Understanding Jesus and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Buy New
$14.00
Qty:1
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Usually ships within 2 to 3 weeks.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Add to Cart
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Understanding Jesus: Cultural Insights into the Words and Deeds of Christ Paperback – April 7, 2011


See all 5 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$14.00
$1.89 $3.19


Frequently Bought Together

Understanding Jesus: Cultural Insights into the Words and Deeds of Christ + What Would Jesus Read?: Daily Devotions That Guided the Savior
Price for both: $30.99

Buy the selected items together

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: FaithWords; 1 edition (April 7, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446584762
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446584760
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.2 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #161,219 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"The fact that Jesus took on Jewish flesh means that we can't fully appreciate what He said and did unless we know the Jewish culture of His day. Joe Amaral sheds significant new light on the person and work of the Messiah and by digging deeper into the Hebraic roots of the New Testament text."—Wayne Hilsden, Senior Pastor, King of Kings Community, Jerusalem

Joe Amaral's UNDERSTANDING JESUS is a must read for anyone who is serious about determining the true meaning of Jesus' teachings. Amaral's knowledge of First Century Jewish life presents Jesus in His original cultural context. In doing so, many misunderstood or difficult passages are brought to life."—Dr. Dan Bahat, former District Archaeologist of Jerusalem

"Joe Amaral's insights into first century Jewish culture will be of great benefit for anyone who is looking to discover and understand the original meaning of Jesus' teachings. I recommend heartily this reader-friendly book."—Craig A. Evans, Payzant Distinguished Professor of New Testament, Acadia Divinity College

About the Author

Joe Amaral was born in Portugal on the island of St. Miguel, and immigrated with his family to Toronto, Ontario, when he was two years old. A rebel against Christianity, he credits a youth pastor who "loved me unconditionally" with being a major factor in his conversion and subsequent decision to enter the ministry. He attended Eastern Pentecostal Bible College (now a Master's College and Seminary). In November 2002, he first visited Israel, and learned about the culture from his tour guide, a Messianic Jew. Today, along with his father-in-law, he operates a ministry called Operation Outreach, conducting tours of the Holy Land several times a year and teaching on the Jewish roots of the Christian faith. He resides with his wife, Karen, and family in Ontario.

More About the Author

JOE AMARAL is a licensed and ordained minister and travels full-time as a sought after conference and event speaker. Amaral is the host and producer of a weekly television show filmed on location in Israel called First Century Foundations. His close work with the archaeological and religious community in Israel affords him a unique perspective and opportunity to gain special insight into first-century life and culture. Amaral has produced several teaching DVD's on the subject of Hebraic Roots as well as several documentaries about Israel. Amaral continues to travel to Israel on a regular basis to further his studies as well as conducting tours. He lives with his wife, Karen, and family in Ontario, Canada.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
5 star
33
4 star
5
3 star
4
2 star
0
1 star
0
See all 42 customer reviews
Very thankful to have found such information.
Amazon Customer
This book is a great help in understanding the Jewish life during the time of Jesus.
ramj
Everyone I have shared the book with has bought a copy for themselves.
Tim Smith

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Debbie TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 28, 2011
Format: Paperback
"Understanding Jesus" gave some cultural background information to the gospels and Revelation. The author spent most of the book exploring the Feasts of the Lord to provide insight into some things Jesus did and said. He also briefly covered information on the four messianic miracles, clean and unclean foods, binding and loosing, tear jars, fence laws, prayer shawls, and more.

The author quoted large sections of Scripture before explaining the cultural insight he'd gained into those verses. This is good, but, of 180 pages of text, it seemed like only about half of them were spent explaining the cultural insights. Many of the topics weren't explored in-depth.

Perhaps because of this, I sometimes felt his statements were misleading. For example, the way he explained the timing of John the Baptist's birth and Jesus' birth would lead the reader to believe everyone who has studied the topic agrees with his timeline. However, the timeline he gave is based on many assumptions, and not everyone agrees with those assumptions.

Also, sometimes the author took an idea or tradition further than the evidence supported it. For example, on pages 28 and 29, he said that people took their burial shroud with them whenever they took a long journey. From this, he concluded that the "strips of cloth" that baby Jesus was wrapped in were from a burial shroud. I suppose this might be true, but babies have been swaddled for centuries. It's just as likely that Mary used stripes of cloth specifically intended for swaddling Jesus (since they knew she was near birth and would have been prepared for that) rather than hastily using a shroud to make swaddling stripes.

