The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah (complete and unabridged) by Alfred Edersheim

“It is a mistake to regard everything in Talmudic writings about ‘the Gentiles’ as presently applying to Christians… That ‘the heathens’ of those days and lands should have been suspected of almost any abomination, deemed capable of any treachery or cruelty towards Israel—no student of history can deem strange…

“Secondly: We must remember the times, the education, and the general standpoint of that period as compared with our own. No one would measure the belief of Christians by certain statements in the Fathers, nor judge the moral principles of Roman Catholics by prurient quotations from the Casuists; nor yet estimate the Lutherans by the utterances and deeds of the early successors of Luther, nor Calvinists by the burning of Servetus. In all such cases the general standpoint of the times has to be first taken into account. And no educated Jew would share the follies and superstitions, nor yet sympathize with the suspicions or feelings towards even the most hostile and depraved heathens, that may be quoted from the Talmud.” - From the Preface.

Level of Difficulty: Primer: No subject matter knowledge needed.

Book Contents

Volume 1.

  • Works By Alfred Edersheim
  • Titlepage
  • Dedication
  • Preface
  • Preface (in Regard To Anti-Semitism)
  • Preface (to First Edition)
  • List Of Authorities
  • List Of Abbreviations
  • Contents Of The First Volume
  • Book 1. Introductory, The Preparation For The Gospel: The Jewish World In The Days Of Christ.
    • 1 The Jewish World In The Days Of Christ—the Jewish Dispersion In The East.
    • 2 The Jewish Dispersion In The West—the Hellenists—origin Of Hellenist Literature In The Greek Translation Of The Bible—character Of The Septuagint.
    • 3 The Old Faith Preparing For The New—development Of Hellenist Theology : The Apocrypha, Aristeas, Aristobulus, And The Pseud-epigraphic Writings.
    • 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.
    • 5 Alexandria And Rome—the Jewish Communities In The Capitals Of Western Civilization.
    • 6 Political And Religious Life Of The Jewish Dispersion In The West; Their Union In The Great Hope Of The Coming Deliverer.
    • 7 In Palestine—Jews And Gentiles In ‘the Land’—their Mutual Relations And Feelings—‘ The Wall Of Separation.’
    • 8 Traditionalism, Its Origin, Character, And Literature—the Mishnah And Talmud—tie Gospel Of Christ—tiie Dawn Of A New Day.
  • Book 2. From The Manger In Bethlehem To The Baptism In Jordan.
    • 1 In Jerusalem When Herod Reigned.
    • 2 The Personal History Of Herod—the Two Worlds In Jerusalem.
    • 3 The Annunciation Of St. John The Baptist.
    • 4 The Annunciation Of Jesus The Messiah, And The Birth Of His Forerunner.
    • 5 What Messiah Did The Jews Expect ?
    • 6 The Nativity Of Jesus The Messiah.
    • 7 The Purification Of The Virgin And The Presentation In The Temple.
    • 8 The Visit And Homage Of The Magi, And The Flight Into Egypt.
    • 9 The Child-life In Nazareth.
    • 10 In The House Of His Heavenly, And In The Home Of His Earthly Father—the Temple Of Jerusalem—tiie Retirement At Nazareth.
    • 11 In The Fifteenth Year Of Tiberius Caesar And Under The Pontificate Of Annas And Caiaphas—a Voice In The Wilderness,
    • 12 The Baptism Of Jesus. Its Higher Meaning.
  • Book 3. The Ascent: From The River Jordan To The Mount Of Transfiguration.
    • 1 The Temptation Of Jesus.
    • 2 The Deputation From Jerusalem——-the Three Sects Of The Pharisees, Sadducees, And Essenes—-examination Of Their Distinctive Doctrines.
    • 3 The Twofold Testimony Of John—-the First Sabbatii Of Jesus’s Ministry—-the First Sunday——tiie First Disciples.
    • 4 The Marriage-feast In Cana Of Galilee—the Miracle That Is ‘a Sign,’
    • 5 The Cleansing Of The Temple—‘ The Sign, Which Is Not A Sign.
    • 6 The Teacher Come From God And The Teacher From Jerusalem— Jesus And Nicodemus.
    • 7 In Judea And Through Samaria—a Sketch Of Samaritan History And Theology—Jews And Samaritans.
    • 8 Jesus At The Well Of Sychar.
    • 9 The Second Visit To Cana—cure Of Tile ‘nobleman’s’ Son At Capernaum.
    • 10 The Synagogue At Nazareth—synagogue-worship And Arrangements.
    • 11 The First Galilean Ministry.
    • 12 At The ‘unknown’ Feast In Jerusalem, And By The Pool Of Bethesda.
    • 13 By The Sea Of Galilee—the Final Call Of The First Disciples, And The Miraculous Draught Of Fishes.
    • 14 A Sabbath In Capernaum.
    • 15 Second Journey Through Galilee—the Healing Of The Leper.
    • 16 The Return To Capernaum—concerning The Forgiveness Of Sins— The Healing Of The Paralysed.
    • 17 The Call Of Matthew—tihe 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. (st. Matt. Ix. 9-13; St. Mark Ii. 13-17; St. Luke V. 27-32; St
    • 18 The Sermon On The Mount—the Kingdom Of Christ And Rabbinic Teaching.
    • 19 The Return To Capernaum—healing Of The Centurion’s Servant.
    • 20 The Raising Of The Young Man Of Nain—the Meeting Of Life And Death.
    • 21 The Woman Which Was A Sinner.
    • 22 The Ministry Of Love, The Blasphemy Of Hatred, And The Mistakes Of Earthly Affection—the Return To Capernaum——healing Of The Demonized Dumb—pharisaic Charge Against Christ—-the Visit Of Christ’s Mother And Brethren.
    • 23 New Teaching ‘in Parables’—tie Parables To The People By The Lake Of Galilee, And Those To The Disciples In Capernaum.
    • 24 Christ Stills The Storm On The Lake Of Galilee,
    • 25 At Gerasa—the Healing Of The Demonized.
    • 26 The Healing Of The Woman—Christ’s Personal Appearance— The Raising Of Jairus’ Daughter.
    • 27 Second Visit To Nazareth—the Mission Of The Twelve.
    • 28 The Story Of John The Baptist, From His Last Testimony To Jesus To His Beheading In Prison.
    • 29 The Miraculous Feeding Of The Five Thousand.
    • 30 The Night Of Miracles On The Lake Of Gennesaret,
  • Explanatory Notes And Corrections For The First Volume.

