concerned, these sources of knowledge about the cultural context of the New Testament are little known, and Bailey's book, while certain to be of interest to New Testament scholars, presents matters in a manner accessible to a wider readership.
Bailey professes to keep his focus primarily a literary and cultural one, which is wise, since a discussion of historical issues would have distracted from his primary interest, which is the meaning of the stories we have in the New Testament when understood against the background of Middle Eastern culture (p.20). Nevertheless, there are moments when Bailey seems to raise issues of history, such as in assuming that the murder of the children of Bethlehem took place (p.56). That there was such an event is not at all a historical impossibility - on the one hand, there is no corroborating evidence that it occurred, while on the other hand such an action on Herod's part is certainly in keeping with his paranoia as known from other sources. The point is simply this: whenever a scholarly work seems to take for granted that a story is essentially factual, it can feed into the tendency of many lay readers to assume that a historical critical approach to the Bible can be bypassed. On the whole, however, Bailey's approach minimizes the number of places where such issues come up, and Bailey himself appropriately points out where structural considerations suggest that either Jesus, or the later church or the Gospel authors, supplemented and commented on earlier material, even though this is never his primary interest.
Part 1 is "The Birth of Jesus", and the first chapter incorporates material that had previously been accessible only in a journal article, expanding and supplementing it not only with additional text but also with more sketches of what typical rural homes in Palestine are like. Among scholars, Bailey's argument about the cultural background of these stories, and in particular the likelihood that Jesus was born in a rural peasant home rather than an "inn", has been found persuasive not only because of the points Bailey makes about the cultural setting (including the nature of hospitality and travel in this part of the world in the first century and even today, and the fact that feeding troughs (or mangers) were and are typically found in homes rather than separate barns or stables), but also because the term for a commercial "inn" is not found in the story. The presentation of the evidence and the likely meaning of the relevant details in Luke's story are here made available to a wider audience. This material alone would be worth the price of the book.
Of the additional points made that go beyond Bailey's earlier article, perhaps the most provocative is his discussion about the shepherds in the context of Middle Eastern hospitality. If the shepherds had found Joseph, Mary and Jesus huddling in a stable, they would have insisted they come and stay in their own homes. Also worth mentioning is that Bailey, in addition to scholarly and popular works on the Biblical narrative itself, has composed a Christmas musical based on his understanding of the story, entitled Open Hearts in Bethlehem.
In addition to the elements that are so distinctive of Bailey's work on these stories, Bailey also offers a fresh look at some features that are noticed by scholars more generally, such as the women/gentiles in Matthew's genealogy of Jesus. There are some details about Matthew's infancy narrative that are overlooked (e.g. p.55, where Bailey assumes the traditional crèche scene with shepherds and Magi side by side, rather than considering the possibility that the scene in Matthew's story is set when Jesus is around 2 years old). But the new material Bailey offers, such as a survey of Arab Christian traditions suggesting the Magi were from Arabia (pp.52-55), more than make up for any and all such oversights and weaker points.
Part 2 is "The Beatitudes", and Part 3 is "The Lord's Prayer". The latter unfortunately does not explicitly address the popular notion that abba means "daddy", but nonetheless does communicate what clearly was the distinctive characteristic of Jesus' use of abba as a way of addressing God: Aramaic-speaking Jews in the first century still used Hebrew for the purpose of prayer, and so Jesus was praying, and teaching his disciples to pray, in their own vernacular (p.95). In this section, we also see Bailey's familiarity with Islam as a living religious tradition in the Middle East, and while remaining conscious of important differences, he regards Islam's traditions and perspectives as ones from which Christians can learn things of value (pp.98-99). Bailey discusses prayer in Judaism as well (pp.104-107), and notes that one can only talk about what was distinctive and emphasized in Jesus' prayers if we know what he assumed, so that we can see not only what he included but also what he altered and what he omitted. Ezekiel 20:41-42 is highlighted for the light it sheds on the petition "Hallowed by thy name" (p.108). In discussing the petition "Thy will be done on earth..." Bailey notes both the implicit possibility of God's will not being done, and also that the viewpoint of the prayer suggests that Christianity's concerns are not merely other-worldly (pp.117-118). The mystery of what the Greek word that lies behind the all-too-familiar English rendering of "daily" bread may mean is elucidated by appeal to the Old Syriac version of the Gospels, which uses the adjective ameno which means "lasting, never ceasing" (p.121). In addition to making impressive contributions to scholarship and our understanding of the New Testament, Bailey also wrestles with difficult aspects of the application of the text, such as the relationship between the call to Christians to forgive and the need to identify and stand against injustice (pp.126-127).
