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Stone and Dung, Oil and Spit: Jewish Daily Life in the Time of Jesus Paperback – April 12, 2011
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— Oriental Institute, Oxford
“Jodi Magness brings literary evidence from both Jewish and New Testament writings together with extensive archaeological material to produce a literally ‘down to earth’ picture of the conditions and customs of daily life in the late Second Temple period. Essential reading for all who are interested in that period.”
Sidnie White Crawford
— University of Nebraska-Lincoln
“A superb handbook on Jewish daily life in the late Second Temple period. Magness demonstrates how texts and archaeology, with careful scholarship, can illuminate each other. This book will be valuable for undergraduates, graduate students, and all scholars of the period for a long time to come.”
Lawrence H. Schiffman
— New York University
“Magness’s originality and her mastery of the sources make this a major contribution to our field.”
Exploring Our Matrix
“For anyone interested in the New Testament or its historical and cultural context, this is an important and very useful volume.”
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Top Customer Reviews
The most satisfying chapter is "Tombs and Burial Customs" while the least satisfying is "Dining Customs and Communal Meals." "Dining Customs" would have been stronger if materials discussed in the previous chapter (pp. 59-62 'Village Dining and Pottery') had been included.
In my opinion the subtitle should have been "Jewish Daily Life at Qumran" since Magness, a Qumran expert, dedicates so many pages to Qumran. In other words, there might have been more about Jesus of Nazareth and the Jewish Christian communities behind the four Gospels. Perhaps I carp too much since Magness is not a New Testament scholar and must rely on scholars in that field. But sometimes she misses important NT input. For example, in her chapter on "Oil and Spit" (p. 129) she is so intent to make her point that spit was viewed as impure that she misses the significance of Mark 7:33: "Jesus ... spat and touched his tongue." Jesus' action is curative, as one of Magness' frequently cited NT scholars, Joel Marcus, says on p. 473 of his Anchor Bible Commentary on Mark's Gospel: "Spittle was extremely popular as a folk remedy in antiquity ... the idea of its medicinal effectiveness was widespread among Jews as well.Read more ›
The chapters on spit and toilets are pretty interesting but I would recommend this book only to serious students of Middle East archeology and history.
Within her work, Stone and Dung, Oil and Spit: Jewish Daily Life in the Time of Jesus Christ, author Jodi Magness seeks to put forth her expertise in the area of archaeology to help readers understand this ancient time period. As the chapters unfold a broad range of subjects is covered including dietary restrictions, purification rites, and burial customs. Physical objects such as coins, pottery, and clothing are covered in detail. The goal is to give the readers an appreciation of this ancient age and its daily life.
Unfortunately, the title is not completely accurate. While the Essene community at Qumran comprised a small segment of the population during the second temple period, it is given primary importance in this book. Indeed the content covering this remarkably preserved site overwhelms every chapter.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Terrific book, (as are all of Dr. Magness' books) on the daily life in the time of Jesus.Published 3 months ago by Gitfiddler Ed
I was looking for a resource that would tell me about the daily experiences of the people in the 1st century. I found many surprising facts which will be very useful to me.Published 16 months ago by Deborah A. Lonergan
Exhaustively researched and skilfully written, it's a cornucopia of lively information on Second Temple Judaism. Remarkable!Published 21 months ago by Len Lamensdorf
Just another dissertation turned into a book. Well documented but there is really only enough information here for a good journal article. Read morePublished on April 18, 2014 by David Nimmo
An archaeologist puts a few aspects of ancient Jewish life under the magnifying glass.
With a strong interest in the time and place that this book examines, and having... Read more
I purchased this book because of its title. Thought it interesting. However, it is an extremely interesting and informative book. Read morePublished on November 6, 2013 by Stephen T. Haynes