Automotive Holiday Deals Books Holiday Gift Guide Shop Women's Cyber Monday Deals Week Learn more nav_sap_SWP_6M_fly_beacon Prime Music Sweepstakes egg_2015 Fire TV Stick Grocery Gifts for Her Amazon Gift Card Offer mithc mithc mithc  Amazon Echo Starting at $49.99 Kindle Voyage Cyber Monday Video Game Deals Outdoor Deals on HTL
Excavating Jesus and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

  • List Price: $19.99
  • Save: $2.80 (14%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 16 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.
Excavating Jesus: Beneath... has been added to your Cart
Used: Acceptable | Details
Sold by ToyBurg
Condition: Used: Acceptable
Comment: Eligible for FREE Super Saving Shipping! Fast Amazon shipping plus a hassle free return policy mean your satisfaction is guaranteed! Good readable copy. Worn edges and covers and may have creases. The cover may have significant wear. There may be page curls. It is possible that there are heavy highlights or writing in this book. All pages are there and otherwise item is in good condition.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Excavating Jesus: Beneath the Stones, Behind the Texts Paperback – November 25, 2003

50 customer reviews

See all 7 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
New from Used from
"Please retry"
"Please retry"
$4.72 $0.01

Best Books of the Month
See the Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.
$17.19 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Only 16 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

  • Excavating Jesus: Beneath the Stones, Behind the Texts
  • +
  • The HarperCollins Visual Guide to the New Testament: What Archaeology Reveals about the First Christians
Total price: $33.70
Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews Review

"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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

In his monumental The Historical Jesus: The Life of a Mediterranean Jewish Peasant, Crossan brilliantly challenged conventional historical Jesus scholarship. Using social-scientific and literary critical methods, he uncovered the layers of the Jesus traditions in the Gospels, excavating not an eschatological prophet preaching a future divine kingdom, but an itinerant Galilean peasant preaching a kingdom based on "commensality," or the just distribution of food. Many critics disagreed violently with Crossan, contending that his book was full of outlandish assertions. Now Crossan partners with archeologist Reed to demonstrate the material basis of his earlier textual arguments. With exceptional skill, the authors weave a spellbinding tale of the ways that recent archaeological finds support the rich textual layers of the Gospel stories. For example, Crossan and Reed show the radical nature of Jesus' kingdom of itinerancy and commensality by using the archeology of Herod's palace to demonstrate that his meals, far from the all-encompassing feasts associated with earlier temples, had become elite affairs. Jesus' invitations to the marginalized and outcast to sit at the table flew in the face of this social and political structure. Like any other book that uses archeology to support its claims about biblical texts, this one will be criticized for using material remains to read the Bible in a particular way. However, Crossan and Reed's book provides a fascinating, beautifully illustrated and elegantly written account of the life and times of Jesus, providing readers with one of the richest glimpses into Jesus and his world now available.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
If you buy a new print edition of this book (or purchased one in the past), you can buy the Kindle edition for only $2.99 (Save 40%). Print edition purchase must be sold by Amazon. Learn more.

Looking for the Audiobook Edition?
Tell us that you'd like this title to be produced as an audiobook, and we'll alert our colleagues at If you are the author or rights holder, let Audible help you produce the audiobook: Learn more at

Product Details

  • Series: REVISED & UPDATED With a Full Evaluation of the "Brother of Jesus" Discovery
  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; 1 Reprint edition (November 25, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060616342
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060616342
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #190,266 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

John D. Crossan is generally acknowledged to be the premier historical Jesus scholar in the world. His books include The Historical Jesus, Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography, and Who Killed Jesus? He recently appeared in the PBS special "From Jesus to Christ."