Part 4 covers "Dramatic Actions of Jesus". At one point (p.144), Bailey suggests a much earlier date (in the 50s) for the composition of Luke's Gospel than even most conservative scholars would accept. One wonders why such a controversial suggestion is made when it is not central to the author's argument. If the issue could not be addressed in this context, some acknowledgment that this is an unusual viewpoint, or a footnote to further discussion by scholars, would have been appropriate. Otherwise, the point could have been omitted with no harm to Bailey's overall treatment.
In chapter 12, it is suggested that Jesus may have been nurtured with a "theological education" in the lay movement of the haberim that sprung up around this time (p.147). The Dead Sea Scrolls are appealed to as shedding light on the Messianic understanding of Isaiah 61 (pp.149-150), and the Targum also helps us contextualize the passage as it was understood in early Judaism (pp.155-156). The complaint that follows Jesus' reading of that text in Luke's Gospel is, according to Bailey, to be understood as expressing the community's feeling that Jesus has departed from their own understanding of the passage. Nazareth was a "settler town" (p.152), and the community took offense at Jesus' omission of those very lines from Isaiah that gave voice to their expectation that the Messianic age would be glorious for them, while a time when God's vengeance would deal with their enemies (p.162).
Crucial cultural background is given to other stories in chapter 13: the healing of blind Bartimaeus and Jesus' encounter with Zacchaeus. Too often readers of these stories do not have an adequate understanding of the cultural realities of the time. What was the situation of a blind beggar, and what would the situation of such a person be if they recovered their sight? Would a powerful member of the community climb a tree? To what extent was Zacchaeus exaggerating when he said he'd give away half his assets, and to what extent was such exaggeration culturally appropriate? Bailey addresses all these subjects, and more, in a fascinating way.
Part 5 is about Jesus and women, and here too Bailey draws on his knowledge of cultural norms, including appropriate and inappropriate turns of phrase in various contexts. Such evidence (pp.192-193) points clearly not only to Jesus having had female disciples, but also to their involvement in his public activity. Although Bailey's point (in connection with the story in John 4) about women in the Middle East always going to the well in a group (p.202) needs to be taken seriously, so too must the possibility that this woman was not alone, and that her arrival at midday reflects the story of Jacob and Rachel which is in the background (Genesis 29:6-12). Might not the relevant cultural background lead us to suppose that ancient readers would have assumed that the woman to whom Jesus addressed himself would never have come to the well on her own? This illustrates one of the difficulties that arises when applying cultural background information to the interpretation of Biblical texts. When would an individual's behavior in a story have been shocking, and when would hearers have filled in background assumptions that might have mitigated the shocking meaning?
In chapter 17, which deals with the story of the woman caught in adultery found in some manuscripts of the Gospel of John, the cultural and historical background is appealed to in order to make sense of the manuscript evidence. Bailey imagines some individual requesting a copy without the story, concerned that his daughters might be influenced by it (p.230). While the scenario of an individual requesting a copy with a specific content is plausible in and of itself, in this case Bailey does insufficient justice to the fact that most daughters would at any rate need a male to read the text to them. Nor are the relevant considerations about the language and style of the passage brought into the discussion. Nevertheless, at this point and elsewhere (e.g. pp.270-273), Bailey rightly notes that cultural considerations are relevant to textual critical and redaction-critical concerns, as well as to the interpretation of the text in any given form. While Bailey appropriately brings the Roman context of Jesus' activity in Jerusalem into the picture when interpreting this story (pp.233-235), he neglects to mention the Rabbinic concern (perhaps to be found also among the Pharisees of Jesus' time) for avoiding capital punishment whenever possible. Thus it may be that they were testing Jesus not to see whether he would condemn her as they felt he should, but to see whether he could find a way of avoiding the death penalty. While scholars will often appropriately defer to Bailey's knowledge both of the contemporary culture of this part of the world and ancient commentaries on the New Testament from there, nevertheless those with detailed knowledge of the history of these times will need to critically evaluate the fit of models drawn from contemporary life experience to these ancient texts. Nonetheless, in very many respects Bailey's depiction of mob mentalities and other aspects of the scenario still ring true, and provide a challengingly different cultural viewpoint on this story, as on all those he discusses in the book. Bailey interprets a number of Jesus' actions as turning the community's wrath from other marginalized figures onto himself, and thus emphasis is placed on Jesus' "costly love" even prior to the crucifixion.
