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Jesus and His Culture (10 messages)
Recently I was encouraged to read a book by Kenneth Bailey called Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes. I'm glad I accepted the advice to read it because it was quite an eye opener.
Bailey, having lived in the Middle East (particularly Israel), wrote the book to peel away the layer upon layer of western tradition which has been used over 2000 years to interpret the many sayings & actions of Jesus resulting in a distinctly western understanding of the gospels.
This, in many cases, is not helpful because the crucial original meanings or at least Middle Eastern backdrops to the events of this time can be lost. Bailey dug into many commentaries from Middle Eastern Christians stretching back a thousand years!
It got me thinking about preaching through a series on the culture of Jesus and as I began preparing it, I found myself turning again & again to Bailey's book. Consequently, I began to highlight many of the text structures he points out, especially the chiasms which have become well known to many theological students.
These sermons are not all about the book of course, but it was certainly the inspiration for them; so if you feel the urge to do your own research on the topic, get a copy of Bailey's masterful work.
I hope you get a fraction of the enjoyment out of listening to this series as I did preparing it. It was a time of new growth for me personally as I pray it will be for you.