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Two Thousand Years Ago: The World at the Time of Jesus
Charles A. Frazee

0802848052 Retail Price: $24.00
CenturyOne Price: $0.00

Availability: Out-of-Print

Format: Hardcover, 248pp.
ISBN: 9780802848055
Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.
Pub. Date: November 2002

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About the Author
Table of Contents
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From The Publisher:

Millions of people are familiar with the story of Jesus, but few could place the events of his life, as recorded in the New Testament, into the larger context of world history. Uniquely filling this gap, Charles Frazee’s Two Thousand Years Ago offers an absorbing, unprecedented survey of peoples and events around the world at the time of Jesus.

Even though first-century events outside of Palestine arguably did not play much of a role in the life of Jesus, it is significant that he lived his whole life in a land where a Hellenistic monarch ruled under the surveillance of Roman emperors. Both Greek and Roman culture, as well as Jesus’ own Jewish heritage, had an effect on his life and mission. It is thought-provoking, too, to wonder how well Jesus’ message would have fit into other cultures of his day, or how important the literacy of the Mediterranean societies was to Jesus’ enduring legacy, or whether we in the twenty-first century would have known him at all had he been a member of, say, a Celtic, Pacific, or Native American society.

Drawing on historical records and the work of archaeologists and anthropologists, Frazee here explores the full sweep of human civilization contemporary with Jesus’ own first-century Palestine. Each chapter looks at one of the world’s major regions — from the Arctic, the Pacific Islands, and the Americas to Europe, Africa, and Asia — and provides a short description of its history and its status at the time Jesus walked the earth. In presenting a bird’s-eye view of the world at this pivotal point in history, Frazee gives readers a new perspective on the life of Jesus in the Holy Land, allowing them to compare and contrast it with life elsewhere on the globe.

Filling these pages are photographs of ancient artifacts, from the familiar but beautiful ruins of Greece to more exotic and obscure relics that sometimes constitute the only evidence we have of a culture’s existence. Frazee’s engaging, popularly written text is also enhanced with fascinating highlighted facts throughout, with numerous extracts from various source documents — the Bible, the Dao-de Qing, the writings of great Greco-Roman historians, and others — and with excerpts from the myths and folktales of cultures that left no written records. All in all, Two Thousand Years Ago is a splendid work that will appeal to anyone interested in the life of Jesus and world history.


If a newspaper with world coverage had been available in Nazareth two millennia ago, what would Jesus, a bright teenager there, have read in it? What else was going on in various parts of the world at his time? In these pages Charles Frazee provides some intriguing answers. To cover most of the world at the time of Christ would seem a daunting if not impossible task, yet Frazee accomplishes just that. This book is a delightful combination of fine research and graceful writing.
—Paul L. Maier

Frazee expertly imagines Jesus’ life and destiny had he been born anywhere but Bethlehem. Every chapter of this oversized coffee table book covers a region of the world during the era of Christ, offering an accessible and entertaining update on the religious and spiritual beliefs of each land.
Publishers Weekly


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About the Author

Professor of church history at Episcopal Theological School, Claremont, California, he previously taught world history for many years at California State University, Fullerton. Among his other books are Peoples and Places in World History and World History: Original and Secondary Source Readings.

Table of Contents

1.Mediterranean Europe1
2.North Africa and Egypt29
3.Southwest Asia51
4.Europe beyond the Alps81
5.Africa South of the Sahara109
7.Korea and Japan141
8.Inner Asia147
10.Southeast Asia179
11.The Pacific Islands and Australia187
12.The Arctic199
13.North America209
14.Central America225
15.South America233

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