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Yeshua in Context » Geography

Bethlehem Shepherds, Video

This week’s Yeshua in Context Video is timely, as many are starting to think about the birth narratives of Yeshua in Matthew 1-2 and Luke 1-2 at this time of year. For the next few weeks, I will explore facets of the birth narratives. Next week: Bethlehem’s Star. Who were the shepherds of Bethlehem? Why do they figure so prominently in Luke’s birth narrative? What do we learn about Yeshua and his context? … Read entire article »

Filed under: Background to Gospels, Detailed Commentary, Geography, Luke's Gospel, Messiah, Preachable Points, Video

Galilean vs. Judean in Matthew 22

The following notes are based on a combination of observation about Matthew 22 and reading Richard Horsley’s Archaeology, History, and Society in Galilee. The potential correlations are my own hypothesizing and do not come from Horsley’s material. Richard Horsley makes the case that too little attention has been given in historical Jesus research to the latest information and guesses about religious and political differences between Galilee and Judea. Suddenly statements such as in the fourth gospel about the “Passover of the Jews” begin to make more sense (Passover at the Temple run by the Judeans and based on Judean interpretations of the Torah and the obligations of Israel). What follows is a summary of some main points from Horsley’s book (restated in my own words and greatly simplified) and a comparison with … Read entire article »

Filed under: Background to Gospels, Galilee, Geography, Herodians, Judea, Pharisees, Sadducees

Galilee: Jewish or Gentile Place?

Galilee in Yeshua’s time has gotten a bad reputation as a place of Greek cynics and Roman officials, with a weak Jewish culture. There are two sources, one biblical and one a trend in archaeological thought, that have led to this misunderstanding. But the evidence is overwhelming: Galilee was a Jewish region, fiercely loyal to the Torah, and which had only pockets of Greco-Roman settlements. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Background to Gospels, Geography

His Feet On the Mount of Olives

Luke 24:50-51 (NET): Then Jesus led them out as far as Bethany . . . he departed and was taken up into heaven. Acts 1:9, 12 (NET): . . . while they were watching, he was lifted up and a cloud hid him from their sight . . . then they returned to Jerusalem from the mountain called the Mount of Olives . . . … Read entire article »

Filed under: Geography, Kingdom Future, Return of Yeshua

Capernaum

Little Capernaum, literally Kfar Nahum, Village of Nahum (the 7th century BCE prophet who wrote of Assyria’s downfall) sits on the north shore of the lake of Galilee. For tourists in Israel, Capernaum is a major stop. For many Bible readers, Capernaum is little known. This humble fishing village was the headquarters for Yeshua’s work, his home during much of his career (Matt 4:13). Yet Capernaum gets little notice compared to Nazareth and Bethlehem. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Background to Gospels, Geography