The Cultural World of Jesus: Sunday by Sunday, Cycle C completes this trilogy of work that guides us through the three-year Lectionary cycle. 1997. Collegeville, MN. This book will be a must for anyone preaching, teaching, doing regular personal bible reflection, or leading a discussion group on the gospel of Luke.
In cycle B we encounter the gospel of Mark. The Cultural World of Jesus: Sunday by Sunday, Cycle B 1996 Collegeville, MN. The Liturgical Press. This continues the task of helping to dig deeper into what is considered the first of the gospels that was put in written form. Once again, getting to know the times and concerns of the Middle East where Jesus lived and died, will help open up this gospel.
In cycle A we work in the gospel of Matthew. The Cultural World of Jesus: Sunday by Sunday, Cycle A by John Pilch is the first of three books that can really help you get the sense of the times of Jesus.. This often opens up deeper insights into what the text is saying. It is hard in our 21st Century Western culture, to understand many of the parables and teachings because of lack of knowledge of those times. These books will go a long way toward bridging this gap. 1995, Collegeville, MN. The Liturgical Press.
Noah’s Flood by William Ryan and Walter Pitman, NY. Simon & Schuster, 1998.
In a remarkable joint effort, over a span of many years, scientists of numerous disciplines have pooled their information to bring forward what can be known about the ancient flood stories of the many cultures in antiquity. With the advent of undreamed of technology, and cooperation by peoples formerly separated by the cold war, this study of the great flood dated around 7,000 BCE is made possible. The book reads like a mystery story. It examines the data from ocean, sea, desert, mountains, cultures, and more. Here is an example of what can be accomplished when people are drawn together by a common quest that transcends barriers of time, place, culture, ideology or theology.
If you want to explore the impact of those events that are highly improbable but have tremendous effects on our lives and culture I recommend Nassim Taleb’s The Black Swan. The author only mentions one passage in Matthew’s gospel, but anyone studying scripture can identify many examples of a black swan event that forever changed history. The book left me with a stronger affinity for what I have been calling Sneaky Spirit events for many years.