Review of . . .

K. C. Hanson and Douglas E. Oakman

Palestine in the Time of Jesus:
Social Structures and
Social Conflicts
Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1998
Pp. xx + 235. $21.00 (paper).

A. Dean Calcote
Beaumont, Texas

Palestine in the Time of Jesus is a fascinating and useful book. Hanson and Oakman present a readable study of the social structures of first-century palestine organized around four major themes: family and kinship, politics and patronage, political economy, and political religion.
The relationship between the elite and non-elite groups in each area are clearly set forth. Frequent references are made to gospel incidents which illustrate these themes and in so doing illuminate the gospel passages, making them more understandable for the contemporary reader. In addition to the text, there are three glossaries which give extended definitions or even brief commentaries on relevant terms, with cross-references to scripture and ancient authors as well.
Each chapter begins with an identification of central biblical passages related to its theme and a list of questions raised in the passages and concludes with a series of questions designed to apply further the perspectives presented in each as well as suggested readings for additional study. Brief and concise, this is a valuable resource for a greater understanding of the daily life of those first-century individuals whom we encounter in the gospels.

Copyright 1999 by The Living Church

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