The words of the heavenly voice that spoke at Jesus’ immersion foreshadowed the trajectory of Jesus’ career.
An Almost Unknown Hanina ben Dosa Story and Jesus: Exemplars of First-century Galilean Hasidic Judaism
This story shows Hanina ben Dosa, one of the most important religious figures in Jewish history, exemplifying some of Jesus’ most profound and radical teachings.
Why Do the Wicked Prosper?
Why do the wicked prosper? No one knows, but ancient Jewish thinkers reminded the faithful that appearances are not always what they seem.
Sending the Twelve: Conduct on the Road
In this segment of the LOY commentary David Bivin and Joshua Tilton consider the command to avoid Gentiles and Samaritans and the prohibitions against bringing travel gear for the apostles’ journey.
The Jewish Cultural Nature of Galilee in the First Century
The prevailing opinion among New Testament scholars is that first-century Galilee was culturally and spiritually deprived, and that, therefore, Jesus came from an underdeveloped and backward Jewish region of the land of Israel. Professor Safrai here presents massive evidence against this view.
“The ‘Desert’ of Bethsaida”: Is Midbar Akin to Village Common?
Professor Shmuel Safrai has pointed out to me in a private conversation a good example of the use of midbar in the sense of “a pasturing place” or “the common grazing land of a settlement.”
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.