Jesus and the Economic Questions of His Day

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A study of the social conditions of first-century Palestine that explores the economic context of the historical Jesus, focusing on: issues of production and economic distribution; the "Jesus tradition" from an economic perspective; comparative material from biblical and Hellenistic authors; Jesus' occupation and the settings a carpenter might have encountered in finding work; the social contracts that could have resulted in Jesus' becoming a broker or bridge between social classes; and reflections on the economic values in the words and ministry of Jesus.


". . . provide[s] a lucid and thorough description of production and distribution in first-century Palestine. The analysis is intelligent and careful; the author's impressive competence . . . is in part explained by his specially devised computer program for the study . . . ." - Journal of Jewish Studies ". . . a fresh look at the historical Jesus . . . . a sociological approach, or what he calls `a new sociological awareness' . . . . readable and very scholarly. . . . has added an important dimension to our understanding of the historical Jesus and his kingdom." - Neotestamentica

". . . an impressive interdisciplinary study of relationship between Jesus' message of the reign of God and the socioeconomic conditions of Jesus' original peasant audience. . . . Oakman's hypothesis is carefully presented, amply documented, and quite convincing. While affirming the value of literary-critical analyses, he demonstrates the special importance of social science methodology and models in providing much-needed control to uninhibited creative `theological' interpretations." - Biblical Theology Bulletin ". . . provides a wealth of information on first-century Palestine, is an important contribution to study of the historical Jesus, and will be of special interest to those concerned about the relevance of the teaching of Jesus to socioeconomic issues today." - Theological Studies

". . . of special importance for anyone concerned with the ethics of the New Testament or with sociological approaches to New Testament study." - Journal of Theological Studies "This is an interdisciplinary work drawing upon biblical studies, ancient history, economic anthropology, peasant studies, scientific agronomy, amongst others. . . . The synthetic picture that emerges is fascinating . . . ." - History of Political Economy ". . . an excellent study of the Palestinian economic situation, the parables, and what is known of the historical Jesus. An appendix on the history of the study of `the real' Jesus only adds to its value." - Religious Studies Review

"[Oakman's] appendix on "The Nature and Difficulties of the Study of Historical Jesus" [is] one of the best summaries I have seen. . . . . focuses on economic production and distribution in Jesus' Palestine . . . as the context for understanding the `eco

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