Wanted: Creative books on Jesus and/or ancient Palestine

As I begin planning for my next go-’round at teaching Life of Christ (an undergraduate introduction to the story/ies of Jesus as told by the Synoptic Gospels), I am looking for some books to supplement a main survey text which get at the context and content of the Jesus traditions in creative ways. So far my list of books to survey is pretty small, but I think you’ll see the direction I’m trying to angle towards even with just these three current options:

  • Fisk, Bruce N. A Hitchhiker’s Guide to Jesus: Reading the Gospels on the Ground (Baker Academic, 2011).
  • Korb, Scott. Life in Year One: What the World was like in First-Century Palestine (Riverhead Books, 2010).
  • Thiessen, Gerd. The Shadow of the Galilean: The Quest of the Historical Jesus in Narrative Form (Fortress, 1987).

I am trying to find some creative, even narrative-based, books on Jesus, the gospels, and/or life in first century Palestine. The more informed by current scholarship, of course, the better. To my scholarly friends and teacherly colleagues: do you have any suggestions of books to add to this list? 

And, if you are familiar with any of the above three books, I would welcome your thoughts on those as well.

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