"Jesus was a Middle Eastern Palestinian Jew. If he were to travel through Western countries today, he would be 'randomly' pulled aside and his person and papers would be checked."
So begins a new Orbis book, Faith in the Face of Empire: The Bible Through Palestinian Eyes. The author, Mitri Raheb is a Palestinian theologian and pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Christmas Church in Bethlehem. His perspective illuminates an easily overlooked fact: that Palestine, the context of the entire biblical narrative—is steeped in a history of empire. From the Babylonians and Egyptians, up to the present Israeli occupation, each empire has imposed its own system of control, undergirded by its own ideology.