Although the archaeological evidence indicates a prosperous and thriving Galilee in the early first century CE, the Gospel texts suggest a society under stress, where the rich were flourishing at the expense of the poor. In this multi-disciplinary study, Clare Hall Emeritus Fellow Rosemary Luff, contributes to current debates concerning the pressures on early first-century Palestinian Jews, particularly with reference to socio-economic and religious issues. She examines Jesus within his Jewish environment in order to understand why he rose to prominence when he did, and what motivated him to persevere with his mission. Luff’s study includes six carefully-constructed essays that examine early Christian texts against the wider background of late Second Temple Judaic literature, together with the material evidence of Galilee and Judea (Jerusalem). Synthesising a wide range of archaeological and textual data for the first time, she offers new insights into the depth of social discontent and its role in the rise of Christianity.
(Cambridge University Press, August 2019)