Understanding Jesus: Cultural Insights into the Words and Deeds of Christ

Understanding Jesus: Cultural Insights into the Words and Deeds of Christ

by Joe Amaral


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Understanding Jesus: Cultural Insights into the Words and Deeds of Christ by Joe Amaral

Modern-day Christians often bring their own presuppositions and assumptions to the reading of the Bible, not realizing how deeply their understanding of Christ's life and teachings is affected by a 21st-century worldview. In UNDERSTANDING JESUS, author Joe Amaral delves deep into Jewish history, societal mores, and cultural traditions, closing the gap created by geographical distance and over two thousand years of history. Using a chronological approach to the life of Christ, he guides the reader through significant events such as Jesus' birth, baptism, and crucifixion, pointing out illuminating details that that the Western mind would normally miss.
Amaral's premise is that to understand Jesus, we must understand the time and place in which he was born, the background from which he drew his illustrations, and the audience he spoke to. Throughout the book he explores specific terms, places, and events for their significance and shows how they add richness and meaning to the text. Topics include the connection between Jesus and John the Baptist, the annual Feasts and why they are important to modern Christianity, Jewish customs such as foot-washing, clean and unclean foods, paying tribute to political governments, and the significance of various miracles.
In UNDERSTANDING JESUS, Amaral draws back the curtain on a way of life that existed during the reign of the Caesars, and in doing so, reveals truths about the way we live more than two thousand years later, half a world away.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780446584760
Publisher: FaithWords
Publication date: 04/07/2011
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 86,537
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Joe Amaral was born in Portugal on the island of St. Miguel, and immigrated with his family to Toronto, Ontario, when he was two years old. A rebel against Christianity, he credits a youth pastor who "loved me unconditionally" with being a major factor in his conversion and subsequent decision to enter the ministry. He attended Eastern Pentecostal Bible College (now a Master's College and Seminary). In November 2002, he first visited Israel, and learned about the culture from his tour guide, a Messianic Jew. Today, along with his father-in-law, he operates a ministry called Operation Outreach, conducting tours of the Holy Land several times a year and teaching on the Jewish roots of the Christian faith. He resides with his wife, Karen, and family in Ontario.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

A Remarkable Discovery 1

First-Century Idioms 4

The Life of Jesus 6

Four Messianic Miracles 7

The Feasts of the Lord (Lev. 23:1-44) 9

The Early Church and the Feasts 15

A Note on Sources 20

1 Jesus and John 22

The Birth of John the Baptist 22

The Birth of Jesus 28

The Baptism of Jesus 29

2 The Ministry in Galilee 32

In the Nazareth Synagogue 32

The First Messianic Miracle-Healing "Fence Laws" 35

Washing the Feet of Jesus 41

The Second Messianic Miracle-Casting Out a Mute Demon 43

The Tzitzit (Prayer Shawl) Prophecy 44

All Foods Are Clean 50

Binding and Loosing 55

The Gates of Hades 59

The Transfiguration 62

The Mustard Seed 65

3 At the Feast in Jerusalem 71

The Feast of Trumpets 71

The Day of Atonement 92

The Feast of Tabernacles 98

Writing in the Sand 106

The Third Messianic Miracle-Healing a Man Born Blind 111

4 The Ministry in Judea 114

The Feast of Dedication 114

The Cost of Discipleship 117

The Camel and the Eye of the Needle 120

The Fourth Messianic Miracle-the Raising of Lazarus after Four Days 123

5 The Final Week in Jerusalem 129

The Triumphal Entry 130

Taxes to Caesar 135

The Feast of Passover 138

Jesus in the Garden 147

Pilate Washes His Hands of Jesus 150

6 Crucifixion to Pentecost 154

The Feast of Passover-the Crucifixion of God's Passover Lamb 154

The Burial-the Feast of Unleavened Bread 161

The Resurrection-the Feast of Firstfruits 168

The Ascension and Giving of the Spirit-the Feast of Pentecost 170

Conclusion 179

Endnotes 181

Bibliography 187

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