Every disciple imagines Jesus; reading the Gospels we form images of him and of his surroundings. This has been constant practice for those who desire to know him more clearly. We, however, borrow stuff--from stained glass windows, book illustrations, and the like--which is always familiar to us, but which reflects our, not his, culture. This book invites readers to construct different scenarios about Jesus and his world from the study of his ancient culture.
We do this with accuracy because of the advance of cultural studies of his and our worlds. Jesus should look different (wear different clothing, experience different grooming), in settings foreign to us (in houses and boats from his own world). Jesus should speak differently so that the meaning of his words can only be known in his culture.
In this book readers travel through the Gospels with specific suggestions about what to see, namely, Jesus in his cultural world. Imagining Jesus also suggests how to listen to him in his cultural language. Did Jesus laugh? How did he pray? This is what the incarnation means: imagining Jesus socialized in a particular culture, at a time foreign to us and in a language strange to us.