Sometimes the information he gave conflicted with information that I've read elsewhere.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Noah Largent on April 26, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have several books on the culture, people and religious/theological outlook of the people living at the time of Jesus. What separates this book from others I have is its brevity. Don't get me wrong - I am not saying the book is simplistic, but that the author is quick to the point. If your a seasoned veteran of cultural studies I'll bet you'll find a few new gems. If your just beginning your adventure of looking into the world that Jesus lived and taught in, this book is a great place to start.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By sammy on June 26, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I purchased "Understanding Jesus" as the result of an interview that I heard on our local, Christian radio station with author Joe Amaral. Evidently, Joe is a scholar of Jewish traditions and antiquities, particularly those influences on current understanding of ancient Bible texts. If correct and legitimate, many of these ancient customs and traditions that he has written about do indeed change the way one looks at some Bible writings. Taken to their extreme, in cases where other non-Bible writings are offered on the same level as those of the Bible itself, alternative conclusions and definitions challenge divine writings given to us as God's own Word. This then makes some of the author's writings suspect to those believing on the infallability of the Word. The author himself asks that in some cases, that the reader not shoot the messenger but consider the text on its own merit.

To a strict, complete and total believer in the written Word, the Bible as inspired by God, he/she needs to consider everything that lies within the covers of "Understanding Jesus" as wonderful stories if they are indeed true and otherwise dismiss them. The final determinant in this decision must be in fact, the Bible itself. One example is where the author states how common raising the dead was during pre-Jesus times: a feat performed by Temple Priests 'on a regular basis'. His suggestion is that they could only perform that 'miracle' on those dead only one to two days old. This is reminisent of many of the medieval times who drank alcholic grog from pewter vessels and fell "dead" but whose true 'illness' was no more than a feign of death that wore off after 24 - 48 hours when normal heart beat, breathing rate and pulse were regained. It may have been no more than a mis-diagnosis originally, anyway.

Bottom line: interesting reading but don't lose your hold on what is true and sacred about the Holy Word.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Raymond Green on March 1, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is an inspiring and insightful look into the culture of our Lord Jesus. If you want some wow moments or simply want to understand why our savior did what he did, this book is for you. Seriously calling all Christians, if you want to really understand the miracles that Jesus performed or want a better understanding of the feasts, I say again this book is for you.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Eddie Johnson on May 16, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Joe Amaral's "Understanding Jesus: Cultural Insights into the Words and Deeds of Christ" is a triumph in how it merges the words and deeds of the Messiah with the blatant and nuanced cultural notions of His Day. It ranks well in the prestigous company of Kenneth Bailey's "Jesus through Middle-Eastern Eyes" and Gary M. Burge's "Jesus, the Middle Eastern Storyteller."

While the only criticism or suggestion is I wish the book was longer and tackled more topics besides the Jewish Feasts. It is nevertheless a must for the Biblical cultural enthusiasts.

E.J.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By light on October 15, 2011
Format: Paperback
Have you ever wondered why Jesus instituted such a weird thing as communion, or why the church is called the bride of Christ? These and many other passages used to make me feel uncomfortable. We've all overlooked passages, and read verses that left us confused or having to find meaning while lacking the tools to do so. In the last 2000 years Christianity moved away from its roots. It gradually occurred over time, and now today many people read a gospel removed from its intended meaning, thereby missing the whole picture. In Understanding Jesus, Joe Amaral handles the much-needed task of filling in those gaps, so that modern Christians can truly gain the message of the gospel. With brevity and scholarly insight, there's something to be gained by both the biblical scholar and layman.

As an expert in first century Jewish life, Amaral reminds the reader that Christ wasn't just Jewish, but preached and fulfilled a Jewish gospel. Everything is covered. He successfully shows the significance of each step of Jesus' life through the eyes of a first century Judeo perspective. Take the Jewish feasts for instance, I always wondered why Jewish believers celebrate them but Christians don't even recognize them. Amaral not only explains the feasts in light of the ministry of Christ, but also shows the relevancy of them to our lives today. The Jewish feasts, figures of speech, Jewish customs, the signs of the messiah, reasons for Christ's miracles, the meaning behind communion, and many other topics are covered. Where I once overlooked texts, I now find awe-inspiring, spiritually enriching truth.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Customer Images

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Search

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?