The Search for Jesus in the Middle East: A Palestinian Christian Pastor Explores the Bible
In his latest book, Faith in the Face of Empire, the Rev. Dr. Mitri Raheb, Senior Pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Christmas Church in Bethlehem, and President of the Diyar Consortium, both Global Ministries’ partners, presents a new reading of the Bible from the perspective of the “people of Palestine.” In light of the current geo-political turmoil, after the hopes of the the Arab Spring, and in the face of the the latest round of US shuttle diplomacy, Dr. Raheb asks, “Can we imagine another Middle East? Can there be a different future?”
In this concise work that blends both academic and pastoral understandings, Dr. Raheb shows how the history of Palestine, ancient and modern, is one of diverse and unique contexts and yet recurring patterns. Using biblical narrative he introduces a wide lens for viewing that history. He shows how this “sacred” story is a response to the “secular” history of occupation by various empires, from the Babylonians to the British to the state of Israel. Throughout this history the question of God remains crucial, Christian understanding remains relevant, and the spiritual dimension of utmost importance.
Raheb spells out Jesus’ gospel in relation to the Roman empire of his time, and the biblical values relevant for the Middle East—then and now. This approach sheds a new light on the biblical texts within the context of imperial domination, and it introduces a new perspective and culture for a “New Middle East.”
Pastor Mitri Raheb is the President of Dar al-Kalima University College in Bethlehem, as well as the president of the Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land. He is also the Senior Pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Christmas Church in Bethlehem, Palestine. He is the author of several books including I Am a Palestinian Christian and Bethlehem Besieged.
“Faith in the Face of Empire is an essential read for anyone who desires new insight into scripture, seeks a re-orientation of geopolitical perspective, and maintains hope for justice for Palestinians,” asserts Dr. Peter Makari, Executive for the Middle East and Europe in Global Ministries of the United Church of Christ and Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).
Faith in the Face of Empire: The Bible through Palestinian Eyes
Publisher: Orbis Books
Specs: 160 pages, paperback
Publication Date: February 10, 2014
Faith in the Face of Empire: The Bible through Palestinian Eyes is available for purchase at www.OrbisBooks.com, www.Amazon.com, and at local bookstores and online booksellers.