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Sketches of Jewish Social Life (Edersheim)

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Hendrickson Publishers
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For the first time since it originally appeared, this classic work has been newly typeset in an easy-to-read modern typeface, making reading, studying, consulting easier than ever before. 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.

The scenes portrayed by Edersheim's hand come alive in the more than 50 carefully selected illustrations, maps, photos, and drawings. Enhanced both aesthetically and practically, this edition of Sketches of Jewish Social Life has no rival. 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 again to show the authority behind his writing. Readers know they will receive reliable primary and secondary resources in these helpful notes. 

Table of Contents: 

  1. Palestine Eighteen Centuries Ago
  2. Jews and Gentiles in ‘the Land’
  3. In Galilee at the Time of our Lord
  4. Travelling in Palestine: Roads, Inns, Hospitality, Custom-House Officers, Taxation, Publicans
  5. In Judaea
  6. Jewish Homes
  7. The Upbringing of Jewish Children
  8. Subjects of Study. Home Education in Israel; Female Education. Schools and Schoolmasters
  9. Mothers, Daughters, and Wives in Israel
  10. In Death and after Death
  11. Jewish Views on Trade, Tradesman, and Trades’ Guilds
  12. Commerce
  13. Among the People, and with the Pharisees
  14. The ‘Fraternity’ of Pharisees
  15. Relation of the Pharisees to the Sadducees and Essenes, and to the Gospel of Christ
  16. Synagogues: their Origin, Structure, and Outward Arrangements
  17. The Worship of the Synagogue
  18. Outline of Ancient Jewish Theological Literature   

Appendix I – Translation of the Mishnic Tractate ‘Middoth’ 

Appendix II – Translation of Selections from the Babylon Talmud, Tractate ‘Berachoth’  


Alfred Edersheim (1825–89) was a Vienna-born biblical scholar who converted from Judaism to Christianity. A veteran minister and missionary to the Jews of Romania, Edersheim left an enduring and priceless legacy to followers of Christ. Among his most widely read works are The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, The Temple: Its Ministry and Services, and Bible History Old Testament.