Jesus in Context: Understanding the Gospels in Relation to Galilean Culture
AUTHOR'S NOTE: The following paper received first place at the 2005 Concordia University President's Showcase, Tier Two, and was presented at the Southern California Conference on Undergraduate Research at the University of California, Riverside.
Jesus in Context:
The Influence of the Galilee Region on the Life and Ministry of Jesus and His Followers
Introduction: History, Faith, and the Cultural Context of Jesus of Nazareth
According to the popular periodical Newsweek, 93 percent of Americans believe that Jesus of Nazareth existed as a historical figure ("The Christmas Miracle"), yet scholars continue to struggle with the question of how best to understand the founder of the world's largest religion. Assuming that Jesus lived in a definite historical period, one of the most significant factors in developing an accurate portrait of Jesus' life is an understanding of the cultural setting in which he lived. Due to the lack of a common foundation on which to build a thesis for such a portrait, however, scholars often clash over the specifics of the major influences that contributed to Jesus' ministry. Many scholars contend that Jesus was an apocalyptic prophet of the Judaic tradition, the exclusive...
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