Kenneth Bailey examines the life and ministry of Jesus in Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes (232.9 B), focusing on the Lord’s Prayer, the Beatitudes, Jesus’ relationship to women, and especially the parables. Throughout, he employs his expertise as a master of Middle Eastern culture to lead to a deeper understanding of the person and significance of Jesus within his own cultural context. For example, Bailey points out that Joseph, as a descendant of David, and especially Mary, a pregnant woman, would have been welcomed anywhere in Bethlehem. The “manger” is most probably the section of a one-room home where villagers brought their animals inside at night, not a separate outdoor space. Throughout the book, the author clears away the obscuring layers of modern Western interpretation to reveal Jesus in a way that is accessible to both scholar and lay reader.
Carol Jensen, Church Librarian