Part 6 is entitled "Parables of Jesus" (a somewhat awkward title, given that parables have been discussed at previous points in the book). Bailey often emphasizes the open-ended character of parables, and at one point notes that even ones that seem final may be open-ended, since "In the Middle East the word no is never an answer, rather it is a pause in the negotiations" (p.273). Jesus the storyteller is presented as a "metaphorical theologian" (pp.279-280). In this section there is the most significant overlap with Bailey's earlier books on the parables in Luke, Poet and Peasant and Through Peasant Eyes, but as someone who cherishes Bailey's insight in those earlier publications, I can say that I did not find his most recent treatments in Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes in any sense redundant. New angles and insights are offered, and much new food for thought is provided.
There is a fascinating discussion, for instance, of the possibility that the story of the Good Samaritan may have been based on a historical event (pp.289-290), although it is emphasized that in the end such considerations have no bearing on the meaning of the story. Perhaps most significant is the way in which Bailey offers a different reading of several parables that have been the focus of scholarly attention in recent years, with other scholars attempting to utilize insights from the social sciences and situate them in the context of the economic realities of life for ancient Mediterranean peasants. Bailey's own approach does this too, but in a way that nonetheless takes seriously the landowners (often viewed negatively by peasants) as ultimately positive symbols of God, as has historically been the interpretation offered by Christian readers. Bailey's readings will need to be studied seriously and engaged thoughtfully by those working on the parables. One key example is in the "parable of the workers in the vineyard", which Bailey entitles instead "the parable of the compassionate employer". One detail Bailey notes because of his wealth of experience in the Middle East, which other interpreters overlook, is the significance of the vineyard owner's unusual behavior: he himself goes to find individuals who are looking for work, even late in the day when it would be unlikely to find anyone still waiting and hoping for employment. Without in any way denigrating the importance of many other social-scientific studies of the New Testament, it remains the case that those who have lived in cultures which share key values and customs with the New Testament world will be more likely to notice tiny but significant details of this sort, as well as picking up on things that are left unsaid but are assumed. This can be seen again in the "parable of the serving master", where Bailey realizes that the master in question slips out from the banquet he is hosting to bring food to his servants (p.374). Likewise in the parable of the pounds, where it is well known that trade for profit was frowned upon in "limited good" societies, Bailey suggests a plausible background of cultural-historical assumptions, suggesting that the issue when the nobleman returns is not profit but activity, which showed loyalty in his absence (pp.402, 405-7).
In addition to the detailed offering of interpretation and analysis of New Testament texts, Bailey's book is full of delightful anecdotes from his own experience and from the Middle Eastern world that he knows so well. I highly recommend this book to absolutely any English-speaking reader who is interested in understanding the New Testament for whatever reason, whether they are Christians or merely curious about the Bible, whether they are scholars, clergy or laypeople. Almost everyone in this category who is a native speaker of English will lack Bailey's familiarity with this part of the world, its culture, its history, and the interpretations of the New Testament offered by its inhabitants down the centuries. Regardless whether you find any given argument or interpretation persuasive, what is crucial is that American, British, and other Western readers of the Bible need to be confronted with other cultural readings, to at least make us more aware of our own assumptions and the way they lead us to interpret these texts. All readers of the New Testament will benefit from making Bailey one of their guides and dialogue partners.
49 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Important New Bible Study Aid,
I highly recommend this book to students who are interested in the culturally relevant shades of meaning that actually reside in the parables and stories of Jesus.
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read this Book. See Jesus.,
Believe it or not, Jesus was a Middle Easterner. And a Jew. He could speak Hebrew and some Greek, but mostly he spoke Aramaic.
What does all this have to do with us? Well, if you're reading this, chances are that you are none of the above-mentioned things that Jesus was, and you are many of the things Jesus was not. Therefore, when you and I read the Bible, we tend to read it through lenses quite different from those worn by the first hearers of the message. We may reach accurate doctrinal conclusions about the essentials of the faith, but we may also miss much of the richness that comes from understanding the culture in which the Bible was written. When it comes to Jesus, we miss the sheer audacity of his words and his person, even as we bow before Him for our salvation.
That's where Kenneth E. Bailey comes in. Bailey grew up in the Middle East (mostly Egypt) and taught there for 40 years. His 60 years of life experience, linguistic ability, and curiosity come together in this amazing look at the Jesus of the gospels. It is impossible to read this book without growing in an appreciation of the cleverness, theological and philosophical depth, social brazenness, and deep compassion that go into describing the incarnate Christ. Bailey's insights are not "novel" in the sense of being unorthodox theologically. Rather, they are like a key that opens a door and allows a much fuller view than what one was heretofore gaining through a keyhole. The previous view was accurate, but limited. The new view is broader and richer and gives deeper meaning to what was seen before.