Volume 2

  • Contents Of The Second Volume
  • Book 3. The Ascent From The River Jordan To The Mount Of Transfiguration—continued.
    • 31 The Cavils Of The Pharisees Concerning Purification, And The Teaching Of The Lord Concerning Purity—the Traditions Concerning ‘hand-washing’ And ‘ Vows.’
    • 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?’
    • 33 Jesus And The Syro-phoenician Woman,
    • 34 A Group Of Miracles Among A Semi-heathen Population,
    • 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.
    • 36 The Feeding Of The Four Thousand—to Dalmanutha—‘ The Sign From Heaven ‘—journey To Chsarea Philippi—what Is Tile Leaven Of The Pharisees And Sadducees)
    • 37 The Great Confession—the Great Commission-——the Great Instruction— The Great Temptation—the Great Decision.
  • Book 4. The Descent: From The Mount Of Transfiguration Into The Valley Of Humiliation And Death.
    • 1 The Transfiguration,
    • 2 On The Morrow Of The Transfiguration.
    • 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.
    • 4 The Journey To Jerusalem—chronological Arrangement Of The Last Part Of The Gospel-narratives-—first Incldents By The Way.
    • 5 Further Incidents Of The Journey To Jerusalem——the Mission And Return Of The Seventy—the Home At Bethany—martha And Mary.
    • 6 At The Feast Of Tabernacles—first Discourse In The Temple.
    • 7 In The Last, The Great Day Of The Feast.
    • 8 Teaching In The Temple On The Octave Of The Feast Of Tabernacles.
    • 9 The Healing Of The Man Born Blind.
    • 10 The ‘good Shepherd’ And His ‘one Flock’—last Discourse At The Feast Of Tabernacles.
    • 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.
    • 12 The Morning-meal In The Pharisee’s House—meals And Feasts Among The Jews—Christs Last Peraean Warning To Pharisaism.
    • 13 To The Disciples—two Events And Their Moral
    • 14 At The Feast Of The Dedication Of The Temple.
    • 15 The Second Series Of Parables-——-the Two Parables Of Him Who Is Neighbour To Us: The First, Concerning The Love That, Unasked, Gives In Our Need, The Second, Concerning The Love Which Is Elicited By Our Asking In Our Need.
    • 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.
    • 17 The Three Parables Of The Gospel: Of Tiie Recovery Of The Lost— Of The Lost Sheep, The Lost Drachm, The Lost Son.
    • 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.
    • 19 The Three Last Parables Of The Per‘ean Series: The Unrighteous Judge—the Self-righteous Pharisee And The Publican—the Unmerciful Servant.
    • 20 Christ’s Discourses In Perea—close Of The Perean Ministry.
    • 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,
    • 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.
    • 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. (st. Matt. Xix. 16-22; St. Mark X. 17-22; St. Luke Xviii. 18-23; St. Matt. Xix. 23- 30; St. Mark X. 23-31; St. Luke Xviii. 24-30; St. Matt. Xx. 17-19; St.
    • 24 In Jericho And At Bethany—jericho—a Guest With Zacchaus—the Healing Of Blind Bartimaus—the Plot At Jerusalem—at Bethany, And In The House Of Simon The Leper.
  • Book 5. The Cross And The Crown.
    • 1 The First Day In Passion-week—palm-sunday—the Royal Entry Into Jerusalem.
    • 2 The Second Day In Passion-week—the Barren Fig-tree—the Cleansing Of The Temple-—-the Hosanna Of The Children, St. Matt. Xxi. 12-22; St, Mark Xi. 15-26; St. Luke Xix. 45-48.)
    • 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. (st. Matt. Xxi. 23-27; St. Mark Xi. 27-33; St. Luke Xx. 1-8; St. Matt. Xxii. 15-22; St. Mark Xii. 13-17; St. Lu
    • 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.
    • 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—tiie Parable Of The Evil Husbandmen Evilly Destroyed—the Parable Of The Marriage Of The King’s Son And Of The Wedding Garment. ‘st. Matt. Xix. 30—xx. 16; St. Matt. Xxi. 28-32; St. Matt. Xxi. 33-46;
    • 6 The Evening Of The Third Day In Passion-week-——on The Mount Of Olives; Discourse To The Disciples Concerning The Last Things.
    • 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 Talenys— Supplementary Parable Of The Minas And The King’s Reckoning With His Servants And His Rebellious Citizens.
    • 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.
    • 9 The Fifth Day In Passion-week—‘ Make Ready The Passover’
    • 10 The Paschal Supper—the Institution Of The Lord’s Supper.
    • 11 The Last Discourses Of Christ—the Prayer Of Consecration;
    • 12 Gethsemane.
    • 13 Thursday Night—before Annas And Caiaphas—peter And Jesus.
    • 14 The Morning Of Good Friday.
    • 15 ‘crucified, Dead, And Buried,’
    • 16 On The Resurrection Of Christ From The Dead.
    • 17 ‘on The Third Day He Rose Again From Tiie Dead ; He Ascended Into Heaven.’


