Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes: Cultural Studies in the Gospels


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$40.00  $37.20
IVP Academic
Publish Date
6.1 X 9.0 X 1.3 inches | 1.6 pounds

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About the Author

Kenneth E. Bailey (Th.D., Concordia Seminary, St. Louis) is an author, lecturer and emeritus research professor of Middle Eastern New Testament studies for the Tantur Ecumenical Institute in Jerusalem. He spent forty years living and teaching New Testament in Egypt, Lebanon, Jerusalem and Cyprus, and has written many books in English and Arabic, including The Cross the Prodigal, Poet Peasant, Through Peasant Eyes, Jacob the Prodigal and Finding the Lost: Cultural Keys to Luke 15.


"A brilliant addition to Bailey's other works in which he sheds light on the biblical text from Middle Eastern culture."--Roy B. Zuck, Bibliotheca Sacra, October-December 2010
"With a life-time of living, observing and teaching in the Middle East, Kenneth Bailey's insights as a commentator are invaluable, showing time after time, how an understanding of the cultural features of the background of the Gospels can bring alive the meaning of the text, and more importantly, the power and significance of Jesus and his message."--David Parker, Evangelical Review of Theology, July 2009
"This book could serve as material for an adult or student Sunday School class. Laid out in simple format for easy absorption by readers, the author's explanations of his findings require no formal training to follow and understand them. Particularly helpful are the summaries provided at the conclusion of each chapter.This book may very well establish Bailey's legacy beyond dispute."--Gene R. Smillie, Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, June 2009
"Bailey has a gift of clear, lively expression; he takes advantage of his personal experiences, interest in Hebrew poetic structure, and knowledge of Arabic to bring insights into NT interpretation."--Ruth B. Edwards, Journal for the Study of the New Testament, 31.5, 2009
"A rich and fascinating anthology of exegetical essays reflecting on gospel texts through the lens of Middle Eastern culture and rhetoric. Bailey's exegetical discussions offer a treasure trove of cultural insights into the Jesus traditions of the Gospels. His essays highlght such issues as nationalism, violence, political oppression, inter-ethnic conflict, and joblessness. Bailey's christological insights are power and poignant."--Dorothy Jean Weaver, Interpretation, July 2009
"The great strength of this work is the author's familiarity with Middle Eastern culture. He succeeds in shedding new light on well known Gospel stories from a cultural perspective. Another valuable contribution of this book is the introduction to, and interaction with, great Eastern commentaries long forgotten or largely unknown to Western Biblical Scholarship. A very readable book and will be profitable to various levels of readers. Anyone interested in understanding the New Testament from its own distinctive Middle Eastern cultural perspective ought to read this book."--Mark Jason, Themelios, 33, no. 3
"Like getting a Master's degree in the New Testament without paying for it. Like wowing your blog readers with little known facts but not taking the credit for it. Like being the smartest kid in class--well, you get the point. Kenneth Bailey's book is all of that, and even more incredibly impressive."--Worship Leader, December 2008
"Bailey's important contribution is refreshing and guile-less; authoritative without being authoritarian; theologically sound without having to sound like a theologian. An engaging and compelling read."--Bob Gerow, Pulpit Helps, December 2008
"On every page Bailey utilizes his expertise as an authority of ancient Middle Eastern culture to guide the reader into a deeper understanding of the person and significance of Jesus within his own cultural context. With astonishingly keen insight and learned expertise Bailey peels back the obscuring layers our modern Western interpretation of scripture [has] added to the Bible to reveal Jesus in the light of his actual historical and ethnic setting."--Jim Miller Book Review, August 27, 2008
"Bailey shares insights from Syrian and Arabic Christian thought about Jesus that are almost unknown to the rest of the world. He has the gift of communicating interesting ideas in a devotional way that church members who love God's Word will appreciate."--L. R. K., Church Libraries Journal, Summer 2008
"[T]here is no comparable New Testament scholar who is a native speaker of English and yet who has grown up, lived and taught in the Middle East and been fluent in Arabic. Bailey provides a genuinely unique perspective."--James F. McGrath,, June 20, 2008
"A wonderful resource in studying the life of Jesus within the life setting in which He lived. This is a powerful tool to give fresh insights as you preach and teach the life of Jesus."--ForeWord, February 20, 2008
"I found myself fascinated as I read of the cultural and historical background behind familiar gospel stories and parables. Bailey's background information, rhetorical analysis, and commentary will provide valuable perspective on often-puzzling passages."--C. W. for Discipleship Journal, March/April 2008
"Bailey attempts to bring his extensive background in history to the table to deepen his readers' understanding of the Gospels through understanding culture."--Pulpit Helps, February 2008
"The work will yield a rich harvest of information, pastoral support, and insight for all who read it."--Susan K. Hedahl, Currents in Theology Mission, February 2010