Jesus was a first-century, Middle Eastern peasant, driven by his culture's values, expert in the art of challenge and riposte, and master of his culture's strategies. The challenge to today's Western believers is to understand and appreciate Jesus on his own terms.
Scripture expert John Pilch answers that challenge by highlighting aspects of the first-century, Eastern Mediterranean cultural world in which Jesus lived and suggesting a crosscultural comparison with contemporary Western culture. Readers can thus make more fitting applications of the Scripture to modern life situations.
In engaging, clear, easy-to-read entries, Pilch describes the culture of the people who populate, and whose lives are reflected in, the Bible. His insights, taken from contemporary anthropological studies, respond to the exhortations of the Second Vatican Council, which urged interpreters of the Bible to pay attention to the "characteristic styles of perceiving" that prevailed at the time of the sacred author. Since perception is governed by culture, the better an interpreter knows the culture in which the Bible originated, the more culturally plausible will be the interpretation.
Used as an aid in preaching, Lectionary-based catechesis, or Scripture study, or simply for the interest and knowledge it brings, this series adds form and substance to your understanding of "the Word that dwelt among us".
Each volume has reflections on the gospel reading of the Lectionary for each Sunday of that cycle, as well as a list of recommended readings.