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 42 people found the following review helpful By LarryE on October 20, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I would account this a good book, well worth the read. The noble attempt to fuse archaeological evidence with Biblical exegesis is very helpful in giving a much clearer vision of life in the first century and thereby putting a context to Jesus' life and preaching.
It is not, however, free of flaws, and those have caused me to give it only three stars instead of four. One is that the jumping back and forth between archaeology and exegesis is sometimes confusing. Another is that whole paragraphs, whole physical descriptions, entire lines of argument, are sometimes repeated almost word for word. These are problems that superior editing could have and should have dealt with.
Another issue involves not so much a flaw as a caveat, but it does matter. I freely admit to not being a believer; my interest is in the historical Jesus, the real, actual flesh-and-blood person who sought to bring a prophetic message to the ignored and exploited, who died likely thinking himself a failure and convinced, if the Gospels are to be believed at all, that even God had forsaken him - but whose life and death became the basis for one of the world's great religions (and political forces).
In pursuing that interest, I've read several books on the Gospels and the life of Jesus by various authors (including Crossan) and I've noticed they all share one characteristic: Every author has his or her own Jesus, their own particular view of him and of how he himself saw his work and his intent, and they invariably interpret Biblical passages in ways that fit their notions. This is as true of devout believers as it is of dedicated debunkers. The current volume is no exception, and the caveat is thus that the book should be read with open eyes as well as open minds.
4 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
91 of 107 people found the following review helpful By Teresa Callahan, M.D. on October 9, 2001
Format: Hardcover
The world's premier Historical Jesus expert and a brilliant young archaeologist of the Galilee team up together in a fascinating new book that digs down through the complex layers of ancient ruins and ancient texts to uncover a fuller portrait of Jesus and the first century Palestine where he lived. In their unique collaboration, *Excavating Jesus: Beneath the Stones, Behind the Texts*, John Dominic Crossan and Jonathan L. Reed explore and weave together the ten most significant archaeological findings from ancient Palestine with the ten most significant textual discoveries of modern biblical studies. The result of their combined efforts is an unforgettable glimpse into the everyday life of Jesus of Nazareth as we've never seen before.
Crossan, the best-selling author of several authoritative books on the Historical Jesus including *The Historical Jesus: The Life of a Mediterranean Jewish Peasant* and *The Birth of Christianity*, marries his exhilarating and provocative portrait of Jesus as a counter-cultural itinerant Jewish preacher of a radically just and egalitarian Kingdom of God with the phenomenal advances in biblical archeology and cultural anthropology that have revolutionized those disciplines over the last one hundred years. Reed, author of the highly-praised study *Archaeology and the Galilean Jesus: A Re-examination of the Evidence* and lead archaeologist at the current Sepphoris excavations in the Galilee, provides compelling descriptions of first century material culture that persuasively paint a clear picture of the clash of two kingdoms--the earthly imperial Kingdom of Rome as practiced by the Herods and Caesar with tacit cooperation of leading Jewish elites, and the divine but also earthly Kingdom of God as preached by Jesus and his peasant followers.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
29 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Dai-keag-ity on December 29, 2005
Format: Paperback
I'm not necessarily stating my beliefs, just reporting the claims of this book and also in some cases extending to logical conclusions the authors' theories and suggestions as I felt them to be. I hope I neither offend anyone, nor misrepresent what Crossan was attempting to say.

Jesus was of rural, small-town origins.

Jesus was born into one of the most desolate areas of his homeland. Galilee of that era was the sticks and Nazareth was not a community so much as a commune. It was around twenty buildings housing circa a dozen families, their livestock, their possessions. There was no road leading to it, merely a footpath many miles through the wilderness. There was a communal well, but no public buildings such as a house of worship, law court or marketplace. The people of Galilee spoke in a "rural" accent so thick it was all-but incomprehensible to the more urbane Jews of Jerusalem. Jesus was from such an off-the-beaten-path place it is unlikely many living more than a few miles from it had even heard of Nazareth. In other words, we're talking remote.

Jesus was possibly an illiterate.

Before this sounds impossible, remember, even in a Jewish population that prized education among males, most people at that time and place were probably illiterates. This is not to say Jesus was unintelligent. The quotes and parables attributed to him suggest he was anything but mentally deficient. Jesus would have had a strong background in the oral traditions of his people and like most illiterates, the parts of his brain that dealt with memorization would have been highly stimulated, giving him a keen memory and immediate grasp of verbally-presented facts.

Jesus' parentage.

Jesus may have been conceived without sex and born to a virgin.
Read more ›
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
Excavating Jesus: Beneath the Stones, Behind the Texts
This item: Excavating Jesus: Beneath the Stones, Behind the Texts
Price: $17.19
Ships from and sold by

Want to discover more products? Check out these pages to see more: bibles zondervan, bible new testament, hebrews bible study