In this provocative work, world-renowned scholar Craig A. Evans presents the most important archaeological discoveries that shed light on the world of Jesus of Nazareth. Evans challenges many sensational claims that have been proposed in recent books and peddled in the media by using archaeological findings to uncover the truth about several key pieces of Jesus' world. For example, what was the village of Nazareth actually like in the time of Jesus? Did synagogues really exist, as the Gospels say? What does archaeology tell us about the ruling priests who condemned Jesus to death? Has the tomb of Jesus really been found? Evans's engaging prose enables readers to understand and critique the latest theories—both the sober and the sensational—about who Jesus was and what he lived and died for.
This new paperback edition includes an additional appendix with questions for discussion and reflection, making it ideal for both group and individual study.
"This fascinating work proves that you don't have to be either a scientist or a doubter to truly understand the times and places that populate the New Testament. . . . In a field crowded with critics, this brief work is a refreshing and readable alternative and will be warmly welcomed by many, scholars and students alike."
"Although written for nonexperts, this up-to-date survey of a truly fascinating topic has much to teach the experts, too. Particularly noteworthy is the thought-provoking case for widespread literacy in Jesus' Jewish world, a case that goes against much recent work."
—Dale C. Allison Jr., Errett M. Grable Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary
"A masterful, erudite, and well-written review of the archaeology of the world of Jesus. Highly recommended for scholars and students alike."—Shimon Gibson, Chair of the Department of Archaeology, University of the Holy Land, Jerusalem, and author of The Final Days of Jesus: Archaeology as Evidence
"Craig Evans has a gift for synthesizing large swaths of complicated technical material, identifying its most significant implications, and making it accessible to nonspecialists. Scholars, students, and general readers will benefit from this engaging overview of how archaeological finds illuminate the life of Jesus, from Galilee to the grave."
—Mark A. Chancey, Associate Professor in the Department of Religious Studies, Southern Methodist University
"Craig Evans has done a favor for the lay public, college students, seminary students, and likely more than a few scholars in the writing of this book. We expect clarity, accuracy, and detailed knowledge from Evans, and he delivers it. Readers at many levels will be grateful for being spared archaeological jargon and for his many insights."
—James F. Strange, Professor of Religious Studies and Director of Graduate Studies, University of South Florida
"This book, by a leading New Testament scholar, is a user-friendly introduction to what the main issues are, and what archaeology can contribute to the search for the Jesus of history. Evans's book is a fine and useful entry point for considering important but often neglected sources and their impact on our understanding of the historical Jesus."
—Anders Runesson, Associate Professor of New Testament and Early Judaism, McMaster University
"In 1943, F. F. Bruce, the distinguished New Testament scholar, wrote a classic work, The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable? Many challenges to the credibility of the Gospels have been raised since then by some skeptical scholars. Craig Evans, with a mastery of all of the relevant archaeological, inscriptional and literary evidence, answers in a lucid exposition the question discussed by Bruce with a resounding 'Yes.'"
—Edwin M. Yamauchi, Professor Emeritus of History, Miami University