Alfred Edersheim

This is an updated and corrected edition which includes all Hebrew and Greek references. Most browsers come with the capability to view Greek fonts but for you to be able to read Hebrew you will need to install an appropriate font. We recommend "sptiberian" which can be downloaded here.

Within the text in brackets are many references to different sources. An explanation of the abbreviations used regarding material in the Talmud can be found in the file entitled List of Abbreviations Used in Reference to Rabbinic Writings. References mainly starting with the abbreviation "Jos." (Ant.=Antiquities, Ag. Apion=Against Apion, etc.) refer to the Works of Flavius Josephus. The books of the Apocrypha (1&2 Maccabees, etc.) can be found here.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1    The Jewish World in the Days of Christ—The Jewish Dispersion in the East
Chapter 2 The Jewish Dispersion in the West—The Hellenists—Origin of Hellenist Literature in the Greek Translation of the Bible—Character of the Septuagint
Chapter 3 The Old Faith Preparing for the New—Development of Hellenist Theology: The Apocrypha, Aristeas, Aristobulus, and the Pseud-Epigraphic Writings
Chapter 4 Philo of Alexandria, The Rabbis, and the Gospels—The Final Development of Hellenism in its Relation to Rabbinism and the Gospel According to St. John
Chapter 5 Alexandria and Rome—The Jewish Communities in the Capitals of Western Civilisation
Chapter 6 Political and Religious Life of the Jewish Dispersion in the West—Their Union in the Great Hope of the Coming Deliverer
Chapter 7 In Palestine—Jews and Gentiles in 'The Land' —Their Mutual Relations and Feelings—'The Wall of Separation'
Chapter 8 Traditionalism, Its Origin, Character, and Literature—The Mishnah and Talmud—The Gospel of Christ—The Dawn of a New Day


Book II

Chapter   1    In Jerusalem When Herod Reigned
Chapter   2 The Personal History of Herod—The Two Worlds in Jerusalem
Chapter   3 The Annunciation of St. John the Baptist
Chapter   4 The Annunciation of Jesus the Messiah, and The Birth of His Forerunner
Chapter   5 What Messiah Did the Jews Expect?
Chapter   6 The Nativity of Jesus the Messiah
Chapter   7 The Purification of the Virgin and The Presentation in the Temple
Chapter   8 The Visit and Homage of the Magi, and The Flight into Egypt
Chapter   9 The Child-Life in Nazareth
Chapter 10 In the House of His Heavenly, and In the Home of His Earthly Father—The Temple of Jerusalem—The Retirement at Nazareth
Chapter 11 In the Fifteenth Year of Tiberius Caesar and Under the Pontificate of Annas and Caiaphas—A Voice in the Wilderness
Chapter 12 The Baptism of Jesus: Its Higher Meaning


