Sketches of Jewish Social Life
by Alfred Edersheim
|In Sketches of Jewish Social Life, Alfred Edersheim has done modern readers a favor. The Old and New Testaments are about a time and society very different from today, with different customs and idioms. Consequently, reading the Old and New Testaments may seem like entering a strange world. Edersheim has tried to make that world less strange.
Sketches of Jewish Social Life is meant to fill the gap between ancient and modern readers. It does this by providing the common knowledge of that day for today’s readers. In his book, Edersheim provides insight into the basics of Jewish society, customs, political powers, etc. But he doesn’t just give readers the relevant information; on occasion, he also applies it to particular biblical passages and events.
There are more serious, technical texts of this type, which provide more in depth and modern information about biblical customs. But Edersheim’s Sketches of Jewish Social Life provides valuable information that will not overwhelm readers with data. Further, Edersheim writes in an easy prose anyone can follow. Edersheim’s Sketches of Jewish Social Life is ideal for anyone wanting a richer understanding of the Old and New Testaments.
The most relevant citations of Scripture, rabbinic sources, and the works of Philo and Josephus are supplied to complement Edersheim’s masterful assessment of the writings of Jesus’ day. This makes bland references come alive, in many cases shedding invaluable light on difficult passages or capturing the deep devotion Edersheim brings to the task of understanding the world of Jesus and His disciples.
Edersheim’s notes remain indispensable for unlocking the mysteries of the ancient world. Always sensitive to the priority of God’s Word, Edersheim takes the reader back to the Bible, time and time again to show the authority behind his writing.