Jesus scandalous? Perhaps. I have to admit that many of the things he said and did have confused me over the years. Sometimes we apply our present day understanding to the gospel accounts and get confused. Sometimes, if we stop and think about it, we border on offense. Most often we shrug and read on. But I always appreciate books and commentaries that shed light on some of the more obscure first century customs. The Jesus Scandals is one of those.

If you’re a small group leader or lay Bible teacher, you’ll appreciate the work David Instone-Brewer has done to explain and clarify the sayings and doings of Jesus.  Instone-Brewer is a biblical scholar specializing in first century Jewish customs. He uses the rabbinical literature and writings of early church fathers to clarify these for his 21st century audience. He’ll help you read with the mindset of a first century Jew or Gentile. And he does it in accessible language and short chapters. He covers many customs I’ve never seen addressed in any other commentary.

The chapters I found most interesting dealt with Jesus’ parentage, birth, and bacheor status, which were far more scandalous in the first century than they would be now. For eample, did you know that miracles in the first century were considered hoaxes? They weren’t the authentication of his ministry that we tend to think they were. This book will make a welcome addition to your library.

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3 Comments so far

  1. Klitz on August 8, 2012 10:52 am

    Hello from many miles away! This is just what I was looking for, and you wrote it nicely. Thanks

  2. Krystina Salazak on August 9, 2012 9:38 am

    Hi there, just became alerted to your blog through Google, and found that it’s very informative. I will be grateful if you continue this in future. A lot of people will be benefited from your writing. Cheers!

  3. Anonymous on August 16, 2012 2:18 pm

    I came here hunting something else, but this enlightened me regardless. Interesting stuff!

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