Recommended Reading

Recommended ReadingJerusalem. One City, Three Faiths
by Karen Armstrong

Venerated for millennia by three faiths, torn by irreconcilable conflict, conquered, rebuilt, and mourned for again and again, Jerusalem is a sacred city whose very sacredness has engendered terrible tragedy. In this fascinating volume, Karen Armstrong, author of the highly praised A History of God, traces the history of how Jews, Christians, and Muslims have all laid claim to Jerusalem as their holy place, and how three radically different concepts of holiness have shaped and scarred the city for thousands of years.

A Walk in Jerusalem: Stations of the Cross
by the Rev. Canon John Peterson

In A Walk in Jerusalem, the Reverend Canon John L. Peterson brings new life to this centuries-old ritual known as the Stations of the Cross. Illustrated with a map, 14 black-and-white photographs, and 14 pen-and-ink drawings, this helpful guide provides the appropriate episode of the Passion story along with a meditation and brief liturgy that apply that story to today’s world. Designed for use on Good Friday or general devotions, A Walk in Jerusalem offers new insight into the Passion Narratives and encouragement to live as Christ taught.

The Last Week: What the Gospels Really Teach About Jesus’s Final Days in Jerusalem
by Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossan

Using the gospel of Mark as their guide, top Jesus scholars Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossan present a day-by-day account of Jesus’s final week of life. They begin their story on Palm Sunday with two triumphal entries into Jerusalem. The first entry, that of Roman governor Pontius Pilate leading Roman soldiers into the city, symbolized military strength. The second heralded a new kind of moral hero who was praised who was praised by the people as he rode in on a humble donkey.  See also their companion volume, The First Christmas.

The General’s Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine
by Miko Peled

In 1997, a tragedy struck the family of Israeli-American Miko Peled: His beloved niece Smadar was killed by a suicide bomber in Jerusalem. That tragedy propelled Peled onto a journey of discovery. It pushed him to re-examine many of the beliefs he had grown up with, as the son and grandson of leading figures in Israel’s political-military elite, and transformed him into a courageous and visionary activist in the struggle for human rights and a hopeful, lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

The Lemon Tree
by Sandy Toolan

In 1967, not long after the Six-Day War, three young Arab men ventured into the town of Ramle, in what is now Jewish Israel. They were cousins, on a pilgrimage to see their childhood homes; their families had been driven out of Palestine nearly twenty years earlier. One cousin had a door slammed in his face, and another found his old house had been converted into a school. But the third, Bashir Al-Khairi, was met at the door by a young woman called Dalia, who invited them in.

This poignant encounter is the starting point for a true story of a remarkable relationship between two families, one Arab, one Jewish, amid the fraught modern history of the region. In his childhood home, in the lemon tree his father planted in the backyard, Bashir sees dispossession and occupation; Dalia, who arrived as an infant in 1948 with her family from Bulgaria, sees hope for a people devastated by the Holocaust. Both are swept up in the fates of their people, and their lives form a personal microcosm of more than half a century of Israeli-Palestinian history.

What began with a simple act of faith between two young people grew into a dialogue of four decades that represents the region’s hope for peace and self-determination. The Lemon Tree is a reminder of all that is at stake, and of all that is still possible.

With Jesus Through Galilee According to the Fifth Gospel
by Bargil Pixner

With the help of pictures and historical maps, the reader can follow the inner development of Jesus and his disciples and their role in society. Against the backdrop of the landscape of Galilee emerges the figure of Jesus the compassionate man.

With Jesus in Jerusalem
by Bargil Pixner

A special endeavor of the author and his community is the attempt to redefine and renew the relationship between Christian and Jews, based on tolerance and on understanding founded on knowledge of the historical and spiritual background of Jesus’ time. They deliberately decided to have this book edited and published by an Israeli publisher. This reflects a new approach that allows Jews to see Jesus as a teacher and preacher, a son of their own people, and Christians to view the Jewish people in a new spirit of openness. Still, this book is a Christian interpretation of the life of Jesus. 

Who was responsible for Jesus’ death? Recent excavations and discoveries shed new light on contemporary groups such as Natzoreans, Essenes, Pharisees and Sadducees and provide us with new understanding of the life around Jesus.

Last updated: February 11, 2017 at 16:18 pm