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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
Two thousand years ago, on a tiny plot of land on the fringes of the Roman Empire, the message of Jesus was heard by the masses suffering under Roman tyranny. Jesus' revolutionary message sparked these listeners and infuriated the Roman imperial establishment. Some years after the death of Jesus, Saul of Tarsus experienced a vision that persuaded him to deliver the message of Jesus throughout the empire. This almighty, biblical story transformed the world.
In a vividly accurate presentation of the early Christian communities, The Message and the Kingdom: How Jesus and Paul Ignited a Revolution and Transformed the Ancient World by Richard Horsley and Neil Silberman portrays the world of John the Baptist, the Apostle Paul, and Jesus as "not only a spiritual battleground but a landscape of far-reaching economic dislocation, cultural conflict, and political change." The authors reveal how the message of Jesus and Paul was greatly influenced and shaped by the circumstances and social surroundings of the day. They also write of the social conditions and circumstances of the congregation to whom they preached, which ultimately affected the message.
Horsley and Silberman use newly uncovered historical information as well as archaeological discoveries to paint a portrait of Jesus and Paul as great men of faith and passion who were moved by the people's suffering brought on by the Roman imperials. Some examples of these archaeological discoveries are the soggy timbers of a fisherman's boat submerged in the Sea of Galilee for more than 2,000 years,whichsuggests a vessel used by the fishermen-disciples, and the ruins of the ancient city of Caesarea, where Pontius Pilate's name has been identified on fragmentary Latin inscriptions.
Set against a background of both historical and religious importance, The Message and the Kingdom demonstrates how the quest for the Kingdom of God by Jesus, Paul, and the early Christians was both a spiritual journey and a political response to the injustices that were brought on by the Roman Empire.