Book III

Chapter   1   The Temptation of Jesus
Chapter   2 The Deputation from Jerusalem—The Three Sects of the Pharisees, Sadducees, and Essenes—Examination of Their Distinctive Doctrines
(This chapter contains, among other matter, a detailed and critical examination of the great Jewish Sects, such as was necessary in a work on 'The Times,' as well as 'The Life,' of Christ.)
Chapter   3 The Twofold Testimony of John—The First Sabbath of Jesus' Ministry—The First Sunday—The First Disciples
Chapter   4 The Marriage Feast in Cana of Galilee—The Miracle that is 'A Sign'
Chapter   5 The Cleansing of the Temple—'The Sign' Which Is Not a Sign
Chapter   6 The Teacher Come from God and the Teacher from Jerusalem—Jesus and Nicodemus
Chapter   7 In Judea and Through Samaria—A Sketch of Samaritan History and Theology—Jews and Samaritans
Chapter   8 Jesus at the Well of Sychar
Chapter   9 The Second Visit to Cana—Cure of the 'Nobleman's' Son at Capernaum
Chapter 10 The Synagogue at Nazareth—Synagogue, Worship and Arrangements
Chapter 11 The First Galilean Ministry
Chapter 12 At the 'Unknown' Feast in Jerusalem, and by the Pool of Bethesda
Chapter 13 By the Sea of Galilee—The Final Call of the First Disciples, and the Miraculous Draught of Fishes
Chapter 14 A Sabbath in Capernaum
Chapter 15 Second Journey Through Galilee—The Healing of the Leper
Chapter 16 The Return to Capernaum—Concerning the Forgiveness of Sins—The Healing of the Paralysed
Chapter 17 The Call of Matthew—The Saviour's Welcome to Sinners—Rabbinic Theology as Regards the Doctrine of Forgiveness in Contrast to the Gospel of Christ—The Call of the Twelve Apostles
Chapter 18 The Sermon on the Mount—The Kingdom of Christ and Rabbinic Teaching
Chapter 19 The Return to Capernaum—The Healing of the Centurion's Servant
Chapter 20 The Raising of the Young Man of Nain—The Meeting of Life and Death
Chapter 21 The Woman Which Was a Sinner
Chapter 22 The Ministry of Love, the Blasphemy of Hatred, and the Mistakes of Earthly Affection—The Return to Capernaum—Healing of the Demonised Dumb—Pharisaic Charge Against Christ—The Visit of Christ's Mother and Brethren
Chapter 23 New Teaching 'In Parables'—The Parables to the People by the Lake of Galilee, and Those to the Disciples in Capernaum
Chapter 24 Christ Stills the Storm on the Lake of Galilee
Chapter 25 At Gerasa—The Healing of the Demonised
Chapter 26 The Healing of the Woman—Christ's Personal Appearance—The Raising of Jairus' Daughter
Chapter 27 Second Visit to Nazareth—The Mission of the Twelve
Chapter 28 The Story of the Baptist, From His Last Testimony to Jesus to His Beheading in Prison
Chapter 29 The Miraculous Feeding of the Five Thousand
Chapter 30 The Night of Miracles on the Lake of Gennesaret
Chapter 31 The Cavils of the Pharisees Concerning Purification, and the Teaching of the Lord Concerning Purity—The Traditions Concerning 'Hand-Washing' and 'Vows'
Chapter 32 The Great Crisis in Popular Feeling—The Last Discourses in the Synagogue of Capernaum—Christ the Bread of Life—'Will Ye Also Go Away?'
Chapter 33 Jesus and the Syro-Phoenician Woman
Chapter 34 A Group of Miracles Among a Semi-Heathen Population
Chapter 35 The Two Sabbath-Controversies—The Plucking of the Ears of Corn by the Disciples, and the Healing of the Man with the Withered Hand
Chapter 36 The Feeding of the Four Thousand—To Dalmanutha—'The Sign From Heaven'—Journey to Caesarea Philippi—What is the Leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees?
Chapter 37 The Great Confession—The Great Commission—The Great Instruction—The Great Temptation—The Great Decision


Book IV

Chapter   1   The Transfiguration
Chapter   2 On the Morrow of the Transfiguration
Chapter   3 The Last Events in Galilee—The Tribute-Money, the Dispute By the Way, the Forbidding of Him Who Could Not Follow with the Disciples, and the Consequent Teaching of Christ
Chapter   4 The Journey to Jerusalem—Chronological Arrangement of the Last Part of the Gospel-Narratives—First Incidents By the Way
Chapter   5 Further Incidents of the Journey to Jerusalem—The Mission and Return of the Seventy—The Home at Bethany—Martha and Mary
Chapter   6 At the Feast of Tabernacles—First Discourse in the Temple
Chapter   7 'In the Last, the Great Day of the Feast'
Chapter   8 Teaching in the Temple on the Octave of the Feast of Tabernacles
Chapter   9 The Healing of the Man Born Blind
Chapter 10 The 'Good Shepherd' and His 'One Flock'—Last Discourse at the Feast of Tabernacles
Chapter 11 The First Peraean Discourses—To the Pharisees Concerning the Two Kingdoms—Their Contest—What Qualifies a Disciple for the Kingdom of God, and How Israel was Becoming Subject to that of Evil
Chapter 12 The Morning-Meal in the Pharisee's House—Meals and Feasts Among the Jews—Christ's Last Peraean Warning to Pharisaism
Chapter 13 To the Disciples—Two Events and Their Moral
Chapter 14 At the Feast of the Dedication of the Temple
Chapter 15 The Second Series of Parables—The Two Parables of Him Who is Neighbour to Us: The First, Concerning the Love Which is Elicited by our Asking in our Need
Chapter 16 The Three Parables of Warning: To the Individual, To the Nation, and To the Theocracy—The Foolish Rich Man—The Barren Fig-tree—The Great Supper
Chapter 17 The Three Parables of the Gospel: Of the Recovery of the Lost—Of the Lost Sheep, The Lost Drachm, The Lost Son
Chapter 18 The Unjust Steward—Dives and Lazarus—Jewish Agricultural Notes—Prices of Produce—Writing and Legal Documents—Purple and Fine Linen—Jewish Notions of Hades
Chapter 19 The Three Last Parables of the Peraean Series: The Unrighteous Judge—The Self-Righteous Pharisee and the Publican—The Unmerciful Servant
Chapter 20 Christ's Discourses in Peraea—Close of the Peraean Ministry
Chapter 21 The Death and the Raising of Lazarus—The Question of Miracles and of this Miracle of Miracles—Views of Negative Criticism on this History—Jewish Burying-Rites and Sepulchres
Chapter 22 On the Journey to Jerusalem—Departure from Ephraim by way of Samaria and Galilee—Healing of Ten Lepers—Prophetic Discourse of the Coming Kingdom—On Divorce: Jewish Views of It—The Blessing to Little Children
Chapter 23 The Last Incidents in Perea—The Young Ruler Who Went Away Sorrowful—To Leave All For Christ—Prophecy of His Passion—The Request of Salome, and of James and John
Chapter 24 In Jericho and at Bethany—Jericho—A Guest with Zaccaeus—The Healing of Blind Bartimaeus—The Plot at Jerusalem—At Bethany, and in the House of Simon the Leper


