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A Treasure Trove
on December 5, 2004
When you are tired of the endless controversies in current Biblical scholarship, when you're worn down from the specialist studies of language in this or that gospel, or the cynical books that claim to expose this and that redaction, when you want merely to exist in a rich, vital, eloquent literary world, securely based in scholarship itself, in which Second Temple Jerusalem comes to life, in which you can see Nazareth as if you were there, in which you can feel the pulse of the commerce and communications, and pilgrim crowds of the time of Christ -- then pick up this book. Dip into it by subject or time period. And you'll love it. Of course it was written by a believing man with a great generous soul. But it's thoroughly documented, and has immense and timeless insight to offer on many subjects. For some, it might be a rich corrective to the mini-series, and movies about Jesus which portray his surroundings as so meager and primitive, with no sense of the grandeur of the Holy City, and the complexity and variety of the village life that Jesus might have known. Jesus didn't live in the Stone Age as motion pictures and documentaries would have one believe. He lived in the busy world of Augustus and Tiberius Caesar. And this book embraces that period with vast wisdom and knowledge. It is outdated, yes. But the period in which it was written (late 1800's) is no doubt partly responsible for it's profound simplicty and overwhelming charm. Happy reading.