Life in Year One
Scott Korb’s book provides some great insights which supplements the events which took place in the Old Testament of the Bible. The book takes a direct approach at looking into religion, food, homes and money during the early years of Palestine. As a result, what prevails are the author’s effort of trying to put the ancient events into the contemporary context.
The religion which most Palestine inhabitants practice in year one was Christianity. In the book, Korb discusses how the Christian religion started, with its forerunner being Jesus Christ. It is through the birth of Jesus Christ, together with his works which made people perceive the wonders and signs that consisted his life. Jesus’ death on the cross was widely believed as a turning point and the start of a new religion. For Palestinians, religion made up a fundamental and strong part of society. They were also highly God-fearing. Their adherence to religion was evident in the way they approached the Sabbath and maintained its holiness. Following the birth of Jesus, the nationalist group rebelled against Rome . Religion was significant towards the settlement of the people and most of the people’s lives revolved on religion. The dietary behaviors of the Palestinians are associated with the kinds of foods which were accepted and rejected amongst the people.
Korb holds that the Palestinians practiced a variety of significant rituals which adhered to religion. Children were highly valued, both boys and girls equally, to the extent that their marriages were planned and even divorces got tolerated. Ritual paths were used for the goals of purification which was part of their traditional beliefs and godliness. After 70CE, following the destruction of the second temple, ritual baths reduced.
Korb claims that cleanliness was of great consideration because a person who is unclean is considered to bear a huge burden to the people and society. This era associated diseases like leprosy with uncleanliness. Many Palestinians maintained a distance from people with leprosy since the overarching belief was that contacting such a person would be equivalent to being close to an unclean person. Additionally, unclean people were moved to secluded areas so as to prevent them from infecting other people with their dirt. To make other people aware of their dirtiness, those with leprosy were made to put on clothes which were torn and their hairs kept shaggy. Uncleanliness did not only include leprosy, but also other kinds of illnesses which existed amongst the Palestinians. People were highly encouraged to marry within their own tribes and marrying from other tribes was considered as being unclean.
There was a distinction between the lived led by women and men in Palestine. Men, on the one hand, were highly regarded than women. Women, on the other hand, lived like slaves since many men enjoyed top privileges in the society. The personal status of women was highly restricted in Palestine and this resulted in their discrimination by men. Women could not hold any high offices in the land because of the restrictions. Also, they could not lead people. Women’s decision-making was also restricted because they were not considered in essence to determining the society’s destiny . However, the rights which Palestinian women enjoyed were not highlighted by the author.
People were highly religious, and for this reason, Garry Willis confirms that blasphemy was met with extreme penalty. People could not be easily separated from their religious beliefs because it was a deep part of their lives. Due to the high regard to religion, anyone who went against the church’s teachings would be regarded as being blasphemous and they would be accorded extreme penalty. Due to this, many people who went into the empire of Rome ultimately upheld the Jewish identity so that they would escape the extreme punishment. Otherwise, other kinds of behaviors which did not affect religion were given less attention.