Many familiar Gospel narratives are filled with geographic details that people gloss over because of their distance from the Holy Land. Yet climate, landscape, natural resources, and other features of geography leave a lasting mark on the societies and cultures that have developed within them. In a world of dirt roads and dry riverbeds, where shepherds watch their flocks in the hills and fishermen mend their nets by the sea, Jesus taught from hill and plain, using the surrounding landscape as the backdrop for his teaching. Jesus' parables and illustrations are often brimming with geographic clues, but the significance of these distinctive details is often lost. The Lexham Geographic Commentary on the Gospels puts readers in the sandals of the disciples as they travel throughout Israel with Jesus, explaining the significance of geography for mining the riches of the biblical text.
Written by a team of scholars with on-the-ground experience in Palestine, the Geographic Commentary lets you see the land through the eyes of the disciples. Each article addresses a particular story, event, or subject across the Gospels. You’ll see why it was so miraculous that the disciples caught such a horde of fish on the second cast at Jesus’ bidding (hint: it’s more than the number). And you’ll appreciate the significance of Peter’s declaration of “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God” when the location of this exchange is identified and its geographical history retold. This commentary will not only place you in the sandals of the disciples as they traveled throughout Israel with Jesus, but it will explain the significance of the geographic details to the biblical text and your life today. With more than fifty Gospel stories expounded from this important geographical angle, you’re bound to take away something new from these well-worn stories.
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|3-5 copies||34.00 each|
|6+ copies||32.00 each|
A great number of the skills that contribute to solid biblical interpretation involve considering a text in one or another of its various contexts—linguistic, literary, historical, social, cultural, rhetorical, intertextual. But how often do we give adequate attention to the geographical and archaeological contexts of the events about which we read or the settings in which Jesus was raised, taught, acted, died, and rose again? This distinctive and clearly-focused commentary is replete with solid information about those geographical and archaeological contexts, and with connections to the Gospel texts (ranging from the secure to the suggestive, but always stimulating), that will admirably help us keep those physical contexts in view as we read, interpret, teach, and preach from the Gospels.
This commentary focuses on the nexus of space, sociology, and theology as reflected in the Gospel text. Highlighting the socio-spatial background of each pericope enhances exegesis. This is especially true in the Gospels where the narrative shifts from place to place. The Lexham Geographic Commentary should be part of every Bible students' library.
It is very rare for me to say in an endorsement that a work is “invaluable” and a “must purchase,” but this is one of them. As one who has been writing commentaries for over thirty years, my only question is why someone didn't think of this a long time ago. Once I have this in hand, I will never write anything without consulting this “geographical commentary.” I find it equally essential on general background issues as on geography itself. I am very impressed and cannot wait to start using it. Thank you, Barry, and thank you, Lexham Press!
Dr. Barry J. Beitzel is professor emeritus of Old Testament and semitic languages at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois. He holds a Ph.D. in ancient Near Eastern studies from Dropsie University in Philadelphia. He obtained a postdoctorate in ancient Near Eastern geography from the Université de Liège, Belgium, and has engaged in postdoctoral archaeological work through UCLA in eastern Syria. Dr. Beitzel is the author of The New Moody Atlas of the Bible. His publications on Near Eastern geography have appeared in a variety of monographs and journals, from Biblical Archaeology Review and The Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research to Iraq: The British Institute for the Study of Iraq.Christianity Today 2019 Book Award winner in Biblical Studies category