Regular price: $20.99
Buy Now with 1 Credit
Buy Now for $20.99
This is more a meditation on life in first century CE Palestine than traditional history, with back and forth comparisons to contemporary ways of being in the world.
Don't let the cover fool you -- the book deftly skirts skirts theological controversies and so can be enjoyed by range of listeners: theist, atheist, deist, nondeist, trinitarian, fundamentalist...anyone interested in a listen about the time in which Jesus walked, not necessarily arguments about Jesus' identity.
Although uses Korb uses archaeological discovery as much of the "evidence," the listen is accessible and more like having a conversation with a scholarly friend who takes the material to your level without being condescending. The "author's notes" sound more like friendly asides than distracting footnotes.
Narration is good, with occasionally mispronunciation (John Dom Crossan for example, sometimes becomes JAY-dee Crah SAHN), but the listen didn't sound as though it was being site read, like so many other reasonably priced audio books.
This definitely put me in an Easter mood!
11 of 11 people found this review helpful
Scott Korb has written an excellent short introduction to life in the first century of the Common Era. For those versed in the history of the period, he doesn't break new ground; but he's arranged the material in an effective way, relying heavily on archaeology and to a lesser extent on surviving documents. If you grew up, like me, thinking of life in first-century Palestine as poor but comfortable, you will be shocked at the level of grinding poverty and demoralization that Kolb describes. Everyone felt the heavy hand of Rome, even in provinces like Galilee that were only indirectly ruled by the empire. It ended badly for most, with a series of revolts brutally crushed, ending with the city of Jerusalem being dismantled. Jesus was only one of many tens of thousands of Jews crucified by the Iron Empire. (Kolb is, by the way, insistent that "this is not a book about Jesus," although chapters are prefaced by fresh translations of many familiar New Testament passages. It's impossible to read the book without gaining fresh insight into what the teachings of Jesus were up against.) Arthur Morey does a good job narrating the book. It's especially "bottom-heavy" with extended footnotes; Morey navigates his way into the notes and (sometimes less successfully) back out again with a minimum of confusion.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful