What Kind Of Economy Did Galilee Have? Was It Poor?
A number of New Testament scholars who came into prominent in the 1980s created a picture of Galilee (where Jesus spent the formative years after the return from Egypt and before His public career) as a zone of mass poverty, a kind of Mideast Appalachia, with large numbers of dispossessed peasants roaming the countryside, ready for revolution. This makes way for a Jesus as revolutionary leader of a classic political revolt, a kind of 1st century Che Guevarra (or since this stuff came to the fore in the 1980s, perhaps Jesus as Sandinista).
Archeological scholar, Dr. David Fiensy, has looked at this question in great depth and he finds this theory wanting, wanting because it is nothing but theory: it’s based on mental models which predict that there must have been mass poverty. The problem is that the actual ‘material remains’, the archeological data, as well as the original source documents from the time, like the writings of Flavius Josephus, show no evidence of such mass poverty. Sure, there were poor people – there always are. But no more, and arguably less, than in our parts of the ancient world.
In this short video, Dr. David Fiensy, author of Christian Origins and the Ancient Economy and experienced (with eight digging sites under his belt-almost all of them in Galilee) talks in the following video about how revolutionary ideologies from the 60s and 70s pushed academic New Testament scholarship towards a romantic revolutionary view of Jesus’ homeland despite a lack of actual physical or textual evidence of this.
Originally published on Townhall Finance.
Jerry Bowyer is a Forbes contributor, contributing editor of AffluentInvestor.com, and Senior Fellow in Business Economics at The Center for Cultural Leadership.
Jerry has compiled an impressive record as a leading thinker in finance and economics. He worked as an auditor and a tax consultant with Arthur Anderson, as Vice President of the Beechwood Company which is the family office associated with Federated Investors, and has consulted in various privatization efforts for Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. He founded the influential economic think tank, the Allegheny Institute, and has lectured extensively at universities, businesses and civic groups.
Jerry has been a member of three investment committees, among which is Benchmark Financial, Pittsburgh’s largest financial services firm. Jerry had been a regular commentator on Fox Business News and Fox News. He was formerly a CNBC Contributor, has guest-hosted “The Kudlow Report”, and has written for CNBC.com, National Review Online, and The Wall Street Journal, as well as many other publications. He is the author of The Bush Boom and more recently The Free Market Capitalist’s Survival Guide, published by HarperCollins. Jerry is the President of Bowyer Research.
Jerry consulted extensively with the Bush White House on matters pertaining to the recent economic crisis. He has been quoted in the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes Magazine, The International Herald Tribune and various local newspapers. He has been a contributing editor of National Review Online, The New York Sun and Townhall Magazine. Jerry has hosted daily radio and TV programs and was one of the founding members of WQED’s On-Q Friday Roundtable. He has guest-hosted the Bill Bennett radio program as well as radio programs in Chicago, Dallas and Los Angeles.
Jerry is the former host of WorldView, a nationally syndicated Sunday-morning political talk show created on the model of Meet The Press. On WorldView, Jerry interviewed distinguished guests including the Vice President, Treasury Secretary, HUD Secretary, former Secretary of Sate Condoleezza Rice, former Presidential Advisor Carl Rove, former Attorney General Edwin Meese and publisher Steve Forbes.
Jerry has taught social ethics at Ottawa Theological Hall, public policy at Saint Vincent’s College, and guest lectured at Carnegie Mellon’s graduate Heinz School of Public Policy. In 1997 Jerry gave the commencement address at his alma mater, Robert Morris University. He was the youngest speaker in the history of the school, and the school received more requests for transcripts of Jerry’s speech than at any other time in its 120-year history.
Jerry lives in Pennsylvania with his wife, Susan, and the youngest three of their seven children.