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Excavating Jesus: Beneath the Stones, Behind the Texts

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9780060616342: Excavating Jesus: Beneath the Stones, Behind the Texts
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The premier historical Jesus scholar joins a brilliant archaeologist to illuminate the life and teaching of Jesus against the background of his world.

There have been phenomenal advances in the historical understanding of Jesus and his world and times, but also huge, lesser known advances in first–century Palestine archaeology that explain a great deal about Jesus, his followers, and his teachings. This is the first book that combines the two and it does it in a fresh, accessible way that will interest both biblical scholars and students and also the thousands of lay readers of Biblical Archaeology Review (150,000+ circulation), National Geographic, and other archaeology and ancient history books and magazines. Each chapter of the book focuses on a major modern archaeological or textual discovery and shows how that discovery opens a window onto a major feature of Jesus's life and teachings.

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"Why did Jesus happen when and where he happened?" is the question that drives Excavating Jesus, a collaboration between the leading historical Jesus scholar John Dominic Crossan and noted Galilean archeologist Jonathan Reed. Excavating Jesus is a groundbreaking work of popular biblical scholarship, an extraordinarily mature and accessible integration of textual study with archeological research. "Words talk. Stones talk too. Neither talks from the past without interpretive dialogue with the present. But each demands to be heard in its own way," the authors write. True to this principle, Crossan and Reed consider archaeology and exegesis "as twin independent methods, neither of which is subordinate or submissive to the other." The bulk of the book identifies, analyzes, and integrates what the authors believe to be the "top 10" archeological discoveries pertaining to the life of Jesus (such as the house of the apostle Peter at Capernaum), and the top 10 exegetical discoveries (such as the Dead Sea Scrolls). Their excavation of the most important sites and texts, accompanied by stunning illustrations and photographs, provide perhaps the most precise picture of the world in which Jesus lived. For many readers, this information will also shed light on the central themes of Christianity. For instance, in the first century in Galilee, "the Kingdom" meant the Roman Empire. "When, therefore, Jesus spoke of the Kingdom of God, he chose the one expression most calculated to draw Roman attention to what he was doing. Not the 'people' or the 'community' of God, but the 'Kingdom' of God." That's why the Baptism movement of John and the Kingdom movement of Jesus started there and then." --Michael Joseph Gross
About the Author:

John Dominic Crossan, professor emeritus at DePaul University, is widely regarded as the foremost historical Jesus scholar of our time. He is the author of several bestselling books, including The Historical Jesus, How to Read the Bible and Still Be a Christian, God and Empire, Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography, The Greatest Prayer, The Last Week, and The Power of Parable. He lives in Minneola, Florida.



Jonathan L Reed is a leading authority on the archaeology of early Christianity and has excavated in Galilee since 1987. He has conducted research at the Albright Institute for Archaeological Research in Jerusalem, the American Academy in Rome, and the American School of Classical Studies in Athens. He is author of Archaeology and the Galilean Jesus and has co-authored with John Dominic Crossan two bestselling books, Excavating Jesus and In Search of Paul. He is professor of New Testament at the University of La Verne and is on the research council of Claremont Graduate University's world-renowned Institute for Antiquity and Christianity, where he is directing their Galilean Archaeology and the Historical Jesus project.

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