"In lively prose, this book blends today's cultural idioms with serious biblical scholarship. The result is a provocative read that will surely challenge the many easy assumptions we consumers of American pop culture make about Jesus, Paul, and the early followers of the Christ-movement. Greg Carey is a public theologian of the most serious sort." ~ Sze-kar Wan, Professor of New Testament, Southern Methodist University, Perkins School of Theology

"Many in our culture seem deeply interested in the question 'What would Jesus do?' yet largely uninformed about 'what Jesus did' two thousand years ago. In this smart and accessible book Greg Carey offers an illuminating sketch of the first century social landscape, allowing readers to see Jesus as his contemporaries did: as a transgressor of cultural norms. By explaining and celebrating the perception of Jesus as one who associated with fellow 'sinners,' this book provides a way of understanding the New Testament that can deliver Christians from their crippling tendencies to pursue respectability instead of imitating Jesus." ~ Matthew L. Skinner, Associate Professor of New Testament, Luther Seminary, Saint Paul

"Greg Carey sets forth an excellent and innovative example of how to read the character of Jesus from a literary, historical, and theological perspective, with an emphasis on ethics of interpretation for the postmodern world." ~ Francisco Lozada, Jr., Associate Professor of New Testament and Latina/o Church Studies, Brite Divinity School

"Carey's book is written in a lively and engaging manner that offers non-specialists an enjoyable and provocative look at the way in which Jesus and the first Christians frequently violated conventional social norms. . . . The book proceeds in some unexpected directions along the way but is very enjoyable and overall succeeds in making the reader think about the unconventional nature of early Christianity." ~ Gary W. Burnett, Journal for the Study of the New Testament, (2010, 32:5)

"Carey's argument challenges contemporary Christians to reconsider the relationship of the church with sin, shame, respectability and risk." ~ Cynthia Briggs Kittredge, Associate Professor of New Testament, The Episcopal Theological Seminary of the Southwest

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