Many familiar Gospel narratives are filled with geographic details that we gloss over because of our distance from the Holy Land. Yet climate, landscape, natural resources, and other features of geography leave a lasting mark on the societies and cultures that have developed within them. In a world of dirt roads and dry riverbeds, where shepherds watch their flocks in the hills and fishermen mend their nets by the sea, Jesus taught from hill and plain, using the surrounding landscape as the backdrop for his teaching. Jesus’ parables and illustrations are often brimming with geographic clues, but the significance of…