Jesus was Middle Class

Bill O'Reilly's recent book Killing Jesus reflects a traditional stereotype that everyone in the Gospel story was poor. Among many historically inaccuracies, O'Reilly writes in his Chapter 5 that fish and red meat would be rare in Jesus' diet in Nazareth and that many Galileans suffered from malnutrition. Yet one of the names for the Sea of Galilee, Genneseret, means, "garden of riches." Consider the historian Josephus' contemporary description of Galilee: "Thanks to the rich soil, there is not a plant that does not flourish there, and the inhabitants grow everything...walnuts...flourish in abundance, as do palms...side by side with figs and olives...not only does it produce the most surprisingly diverse fruits; it maintains a continuous supply. Those royal fruits the grape and fig it furnishes for ten months on end." (The Jewish War, Josephus Flavius, Book 3, Ch. VI) Yet somehow the Gospel story is not complete without portraying Jesus as unfamiliar with a good meal. Recall that...(Read Full Article)