Book V

Chapter   1   The First Day in Passion-Week—Palm-Sunday—The Royal Entry Into Jerusalem
Chapter   2 The Second Day in Passion-Week—The Barren Fig-Tree—The Cleansing of the Temple—The Hosanna of the Children
Chapter   3 The Third Day in Passion-Week—The Events of That Day—The Question of Christ's Authority—The Question of Tribute to Caesar—The Widow's Farthing—The Greeks Who Sought to See Jesus—Summary and Retrospect of the Public Ministry of Christ
Chapter   4 The Third Day in Passion-Week—The Last Controversies and Discourses—The Sadducees and the Resurrection—The Scribe and the Great Commandment—Question to the Pharisees About David's Son and Lord—Final Warning to the People: The Eight 'Woes'—Farewell
Chapter   5 The Third Day in Passion-Week—The Last Series of Parables: To the Pharisees and to the People—On the Way to Jerusalem: The Parable of the Labourers in the Vineyard—In the Temple: The Parable of the 'No' and 'Yes' of the Two Sons—The Parable of the Evil Husbandmen Evilly Destroyed—The Parable of the Marriage of the King's Son and the Wedding Garment
Chapter   6 The Evening of the Third Day in Passion-Week—On the Mount of Olives: Discourses to the Disciples Concerning the Last Things
Chapter   7 Evening of the Third Day in Passion-Week—On the Mount of Olives—Last Parables: To the Disciples Concerning the Last Things—The Parable of The Ten Virgins—The Parable of the Talents—Supplementary Parable of the Minas and the King's Reckoning with His Servants and His Rebellious Citizens
Chapter   8 The Fourth Day in Passion-Week—Jesus in His Last Sabbatic Rest Before His Agony, and the Sanhedrists in Their Unrest—The Betrayal—Judas: His Character, Apostasy, and End
Chapter   9 The Fifth Day in Passion-Week—'Make Ready the Passover!'
Chapter 10 The Paschal Supper—The Institution of the Lord's Supper
Chapter 11 The Last Discourses of Christ—The Prayer of Consecration
Chapter 12 Gethsemane
Chapter 13 Thursday Night—Before Annas and Caiaphas—Peter and Jesus
Chapter 14 The Morning of Good Friday
Chapter 15 'Crucified, Dead, and Buried'
Chapter 16 On the Resurrection of Christ from the Dead
Chapter 17 'On the Third Day He Rose Again from the Dead: He Ascended into Heaven'



Appendix   1   Pseudepigraphic Writings
Appendix   2 Philo of Alexandria and Rabbinic Theology
Appendix   3 Rabbinic Views as to the Lawfulness of Images, Pictorial Representations on Coins, etc.
Appendix   4 An Abstract of Jewish History from the Reign of Alexander the Great to the Ascension of Herod
Appendix   5 Rabbinic Theology and Literature
Appendix   6 Pereq. 1 - Months - Governors, etc.
Appendix   7 On the Date of the Nativity of Our Lord
Appendix   8 Rabbinic Traditions about Elijah the Forerunner of Messiah
Appendix   9 List of Old Testament Passages Messianically Applied in Ancient Rabbinic Writings
Appendix 10 On the Supposed Temple-Synagogue
Appendix 11 On the Prophecy, Isaiah 40:3
Appendix 12 The Baptism of Proselytes
Appendix 13 Jewish Angelology and Demonology. The Fall of the Angels
Appendix 14 The Law in Messianic Times
Appendix 15 Location of Sychar, and the Date of Our Lord's Visit to Samaria
Appendix 16 On the Jewish Views about 'Demons' and 'The Demonised,' Together with some Notes on the Intercourse Between Jews and Jewish Christians in the First Centuries
Appendix 17 The Ordinances and Law of the Sabbath as Laid Down in the Mishnah and the Jerusalem Talmud
Appendix 18 Haggadah About Simeon Kepha (Legend of Simon Peter)
Appendix 19 On Eternal Punishment, According to the Rabbis and the New Testament


1997- NOR/JCR
This electronic version was made in part from copies available in the public domain.