In his latest book, Sean Freyne draws on his detailed knowledge of Galilean society in the Roman period, based on both literary and archaeological sources, to give a fresh and provocative reading of the Jesus-story within its Galilean setting. Jesus, a Jewish Galilean focuses on the religious as well as the social and political environment and examines the ways in which the Jewish religious experience had expressed itself in Galilee. It examines the ways in which the Jewish tradition in both the Pentateuch and the Prophets had constructed notions of an ideal Galilee. These provided the raw material for Jesus' own response to the issues of the day, from which he fashioned his own distinctive views of Israel's restoration and his own role in that project.
Although Freyne is in touch with all recent scholarship about the historical Jesus, he brings his own distinctive take on the issues both with regard to Galilean society and Jesus' grounding in his own religious tradition. His Jesus is both Jewish and yet distinctive in his concerns and the ways in which he responds to the ecological, social and religious issues of his own time and place. Freyne seeks to retrieve the theological importance of Jesus' own message, something that has been lost sight of in the trend to present him primarily as a social reformer, while acknowledging the dangers of modernising Jesus.