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The World of Jesus: Making Sense of the People and Places of Jesus' Day Paperback – June 1, 2013

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (June 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764210831
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764210839
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #138,329 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Know Jesus Better by Understanding What Shaped His World

Sometimes it's hard to find your bearings in the New Testament, as you enter the time and place of Jesus and His disciples. There are confusing practices, new people groups, and even unexplained religious conflicts. How did it all come about?

Dr. William Marty walks you through the history leading up to the arrival of Jesus in order to help you better understand His life and teachings. He answers such questions as:

• Why did "Israelites" start being called "Jews"?

• What's a "synagogue" and what happened to worshiping in the temple?

• Who were the Pharisees and why was Jesus so upset with them?

• Why didn't anyone like the Samaritans?

Get to know the times in which Jesus lived, so you'll better understand His teaching and ministry. And along the way, discover how God prepared the world for the One who would turn it upside down.

"Marty's brief volume is a less-than-200-page survey of the history between the Testaments that helps set the stage for the entrance of Jesus Christ and the New Testament era. If one can keep up with the real-life cast of characters--mostly rulers and rebels--this book is a gem for the beginning student of biblical history and for the Bible study teacher investigating the backdrop of Jesus' life and teaching." --The Baptist Standard

About the Author

Dr. William H. Marty (ThD, Dallas Theological Seminary) is Professor of Bible at the Moody Bible Institute and has published two textbooks, Surveying the New Testament and Survey of the Old Testament. He is unique among Bible college professors in that he teaches and writes on both the New and Old Testaments. Dr. Marty lives with his wife in Chicago.

Customer Reviews

Even though I have read several books on the subject, I learned some new insights from this book.
Joan N.
Written by a professor at Moody Bible Institute, this book covers the period between the Old Testament and New Testament.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to better understand the world that Jesus lived and ministered in.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Debra Brinkman VINE VOICE on September 1, 2013
Format: Paperback
This book is a very readable presentation of the history of the Jewish people from 539 BC to 70 AD. Most of this is covering the 400 years between the end of the Old Testament and the beginning of the New Testament.

The first chapter, Homeward Bound: The Persian Period, covers the end of of the Old Testament, roughly 539-331 BC. This chapter contains a fair amount of material that would be familiar to you if you've read your Bible -- from the fall of Judah onwards.

While the first chapter was interesting and informative, I found the next chapters to be more worthwhile. Starting with Alexander, and ending with the destruction of the temple in 70AD, the rest of the book fills in a lot of the political events of the times as they pertain to the Jewish nation. Yes, I've learned a lot about Alexander the Great, and even a bit about him in relation to Jerusalem. But what does Hellenism (the civilization and culture of Ancient Greece) have to do with the rise of the Pharisees? I had no idea there was a relationship.

My bottom line: Most of my students (grades 2-9) are studying world history this year. This book is going to be a part of that. Dr. Marty ties together the regular history with fascinating information about how that impacted the Jewish culture. I'm not sure the 2nd and 4th grader will get much from this book, but the 7th and 9th graders most certainly will. And even though he is studying a completely different time period, my 11th grader will be sitting in on this book too.

Disclosure: Bethany House provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes. No other compensation was received, and all opinions are my own.
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46 of 57 people found the following review helpful By Nathan Albright on June 1, 2013
Format: Paperback
[Note: This book was received for free from Bethany Books in exchange for an honest review.]

For a reader who is unfamiliar with vastly better works on the historical, religious, social, and cultural background of the early New Testament, this book may be appealing. Though this author is no Bruce, Edersheim, or Jeffers, all of whom have written excellent works on the Greco-Roman world as well as the influences of that world on second temple Jewish and Christian thought and practice, those who wish to read a watered-down tabloid history of the intertestimental period and who want a quick read without scholarly footnotes or a thoughtful examination of primary and secondary source material may find this book appealing. Far be it from me to condemn anyone who wishes light and superficial reading, even about our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. For those who might expect more than light and superficial reading, though, I feel I must provide some sort of review of the materials of this book.

Dr. Marty professes in this book to be writing a historical work of the intertestimental period, that is, the time between Malachi and Matthew, a stretch of time of about 435 years where there were no God-breathed works written, no widespread prophetic revelation, though there were a lot of Jewish works written that are of some interest today (and only a couple of which, 1st and 2nd Maccabees, which the author explores in any detail as source material quarried for this work). The book is divided into eight chapters, with an introduction and conclusion, and the balance of the work reflects the author's concerns.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By D. Kline on June 17, 2013
Format: Paperback
Dr. Marty wrote this book to give the reader an historical summary of the history of Israel between the time of the end of the Old Testament and the beginning of the New Testament, a period of about 400 years. He discusses the times of the Persians, the Greeks, the Jews, and the Romans and provides a timeline at the beginning of each chapter with highlights of each period. Many of these times were eras of brutality, power struggles, hostility, paranoia, and chaos. His sources, for the most part, are Biblical, but much of the history is based on the writings of Flavius Josephus.

The cast of characters is huge - and at some points, very confusing to the reader. I found myself wishing for a chart of family relationships to help me along. Because this is a summary, the movement is fast paced from one historical event and ruler to another. I appreciated the special notes that gave more details on certain characters or events that were mentioned along the way.

Perhaps the parts of the books I gained most from were the detailed chart comparing Sadducees and Pharisees and the clarification between the many generations of Herods. The most confusing chapters were early on concerning the Persians and the Maccabees.

The author provides discussion questions at the end of each chapter so that this would be a fine study book for a group. The comprehensive index was also quite helpful and would be a good reference tool for future studies.
This is definitely a slow read because of the historical nature of the book.

(This book was provided to me by Bethany House Publishers for my honest review.)
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