Page 6, 9th October 1981

9th October 1981
Page 6
Page 6, 9th October 1981 — Digging up our footings

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Digging up our footings

THE STUDY of Roman Palestine in the first century AD involves not only literary sources. but also hisotrical and geographical. The two authors of this book, one Jewish, the other Christian, point out that in the past there has been a tendency to relegate the New Testament documents to the domain of theology to the exclusion of history and geography.

Yet there is much to learn about New Testament background from archaeology. They point out that today archaeologists are tilling in details of commerce, daily life and political affairs that will have important implications for understanding the immediate world of the New Testament.

They also point out that archaeology can be very helpful in the interpretation of ancient texts, bringing greater clarity to obscure and difficult passages and can confirm the reliability of New Testament texts.

The book examines historical issues in Galilean studies, the cultural setting and recent archaeological data for the three localities of Jerusalem, Nazareth and Capernaum and the language ofaRoman Palestine.

The authors state that they are not attempting to be exhaustive or even definite "Rather we have striven to suggest the rich dialogical relation between texts and monuments that exists in Graeco-Roman Palestine."

This book is a 'must' for students and others who are interested in discovering more about the Palestine of the time of Citrist. It should broaden their horizon and help them to realise that there is still more to discover about New Testament times from archaeology.

Maurice Nassan SJ

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