Can anyone recommend books on this subject?


hi , im not sure if this is the right place to post this…

i would like to find some books, about the history/politics of the holy land around the time of Jesus. Jewish society , zealots, pharisees ect. roman occupation, uprisings ,wars , culture , literature…

i just don’t know what to type into amazon :shrug:


Sorry, I can’t recall the exact titles, but several years ago, I ordered a series of books from Liturgical Press called The Cultural World of Jesus (I think). I don’t recall the author either, but they were excellent in giving an insight into what was going on in first century Palestine and in Old Testament times.



You could try The Complete Works of Flavius Josephus, a first century (born 37 AD) Roman/Jewish historian who wrote extensively about Jesus, Jewish life and battles in that time period. Available through Amazon. Gives details of everyday Jewish life.

The Crucified Rabbi, by Dr. Taylor Marshall, a Traditional Catholic philosopher and theologian. He ties in the Catholic Faith with its Jewish Roots from a historical/theological perspective. Available through his website or Amazon.

Mystical City of God available through Tan Books or Amazon. The lives of Jesus and Mary as revealed in visions to Venerable Mary of Agreda. Available in either four volume hardcover or paperback abridged edition. Reveals details of their lives and Jewish life at that time not mentioned in the New Testament. Similarly, the books by Anne Catherine Emmerich are about the life of the Blessed Mother based on visions given to her.


I’m not sure if this would fit your description, but I know of N.T. Wright’s The New Testament and the People of God/ Christian Origins and the Question of God, Vol.1 which discusses at least some of the theological ideas Jews had around the time of Jesus.


Also secular history books about Israel and Rome should help


thank you friends. i will look into your suggestions:)


I really like the Holman Bible Atlas. I do not have it in print, it is in my Logos Bible Study software library. It is a classic, Logos includes it in all their packages.


Manners and Custom’s in the Bible by Victor H. Matthews.



Josephus is a great source. You can easily find online free resources.


Someone lent me a book several years ago I started reading.

Sean Freyne “The World of the New Testament”


Jews in the Time of Jesus. Available on Amazon.


The author of this book is a former Catholic priest. I’m not so trusting of his positions on the divinity of Jesus and his take the historicity of the gospels. So, be cautious with this one. Save the instructions for returning this book to Amazon.


First, I need to say: Dear hazcompat, please tell me you are kidding. Or made a mistake. Dom Crossan is a fallen away Catholic priest, now an atheist, who has spent his adult life trying to stomp out Christianity. To suggest his book on this forum seems especially wrong of you - why did you do it???

Here are some books I would suggest:

Rome and Jerusalem: The Clash of Ancient Civilizations - secular writer but gives a fair overview of the difference between Jewish and pagan civilizations

Memory and Manuscript with Tradition and Transmission in Early Christianity -famous book by a biblical scholar that began the collapse of a lot of theories by the ghastly Bultmann

Life in Biblical Israel by Philip J. King -general overview but scholarship is good

The Jewish World around the New Testament by Richard Bauckham Protestant scholar, so he gets some things wrong, but is basically good

In the Shadow of the Temple: Jewish Influences on Early Christianity
by Oskar Skarsaune -interesting book by a Jewish author that gives you a perspective that is enriching.

Jesus and the Gospels: An Introduction and Survey, Second Edition
by Craig L. Blomberg - another Protestant author, but he gives you an outline of the usual arguments about the gospels, and the arguments that refute them

The social message of the early church fathers by Igino Giordani - older book, but a Catholic perspective

Men & manners in the days of Christ;: Studies and character sketches of the first century,
by J. P Arendzen - this is a very, very old book -published in 1930 or so - but it is very good and gives a Catholic perspective

JUDAISM AND HELLENISM, by MARTIN HENGEL - Protestant scholar - this is a very famous book that examines the era just before the birth of Christ

Reading and Writing in the Time of Jesus by A. R. Millard - this book will give you confidence that the traditions and beliefs of the early church were passed on accurately

Hope you find some of these helpful, God bless, Annem


A partial answer to your question is found in the publications of the Jewish Publication Society, which now has a “home” in the U. of Nebraska publishing arm.


you’re in luck. There is a sale in progress 9/2014


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