The introduction outlines some of the main themes of the book and how we might alternatively approach the quest for the historical Jesus through the use of the earliest Palestinian tradition. In particular, the focus is on: the intersection of social upheavals in Galilee and Judea with a range of different ideas and interests and how they might have contributed to historical change; how accidental, purposeful, discontinuous, and implicit meanings in the developments of ideas appear across times and places; how seemingly egalitarian and countercultural ideas can lead to, or coexist with, ideas of dominance and power; and how human reactions to socio-economic inequalities can end up replicating dominant and imperial power.
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