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The Cultural World of the Apostles: The Second Reading, Sunday by Sunday - Year A by John J. Pilch

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Preachers and liturgy planners will find The Cultural World of the Apostles a complementary companion to Pilch & Acirc's previous series The Cultural World of Jesus. Each essay offers brief historical and literary information on the New Testament reading assigned for the Sundays in the three-year Lectionary cycle. Suggestions for cross-cultural comparisons with Western culture and links with the gospel for each Sunday encourage readers to explore pastoral applications to modern life.

The principle that guided the architects of the Lectionary in selecting the second readings in the Sunday Lectionary was that the readings should be short and easily understood. The second readings were intended to be an independent, semi-continuous reading of the letters attributed to Paul and James, with selections from Peter and Revelation. Pilch explains that, because the readings were shortened, their brevity has deprived readers of sufficient context to interpret the text-segment in a responsible way. To help people make sense of such high-context documents, Pilch provides in The Cultural World of the Apostles a broader literary context for each reading.

Reviews (7)
The "Cultural World" books by John J. Pilch, are an invaluable resource for anyone preparing a Sunday Homily or reflection. They provide a glimpse into the first century Mediteranian world which assists the reader in understanding the Epistles as well as the Gospel with a deeper (and perhaps more objective) understanding. I would recommend "The Cultural World of Jesus" editions as a better option while referencing the "Apostles" as a secondary resource.
This book is very helpful in understanding the times that the Apostles live in, and what meaning there is in their stories.
This is an invaluable tool for anyone who teaches a Scripture Class. It gives such good cultural background for that particular Sunday's reading that including this information in the discussion which follows the reading of the text can really make it come alive.
It has gripped my attention.
John N. Clayton claims: "Many of the questions that people have about the integrity of the Bible are rooted in a failure to understand the culture that is responsible for bringing us the Bible. It is important to understand that the Bible is not an American book, written in English, and steeped in our vocabulary and culture." As Pilch puts it, "Contemporary events in the Middle East have made all of us aware of how very different Middle Eastern culture is from our Western culture. The Bible, which is a product of that same culture, is similarly very different from what we usually read in the West. If we have not been reading the Bible as a Middle Eastern document, the likelihood is that we have been misreading and misinterpreting it."

The Catholic Lectionary (liturgical Scripture readings) is divided into Years A, B, and C. This volume is part of a series of nine, thus giving three volumes for the Sundays of each of the three liturgical years. (Deviations from the Common Lectionary are relatively few.) Scripture citations are based on the New American Bible.

Pilch has performed a magnificent service to biblical studies through his insights into first-century Eastern Mediterranean culture. In addition he very helpfully adds down-to-earth "suggestions for cross-cultural comparisons with Western culture and plausible links with the Gospel for each Sunday [that] encourage and assist the reader to explore pastoral applications to modern life." His avoidance of arcane jargon is a great boon and encouragement to the general reader.

While scholarship in this area has been rapidly developing, at the present time Pilch's work is the gold standard for those who would be intimidated by scholarly journals.
The entire "Cultural World" series by John Pilch is great.

Each chapter contains insights into the Greco-Roman Mediterranean world and Jewish backgrounds of Scripture so that modern readers can better understand the biblical text, and what it means for today. The book contains 56 chapters, each focusing on a passage of Scripture. The chapters are short and easy to read, and would provide a source for great devotions, Bible studies, or sermon aids.

My only complaint is that I wish he had put the Biblical text next to the chapter titles in the Table of Contents.
Dr. Pilch writes in a most readable, clear, concise, and caring manner about what was going on in the setting of the first days of the followers of Jesus The Christ. We are provided with one to two page factual essays about the cultural setting of the world of the apostles.
Deacon Tim McAuliffe 4-29-11

ISBN: 0814627269

Rating: 4.5/5

Votes: 753

Other Formats: txt mbr rtf mbr

ISBN13: 978-0814627266

Publisher: Liturgical Press; First Printing edition (July 1, 2001)

Language: English

Subcategory: Bible Study & Reference

Pages: 144

The Cultural World of the Apostles: The Second Reading, Sunday by Sunday - Year A
Christian Books & Bibles
Author: John J. Pilch
Title: The Cultural World of the Apostles: The Second Reading, Sunday by Sunday - Year A