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Jesus and Archaeology Paperback – July 28, 2006

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

James H Charlesworth is George L Collord Professor of New Testament Language and Literature and Director of Dead Sea Scrolls Project at Princeton Theological Seminary. He has authored or edited over 60 books.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 766 pages
  • Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.; First Edition edition (July 28, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 080284880X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802848802
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.3 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #656,888 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Steve Jackson on January 21, 2007
Format: Paperback
In 2000, a number of scholars met in Jerusalem to deliver papers on archaeology and the historical Jesus. These papers have been gathered in this excellent collection edited by Professor James Charlesworth of Princeton Theological Seminary.

Taken as a whole, the collection discuss all the major issues and relevant locations concerning the archaeology of the Holy Land as it touches on Jesus. For example, the two articles on archaeology and John's Gospel total almost one hundred pages. There is some overlap among the various articles and a couple are somewhat "off topic" (but useful nonetheless).

Unfortunately there is no completely satisfactory introductory work on this topic. Perhaps the best is Crossan and Reed's EXCAVATING JESUS, which is quirky at places and should be used with caution.
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16 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on December 8, 2006
Format: Paperback
Edited by James H. Charles worth (Professor of New Testament Language and Literature and Director of the Dead Sea Scrolls Project at Princeton Theological Seminary), Jesus and Archaeology is an anthology of scholarly essays by learned authors, many of whom worked recently and directly in excavations at Bethsaida, Capernaum, Nazareth, and Jerusalem. Essay topics range from "Did Jesus Attend the Synagogue?" to "Jesus and Resurrection Faith in Light of Jewish Texts" to "The Christian Apocrypha and Archaeology" and much more. A handful of black-and-white photographs, a selected bibliography, an index of scripture and other ancient texts, and a glossary round out this cutting-edge compilation of what the latest archaeological findings tell us of Jesus and the era in which he lived.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Michael Calum Jacques on November 14, 2008
Format: Paperback
Published around July, 2006 and weighing in at over 760 pages, 'Jesus and Archaeology' constitutes a major contribution to the title's field by a scholar with a distinguished pedigree. James H Charlesworth is perhaps best known for being closely involved with research and publishing in connection with the Dead Sea Scrolls, indeed, he heads the team of DDS scholars at Princeton Theological Seminary.

The archaeological sites covered within 'Jesus and Archeology' are mainly situated within Jerusalem, Galilee and Samaria; the work contains discussions and explanations of some of the various techniques employed by modern day archaeologists and historians. This is a very useful and quite considerable one-volume fund which will be usefully and possibly frequently dipped into by scholars, expositors and lay folk alike. It is logically presented and quite readable, even for non-specialists in this area.

Some previous reviewers - within critical circles - have questioned precisely how much genuinely fresh light is cast upon the First Century culture of Jesus and his contemporaries within this work, but few can question the progress outlined on the Qumran sites and at various other sites within and around the Jerusalem Old City - it was only quite recently, after all, that the exact location of the pool of Siloam was found and settled upon. Further north, sites about Galilee continue to illuminate and illustrate aspects of ancient Jewish Palestinian life under Roman occupation - such as the adoption of Roman imagery and iconography by certain sectors of the Jewish upper class strata (if indeed such termas themselves are not exssentially anachronistic)!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By unkleE on February 10, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There are no monuments to Jesus, very little that he did and said are preserved for archaeology to uncover. Nevertheless, modern archaeology is discovering an enormous amount of small details about first century Palestine. This book contains the papers from an international conference on the latest findings of New Testament archaeology, held more than a decade ago now, but still likely to be more up-to-date than most text books.

I found many fascinating gems here:

* An account of excavations at the village of Cana, giving a picture of Galilean villages, and including the discovery of stone pots of the type that Jesus used to turn water into wine.
* Excavations at the fishing town of Bethsaida.
* Excavations on Mount Zion and the possible existence of an Essene community in Jerusalem that Jesus was acquainted with.
* Another paper addresses the possible, existence of Essene community houses throughout Judea, and again, the possibility that Jesus was influenced by their activities.
* Most interesting to me was a paper examining the archaeological evidence for places described or mentioned in John's Gospel. John is often regarded as late and unhistorical, yet the evidence shows that the author of John had a good knowledge of Jerusalem and elsewhere at the time of Jesus, including locations that were destroyed or changed soon afterwards. This shows that there is a strong eyewitness element in John.

If you're interested in small pieces of background information about the life of Jesus, you should find this book as interesting as I did, but don't expect any amazing revelations that prove, or disprove, major facts about Jesus.
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11 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Didaskalex VINE VOICE on April 23, 2007
Format: Paperback
"As hard evidence from the past, "the very stones cry out" the reliability of the Biblical record. It is amusing to note that many of the last century's most trenchant critics of Jesus and the New Testament refused at first even to consider the result of archaeology, so counter to their opinions was its evidence!" --Dr. Paul Maier, professor of Ancient History @ WMU, MI

Jesus Research, Conference/Book:
An international team of thirty experts, archaeologists and biblical scholars, Jewish and Christian, joined the eminent Princeton director of the Dead Sea Scrolls project, in Jerusalem, to discuss the recent discoveries and revelations of archaeology about the life and ministry of Jesus, his world, and its historical setup and religious milieu. These and related questions in this volume that stems from the millenium conference on Jesus and Archaeology, in 2000 CE.

Jesus and Biblical Archaeology:
Biblical Archaeology is a powerful reconstruction tool in understanding the life and teachings of Jesus, son of Joseph as referred to in John's Gospel (Jn 1:45, and 6:42) Dr. Charlesworth preaches the relevance of asking related questions, to reply to a debated Christian one: "Why did the Jewish nation closely associated with Jesus of Nazareth claim within ten years of his crucifixion in 30 C.E. that he indeed was the promised Messiah?" In Prof. Charlesworth own words, "The study of Jesus begins with theological texts, the intra-canonical Gospels. These are clearly shaped by the desire to proclaim that Jesus from (of) Nazareth is the Christ (the Messiah) and that one should believe in him as the Savior." He selected few of 'stellar questions' are all about archaeological evidence, or geographical confirmations to biblical locations, activities, artifacts, etc.
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