The Myth of a Gentile Galilee

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This investigation of Galilee during the time of Jesus demonstrates that, contrary to the perceptions of many New Testament scholars, the overwhelming majority of Galilee's population were Jews. Utilizing the gospels, the writings of the Jewish historian Josephus, and published archaeological excavation reports, it traces the historical development of the region's population and examines in detail specific cities and villages. It is the only book-length treatment of this subject and is the fullest synthesis available of archaeological and literary evidence for first-century CE Galilee.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...clear and elegant...a nuanced discussion...makes a convincing case...The volume is a good inoculation against the 'myth of a Gentile Galilee.'" John S. Kloppenborg, University of Toronto, Toronto Journal of Theology
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Mark A. Chancey is Assistant Professor in the Department of Religious Studies at Southern Methodist University. He has written articles and reviews for New Testament Studies, Biblical Archaeology Review, Currents in Research: Biblical Studies, and Africa Journal of Theology.

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Table of Contents

Preface; List of abbreviations; Note on dating; List of maps; Introduction; 1. Images of Galilee's population in biblical scholarship; 2. The political and demographic history of Galilee; 3. Galilean communities in the late Hellenistic and early Roman periods; 4. Galilee and the circle of nations; Conclusion; Bibliography; Indices.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2004

    Rich in Sources

    Chancey's research is prodigious and he provides a rich panorama of sources both primary and secondary. An essential work for anyone interested in a comprehensive treatment of the questions regarding the ethnic and historical profile of the people of Galilee during the Second Temple Period. Unfortunately, Chancey tends either to ignore evidence not supportive of his thesis or to minimize its importance, often without providing any sound justification. His contention that 'evidence for pagans in first-century CE Galilee is surpringly slim in both the literary and archeological records' (p.5) is hard to square with the Professor Daniel Sperber's superb study of 'The City in Roman Palestine' (Oxford University Press, 1998) which states unequivocally that 'Roman-period cities in the Land of Israel were pagan both in spirit and population.'

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