Wylen, Stephen M., The Jews in the Time of Jesus: An Introduction

Stephen M. Wylen, The Jews in the Time of Jesus: An Introduction. New York and Mahwah NJ: Paulist Press, 1996

Wylen's popular book grew out of a course he offered at Scranton University, a Roman Catholic institution. It is intended to inform Christian students of life in the land of Israel in the Second Temple period, but Jewish readers who have not kept up since Hebrew school or those who never attended could profit from it equally. The author does not hesitate to speak of the Talmudic reconstruction of history as "the pious Jewish assumption," which will immediately set the scholarly mind at ease. His style is engaging. There are maps and genealogical and royal-succession charts. In sum, this is a satisfactory book based on solid learning.