Cahill offers us a unique perspective on the context of the times in which all of the Bible stories which we are each familiar with would have happened---his research, and especial ability to translate the ancient languages firsthand, bring to this book a real picture of what life then would have been like. I found myself expanding my horizons and understandings of the contexts in which the 4 New Testament gospels were written, and the view that the ancients would have held on the Old Testament books. Very enlightening--a recommended read whether one's interst is historical only, or historical and religious.
I loved the historical background about Jesus' lifetime. Some of the book got a little too preachy for me, though.
Synthesis of the best regarded recent research in the life of Jesus, the social and political conditions that predated his birth and prepared the world for his acceptance, the development of early Christianity, and some of the profound effects this all had on Western civilization.