  • Appendix I. Pseudepigraphic Writings.
  • Appendix II. Philo Of Alexandria And Rabbinic Theology.
  • Appendix III. Rabbinic Views As To The Lawfulness Of Images, Pictorial Representations On Coins, Etc.
  • Appendix IV. An Abstract Of Jewish History From The Reign Of Alexander The Great To The Accession Of Herod.
  • Appendix V. Rabbinic Theology And Literature.
  • Appendix VI. List Of The Maccabees, Of The Family Of Herod, Of The High Priests, The Roman Procurators Of Judaea, And Roman Governors Of Syria,
  • Appendix VI. On The Date Of The Nativity Of Our Lord.
  • Appendix VIII. Rabbinic Traditions About Elijah, The Forerunner Of The Messiah,
  • Appendix IX. List Of Old Testament Passages Messianically Applied In
  • Appendix X. On The Supposed Temple-synagogue.
  • Appendix XI. On The Prophecy, Is. Xl. 3.
  • Appendix XII. On The Baptism Of Proselytes,
  • Appendix XIII. Jewish Angelology And Demonology. The Fall Of The Angeia&.
  • Appendix XIV. The Law In Messianic Times,
  • Appendix XV. The Location Of Sychar, And The Date Of Our Lord’s Visit To Samaria.
  • Appendix XVI. On The Jewish Views About ‘demons’ And ‘the Demonized, Together With Some Notes On The Intercourse Between Jews And Jewish Christians In The First Centuries.
  • Appendix XVII. The Ordinances And Law Of The Sabbath As Laid Down In The Mishnah And The Jerusalem Talmud.
  • Appendix XVIII. Haggadah About Simeon Kepha (legend Of Simon Peter),
  • Appendix XIX. On Eternal Punishment, According To The Rabbis And The New Testament.
  • Index 1. Of Subjects.
  • Index 2. Of Passages From The Four Gospels Referred To In These Volumes
  • Explanatory Notes And Corrections For The Second Volume.

Publication Information

  • Lutheran Library edition first published: 2023
  • Copyright: CC BY 4.0
Alfred Edersheim
Alfred Edersheim

Studied at the University of Vienna and New College, Edinburgh. After finding faith in the Messiah, he was ordained in the Free Church of Scotland, and later the Church of England. His books continue to be highly influential in bringing to life the background and details of the Old Testament historical accounts. His “Church History” series is especially intended for students, young people, and anyone who desires to deepen their understanding of the Bible.