Augsburg Fortress

Galilee in the Late Second Temple and Mishnaic Periods, Volume 1: Life, Culture, and Society

Galilee in the Late Second Temple and Mishnaic Periods, Volume 1: Life, Culture, and Society

Drawing on the expertise of archaeologists, historians, biblical scholars, and social-science interpreters who have devoted a significant amount of time and energy in the research of ancient Galilee, this accessible volume includes modern general studies of Galilee and of Galilean history, as well as specialized studies on taxation, ethnicity, religious practices, road systems, trade and markets, education, health, village life, houses, and the urban-rural divide.  

This resource includes a rich selection of images, figures, charts, and maps.

Volume 2 available here.
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  • Publisher Fortress Press
  • Format Paperback
  • ISBN 9781451466744
  • eBook ISBN 9781451489583
  • Dimensions 7.5 x 9.25
  • Pages 352
  • Publication Date October 1, 2014


1. Introduction—David A. Fiensy and James Riley Strange
2. Galilee and the Historical Jesus in Recent Research—Roland Deines
3. The Political History in Galilee from the 1st Century bce to the end of the 2nd Century ce—Morten Hørning Jensen
4. Religious Practices and Religious Movements in Galilee: 100 bce–200 ce— Roland Deines
5. The Ethnicities of Galilee—Mark Chancey
6. The Synagogues of Galilee—Lee I. Levine
7. Notable Galilean Persons—Scott Caulley
8. Social Movements in Galilee—Richard Horsley
9. The Galilean Village in the Late Second Temple and Mishnaic Periods—David A. Fiensy
10. Household Judaism in Galilee—Andrea Berlin
11. The Galilean House in the Late Second Temple and Mishnaic Periods—David A. Fiensy
12. Mortality, Morbidity, and Economics in Jesus’ Galilee—Jonathan Reed
13. Education/Literacy in Jewish Galilee: Was There Any and at What Level?—John C. Poirier
14. The Galilean Road System—James F. Strange
15. Urbanization and Industry in Mishnaic Galilee—Ze’ev Safrai
16. Never the Two Shall Meet? Urban-Rural Interaction in Lower Galilee—Agnes Choi
17. Inner Village Life in Galilee: A Diverse and Complex Phenomenon—Sharon Lea Mattila
18. Debate:  Was the Galilean Economy Oppressive or Prosperous—Doug Oakman and Andrew Overman
19. Taxation and Other Sources of Government Income in the Galilee of Herod and Antipas—Fabian Udoh
Index of Primary Sources


"In some universities and seminaries, students are taught that Jesus lived in 'the Galilee of the Gentiles.' That is false; when meaningful, the term applies only to the western coast of ancient Palestine. Lower Galilee, the center of Jesus' life and ministry, was Jewish and closely connected to Judea. The stone found in the pre-70 synagogue in Migdal (home of Mary Magdalene) preserves symbols that identify the Jewish community with the Temple. The gospels are not mythological creations; they anchor Jesus with Judaism. The present book by two experts who know Galilee is highly recommended."
—James H. Charlesworth
Director and Editor, Princeton Dead Sea Scrolls Project, Princeton Theological Seminary

"This impressive volume is a major step forward in bridging the gap between textual studies and excavation, so that historical and interpretive claims about early Roman Galilee can be better grounded in realistic appreciation of daily life. In addition to providing a wealth of information about the state of archaeological investigations and the conclusions therefrom, these essays show the range of opinions on important matters, the disagreements and open questions of ancient Galilean sociology and the archaeology it depends on. Different views are explored and no consensus is pretended where none exists. This is a volume of considerable use to both experts and nonexperts and belongs on the shelf of anyone trying to situate texts in their Galilean context."
—William Arnal
University of Regina

"In recent years, there has been an upsurge of scholarly studies on ancient Galilee, focusing on all possible aspects of politics, economy, ethnic makeup, religion, and social and physical conditions. The present volume—written by top scholars for the lay student, but also with researchers in mind—offers an excellent overview of all these, with a generous helping of archaeology. With all the textual and material evidence laid out, chapters offering diametrically opposite interpretations sit happily side by side, providing the reader with the opportunity to form his or her own opinion on the controversial issues in Galilee studies."
—Danny Syon
Israel Antiquities Authority
"Editors David Fiensy and James Riley Strange have assembled and contributed to a masterful collection of studies focused on Galilee in the late Second Temple and Mishnaic periods. The eighteen essays plus the introduction to volume one cover a wide range of important topics. Readers are informed of the latest work on synagogues, roads, education, literacy, urbanization, village life, economy, taxation, households, demographics, and much more. These detailed and rich discussions bring to life the world of Jesus and his contemporaries. I recommend this book with enthusiasm!"
—Craig A. Evans
Acadia Divinity College


Review on Pursuing Veritas

Review in The Midwest Book Review

Review on Patheos