The Revd Dr David Instone-Brewer is Senior Research Fellow and Technical Officer at Tyndale House, Cambridge. A Baptist minister, his hobby is computer programming. A rabbinic scholar, he is author of many academic and popular articles, and of Divorce and Remarriage in the Church: Biblical Solutions for Pastoral Realities (Paternoster, 2003).
The Jesus Scandals: Why He Shocked His Contemporaries (And Still Shocks Today)by David Instone-Brewer
Although Western culture has been shaped for centuries by Christian teaching, a closer study of the Bible reveals that we routinely ignore the uncomfortable heart of New Testament ethics. It's too extreme, too confrontational. Even Christians pander to the world's way of thinking, making the astonishing bland.
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What David Instone-Brewer has basically done is take the actions of Jesus and plainly describe the enormous impact on the culture of his day. While I know nearly every story that he cites in the book, what I didn't know was the details of the historical cultural view. He truly brought new light to many of Jesus's actions that I had never heard. As I progressed through each topic, I would turn to my husband and say "Did you know this???" or "Listen to this!" as I shared the author's extremely competent historical knowledge. There were several stories in the bible that all of a sudden clicked for me. David Instone-Brewer shows how Jesus was the most scandalous person of not only his day but centuries. David is able to give current, real life examples of what would happen if Jesus actually did these actions now. For example he gives insight in to how children were treated/abused and how Jesus challenged this. He brings forth some incredible history of divorce and how the church may have gotten the "sexual immorality only" part wrong. From bad table manners to supplanting Passover, David clearly shows how Jesus threw everyone for a loop. Did you know that being single at age 30 as Jesus was in that culture was viewed as very rare and despised? The book itself is broken up into short, easy sections to read. I promise that this book will have you thinking, questioning, asking for days. It will spur you to look for more answers and give clarity to areas you never knew needed it. I highly recommend this book to all those interested.
David Instone-Brewer in his new book, “The Jesus Scandals” published by Monarch Books explains Why He Shocked His Contemporaries (and Still Shocks Today) . From the back cover: David Instone-Brewer unravels history to discover what has been lost over the centuries – what Jesus’ contemporaries really thought about him and his teaching. Jesus scandalized both friends and enemies. Topics covered include: His parentage and accusations of alcohol abuse and fraudulent miracles The dubious status of his followers – poorly educated, ex-prostitutes and the certifiably mad. His anti-religious teaching on temple practices, eternal torment, easy divorces and judgement in this life. His thoughts of suicide, shameful execution and impossible resurrection Faithful to the Biblical text, this carefully researched book can be read as a whole or as stand-alone chapters. Useful for house groups and as discussion starters. Why look for scandals? Rev. Instone-Brewer tells us, “scandals are our best guarantee of historical truth in the Gospels. When disgraceful, embarrassing and shocking details about Jesus are recorded by His friends and supporters, it is much harder to disbelieve them.” Rev. Instone-Brewer looks at thirty areas of the teachings of Jesus and presents them down into short, easy-to-study chapters. Each chapter covers an area of the ministry of Jesus or His teaching that was found scandalous in His day. The scandals are divided into three parts: Scandals In Jesus’ Life, Scandals Among Jesus’ Friends, and Scandals in Jesus’ Teaching. Before he died my pastor back East would continually tell us to fall in love with Jesus. ”The Jesus Scandals” will help you to understand Jesus more and the more you understand Him the greater will be your love for Him. Not only will you understand Jesus more but you will understand the settings of where and why Jesus spoke. ”The Jesus Scandals” will enhance your understanding of Biblical times. If you have read the Bible read this book. It will give you a fresh perspective and a desire to go and read the original source again. All in all I say this book is a resource that will be used over and over again. I recommend this book highly. If you would like to listen to interviews with other authors and professionals please go to Kingdom Highlights where they are available On Demand. To listen to 24 hours non-stop Christian music please visit our internet radio station Kingdom Airwaves Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Kregel Publications. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
The Jesus Scandals: Why He Shocked His Contemporaries (and still does today) is a great book for small bible study groups and individual bible study. Why? Because Dr. Instone-Brewer has taken thirty scandals that not just shocked Jesus' contemporaries, it also challenged them and their religious beliefs. These scandals may also shock you, challenge you and your religious beliefs as well. I found several things in the book that caused me to re-examine how I look at things like divorce, Easter, and even finances. Instone-Brewer takes a look scandals in Jesus' life, among His friends, and in His teachings, using historical references from Jewish historians and plenty of bible references. Looking at these scandals from the eyes of the Jewish people of that time makes reading the New Testament more understandable. Sometimes it can be difficult to understand why Jesus would say something like forgive someone seventy times seven. Read "Bitterness and Hatred" to find out why. There is just so much I want to say about this book but fear of spoiling it for you. So all I will say is READ IT! It is worth your time. It will open up the New Testament for you in a marvelous way. Reading this book will give you a better understanding of those who wrote the New Testament, who the writers were trying to reach at that time and it will give you a better understanding of how it applies to your life. Dr. Instone-Brewer's compassion and love for Jesus and the church comes through each page in this well-written, easy to understand book. Kregel Publications provided me with this free review copy. I am under no obligation to provide a positive review.