One of the main reasons so many people fail to really understand the significance of Jesus’ message and actions is due to a lack of education regarding the time between the Old and New Testaments: the Intertestamental Period. Many people simply do not have the time or ability to take a class in order to really grasp the political and cultural dynamics of this period in Jewish history, and how it relates to Christianity. Thanks to the Understanding the World of Jesus pamphlet, you can quickly develop a better understanding of the Intertestamental Period for less than five dollars.
The time between the Old and New Testaments are often referred to by Protestant Christians as silent years. They were anything but silent. This common mindset among western Christians overlooks the imperialism, revolts, wars, uprisings, political factions, religious divisions, secularization, and dynastic families that contributed to the cultural environment into which Jesus would be born. How did all of this play into the message of love for God and love for humanity that Jesus would give his life telling? What were the dynamics that impacted the manner in which those hearing the message of Christ would receive it? Why were the Jews subjects of Israel during the life of Christ?
Understanding the World of Jesus is a fifteen-minute guide to better understanding the gospel narrative. This pamphlet walks its reader through the people, politics, and culture that Jesus experienced during his life. It explains the origins of King Herod, the Pharisees, the Sadducees, the Scribes, and the desecration of the Jewish Temple. Hannukah become a holiday the Jews celebrated as a result of events that took place during the intertestamental period.
The Intertestamental Period provides so much insight into developing a contextual understanding of the people and society Jesus was addressing during the years of his ministry. Understanding the World of Jesus is beautifully illustrated and packed with valuable information, but is small enough to keep with your bible to use as a reference when studying. You can learn about important events without dedicating weeks of historical study. I would highly recommend it to any person serious about understanding the gospels and what the message of Jesus truly meant to those who heard it, and how that relates to us today.
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Hendrickson/Rose Publishing for the purpose of this review.