The Beloved Son as Tantalizing Teacher is a contribution to the study of the "historical Jesus." It is meant for anyone interested in Jesus as a person as well as part of the academic project of discovering his humanity and his place in history. To truly uncover him in this way, the facts of his Jewish historical context are foundational. The context is in terms of six dynamics or factors: the history of late antiquity of the Mediterranean world from Alexander to the destruction of the temple and how people in the land of Israel interacted with that history; Israel's economic, social, religious, and political structures; and the ecology of the land of Jesus' time. In particular we understand Jesus and the movement he initiated as part of other renewal movements of his time and place that arose to confront what most of his contemporaries perceived as the corrosion of Jewish society. So the Jewish people of the first century, living in their patrimonial land of Israel, were embroiled in a crisis that threatened to overwhelm the nation. The Beloved Son as Tantalizing Teacher sums up the situation, with the pithy phrase borrowed from one scholar, as a people whose "backs were against the wall."