In this video Marc Turnage demonstrates what ancient oil lamps can teach us about Jewish culture in the Galilee and Judea in the time of Jesus.
What Was Simon Peter Wearing When He Plunged into the Sea?
Was Peter actually fishing naked, or was he merely “stripped to the waist,” as the Living Bible says? And what did he put on before swimming to Jesus?
Gergesa: Site of the Demoniac’s Healing
The recent discovery of many of the ancient harbors that ringed the Sea of Galilee is an exciting chapter in Sea of Galilee research. One of these harbors is located at Kursi, ancient Gergesa. In this article, Mendel Nun contends that the demoniac’s healing and the miracle of the swine took place at Gergesa, not Gadara or Gerasa.
Stewards of God’s Keys
Jesus gave his disciple Peter the “keys of the kingdom of heaven” and promised that whatever Peter “bound” and “loosed” on earth would be “bound” and “loosed” in heaven. What scriptural allusions lurk beneath these expressions and what are their implications? How does the Jewish literary background of Matthew 16:19 help us better appreciate Jesus’ words?
Jesus and the Hasidim
How do we define Jesus within first-century Jewish society? To which of the various Jewish sects does he belong? Was he a Pharisee, an Essene? After years of painstaking research, Shmuel Safrai has identified a new stream within the Judaism of Jesus’ time: the Hasidic movement. This may be a major breakthrough in New Testament studies, as well, because the picture Safrai paints of the Hasidim is amazingly similar to what we know about Jesus. Jesus, who was quite close to the Hasidim and perhaps even involved with some of them, does not reflect Galilean boorishness or ignorance, but rather the dynamism and ongoing creativity of Jewish life in Galilee.
The Wealth of Herod the Great
King Herod built on a scale that surpassed even the rulers of the Roman empire. Magen Broshi explains how this administrative genius was able to fund monumental building projects both within and without his kingdom.
A Friend of Tax Collectors
Tax collectors were especially hated because they increased their profit by collecting more taxes than their masters actually demanded.
Fish, Storms and a Boat
Jesus had a personal acquaintance with the life of Galilean fishermen.
Fish and the Sea of Galilee
The Sea of Galilee was the scene of most of Jesus’ ministry. Fishermen and sailors were his earliest followers, and it was to them that he first preached, standing on the shore of the lake.
The Traveling Teacher
Jewish teachers of first-century Israel lacked the sophisticated methods of mass communication we have today. Consequently, the sages of Jesus’ day spent much of their time traveling throughout the country, much like the biblical prophets, to communicate their teachings and interpretations of Scripture.