In 35+ years of reading Christian books, I don't know if I've ever read one that caused me to say "Wow" or "Oh my gosh" as many times as this one did. And only rarely have I read a book of theology that actually led me to worship; this is one of them.
It's hard to summarize this book, because there's so much in it. The six main sections deal with: The Birth of Jesus; The Beatitudes; The Lord's Prayer; Dramatic Actions of Jesus; Jesus and Women; and the Parables of Jesus. It all adds up to 400 pages, but it's not a difficult read. Nevertheless, don't expect to get through it quickly: you may find yourself wanting to stop often and savor what you just read.
Why did Jesus ask handicapped people if they wanted to get well? Why was Zacchaeus in a sycamore tree? What's the point of the parable of the talents (hint: it's not about using your God-given abilities)? Who is the only person in Jesus' parables given a name, and why? How did Jesus view women? Which "inn" had no room at Jesus' birth? How does the Lord's Prayer blast away the concept of salvation being only for the Jews? And why should we trust that what we read in the gospels is what really happened? All this and much, much, much more is brilliantly answered in this book. You'll never read the gospels the same way, again.
I gave a friend a copy of the chapter about the Syro-Phoenecian woman (Matthew 15.21-28). In this encounter, we see Jesus refusing to answer the woman pleading for her daughter's healing, then telling her that He only came to help Jews, then calling her a dog. After my friend read Bailey's exposition of this passage, he said, "I used to read this story and think, 'Jesus is a jerk.' But now I read it and say, 'Jesus is amazing.'"
Jesus IS amazing. Read this book and you'll have a much richer understanding as to why.
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A few minor weaknesses,
This review is from: Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes - Cultural Studies in the Gospels (Paperback)The undeniable strengths of this book have been described well by other reviewers. I would like to describe a few weaknesses I've perceived in this otherwise very useful book:
1) In his perceptive analysis of literary structures and cultural context, sometimes Bailey seems to under-analyze the wider literary context in which each parable/account is situated. This weakness appears twice, for example, in his commentary on the parables in Luke 16. First, in his consideration of the parable of the unjust steward, Bailey focuses on verses 1 to 8, emphasizing their connection with the previous chapter, but dismissing their connection with verses 9 to 13 by saying, "The verses that follow in Luke 16:9-13 display their own inner integrity and are best understood as a new paragraph" (pg. 334). This ignores the very clear connection between verses 4 and 9 (both speak of using money to win a welcome into future homes) which show that verses 9-13 are Jesus' commentary on the parable. This leads Bailey to underestimate the parable's concern with how we are to use money. Second, in his discussion of the story of the rich man and Lazarus, also in Luke 16, Bailey does a better job of allowing the context to shape his interpretation of the story, but still skips over the (admittedly difficult) verses 16-18 with this brief comment: "The reasons for the presence of Lk 16:16-18 between the poem on mammon and the parable have thus far escaped me" (pg. 380, footnote).
2) It also seems to me that sometimes Bailey is a little over-eager to draw interpretive conclusions from cultural considerations. For example, in his discussion of the parable of the pounds (Lk 19:11-27), Bailey suggests that the nobleman's final command to bring "those enemies of mine [who had rejected his kingship]... and slay them before me" is "an opening statement, no more" (pg. 407). He finds such a judgment to be "critically damaging" (pg. 407) to Luke's portrayal of Jesus and Jesus' commands to love our enemies. Bailey provides cultural support for this interpretation by saying, "If a Westerner is told by his employer, 'You're fired! Clear out your desk! I want you off the property by 5 p.m. today!' the employee will understand that he or she is fired and start packing at once.... A traditional Middle Easterner will listen to the same speech and conclude: 'The master is clearly very upset! Hmm--I see that I have a long negotiating process ahead of me...." (pgs. 406-407). This cultural context is fascinating and potentially useful, but appears to me to be misused in a way that underestimates the Bible's portrayal of Jesus as the final Judge and as the One who warned of a very real and final judgment to fall on Jerusalem for rejecting their Messiah. (See later in this very chapter, Luke 19:41-44; also Luke 13:1-9; 21:21-24.) At other times Bailey similarly offers fascinating cultural context that seems best taken as suggestive, not definitive, for interpretation.
3) A final (and less important) criticism of this book is that Bailey can at times feel slightly too repetitive when you read through the book from cover to cover. On the upside, this allows the reader to usefully dip into any chapter at random and still benefit from Baileys commentary on a single passage.
I have thoroughly enjoyed reading Bailey's keen insights into the stories and teachings of Jesus. I have been comparing Bailey's conclusions with those of Joel Green in his commentary on Luke The Gospel of Luke (The New International Commentary on the New Testament) and find the comparison very useful. (Much of Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes is based on Luke.) Bailey reveals much color and emotional impact in each account, and Green adds a more cautious eye with a greater consideration for how each account fits into Luke's larger literary and theological context. Sometimes I find myself agreeing with Bailey's interpretations and sometimes with Green's--and many times they reinforce each other's insights!
Enjoy Bailey's insights. Let them enrich your understanding of Jesus and add emotional impact to his teachings--and read this book alongside another (such as a good commentary).
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Context may not be quite everything...,
This is a work of historical criticism and linguistic analysis placing the sayings and actions of Jesus in their full first century social and religious contexts. Our familiarity with modern Western societal norms and our unfamiliarity with Greek and Hebrew leave us ill-prepared to assess the Gospels' full meaning.
For example, Luke 7:36-50 describes Jesus' visit, by invitation, to Simon the Pharisee, during which dinner visit a sinful woman washes Jesus' feet with her tears and hair at dinner.
Simon the Pharisee intentionally showed *not one* of the most basic social courtesies to Jesus, yet Jesus reclined - indicating he nevertheless considered himself the senior, most authoritative person at the dinner. In other words, Jesus immediately understood that this dinner invitation was given in bad faith as yet another attempt by the Pharisees to humiliate him.
Bailey considers the woman's tears to be motivated, at least in part, by her immediate perception of the grave disrespect being shown Jesus as a guest, whom she almost certainly had heard speak and declare that God loves the righteous as much as the unrighteous. Presumably she had experienced the healing of his words and presence, and had brought the expensive oil as a gift - but on seeing the rudeness shown Jesus she spontaneously began to annoint his feet as a desperate gesture of love and compassion.
"Simon, I have something to say to you." Bailey asserts this Middle Eastern expression is extremely direct. In fact, Jesus launches into an elegant but sustained social assault on his host - something that is unheard of in the Middle East. And as usual, Jesus turns the tables on his would-be detractors, pointing out that this "unclean" woman has in fact supplied the "virtuous" Simon's want by lavishing social courtesies on an ill-used guest. Though she has done so in an unclean manner - any woman (sinful or no) with hair unbound in public was considered "unclean" - Jesus accepts her gift in the spirit it is offered, irrespective of Pharisaical social and religious taboos.
The book abounds with such examples. Bailey also points out the egalitarianism of Jesus, exemplified in so many actions and parables, that eliminates distinctions of nationality, race, gender, and religion. Any one professing to be a Christian who fails to look past superifical differences - it thus follows - has failed to understand the most basic message of Jesus: We are all God's children and God loves us all. "Love one another, as I have loved you."
I found it interesting that the author echoes Oscar Wilde's opinion that indeed Jesus did speak Greek (in addition to Aramaic), and highly recommend this book to anyone wishing more fully to understand the Gospel narrative. Unlike What Jesus Meant by Garry Wills, this book never substitutes opinion for scholarship. For me, the value of this book lies in its ability to let you see through Jesus' eyes.
This is really a wonderful read.
Vade in pace.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Prepare to be amazed,
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely outstanding,
This book is worth your time.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Eye Opening,
While it is rather interesting to note the writing style and way that stories were written in a specific pattern, it got pointed out so often that it became a bit tedious; but still interesting just how predominant it is in their style of writing.
The first part of the book started with a real attention grabber, revealing based on cultural understandings, that the birth of Jesus was not in a barn as we always picture it. I knew from that point that this book would offer much more depth to the biblical stories, and it sure did.
Section two is on the Beatitudes, section three on the Lord's prayer, section four deals with the dramatic actions of Jesus, and were all very interesting and insightful, but it got even more interesting in section five, dealing with Jesus and Women. I admit that he said some thing in this section about women that make me wonder how he would put what Jesus said up against what Paul later said. Of course I own Bailey's follow up book, entitled [book:Paul Through Mediterranean Eyes: Cultural Studies in 1 Corinthians|11245167], which will reveal the answer (I assume) - once I get around to getting in to it.
It was the final section, six, on the parables that I was most captivated. The insight behind how those hearing the stories would have understood them, often shed new light and understanding on them which was intriguing.
Though I admit, at times, he tends to try to pull too much out of thing, but it is not so much that it got too annoying. Assuming things from silence could have been left out and the work would not have lost anything; but again, it wasn't so much that it was distracting - just noticeable.
Overall a good study and recommended for people who want a little more than a surface level Westerner view of things.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes,
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Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes: Cultural Studies in the Gospels by Kenneth E. Bailey