Craig Evans describes the world of Jesus and the early church based on archeology. He draws connections between archaeological finds and relevant Scripture passages and theological issues. Evans discusses how archaeology sheds light on the synagogues of Israel, literacy of the time, Pilate and Caiaphas, and burial traditions.
Upon successful completion you should be able to:
- Discuss the tasks of archaeology and relate them to interdisciplinary interaction with other physical and social sciences
- Present a picture of Galilean culture in the first half of the first century AD
- Describe the architectural typology of Jewish synagogues that prevailed for several centuries both before and in the Common Era
- Address the question of the literacy of Jesus and His disciples
- Describe traditional Jewish burial practices and relate them to descriptions of Jesus’ burial and resurrection in the Gospels
- Offer archaeological evidence that refutes popular theories that Jesus survived the crucifixion, did not rise from the dead, and was married and fathered children
Unit 1: The Tasks of Archaeology
- Recovery of Material Culture
- Studying Archaeology with The Archaeological Encyclopedia of the Holy Land
- Related Disciplines
- Contribution of Science
- Spectrometrical Analysis: An Example of Science Aiding Archaeology
- Other Enhancements and Analyses
- Important Excavation Sites
- Preview of Remaining Course Topics
- Unit 1 Quiz
Unit 2: Jesus and the Synagogues
- Jesus Visited the Synagogues
- Searching for Synagogue References in the New Testament
- But Were There Synagogues?
- The Capernaum Synagogue
- Have We Found Peter’s House?
- The Herodium
- Studying Jericho with Image Searching and the Bible Facts Report
- Modi’in and Qiryat Sefer
- Nazareth and Sepphoris
- Researching the Theory that Jesus Was a Jewish Cynic
- Unit 2 Quiz
Unit 3: Books and Artifacts
- Book Culture and Literacy
- The Suffering Servant and Jesus
- Researching New Testament Quotes or Allusions to Isaiah
- The Qumran Scroll and the Leningrad Codex
- The Aramaic Targums
- Unit 3 Quiz
- Midterm Exam
Unit 4: Pilate and Caiaphas
- The Caiaphas Ossuary
- Other High Priests and Miriam
- Finding and Exporting Images of Ossuaries
- Pontius Pilate
- Finding Pilate in the Writings of Josephus and Philo
- Procurator or Prefect?
- Unit 4 Quiz
Unit 5: Jewish Tombs and Burial Traditions
- The Importance of the Archaeology of Burial
- Jewish Burial Practices: Burial and Funeral
- Jewish Burial Practices: Ossilegium
- The Soul Departs Three Days after Death
- Resources for Studying Ancient Cultural Backgrounds
- Unit 5 Quiz
Unit 6: Jesus’ Death and Burial Compared with Jewish Burial Traditions
- Why Such Large Crowds Followed Jesus
- Whitewashed Tombs
- Let the Dead Bury Their Own Dead
- Researching Matthew 8:22 with the Passage Guide
- Jesus is Anointed with Perfume
- Two Sites Are Claimed to Be Jesus’ Burial Place
- Studying Joseph of Arimathea with Bible Facts
- Jewish Piety Required Burial
- Did Pilate Permit the Burial of Jesus?
- Burial Restrictions for Executed Criminals
- The Death and Burial of Jesus
- The Talpiot Tomb Prompts Speculation
- Solving the Mystery of the Gable
- More Conclusions Concerning the Talpiot Tomb
- Unit 6 Quiz
- Final Exam
About Craig A. Evans
Craig A. Evans is the Payzant Distinguished Professor of New Testament and director of the graduate program at Acadia Divinity College in Wolfville, Nova Scotia. He has written extensively on the historical Jesus and the Jewish background of the New Testament era. His books include Jesus and His Contemporaries: Comparative Studies, a commentary on Mark in the Word Biblical Commentary, Jesus and the Ossuaries, and Ancient Texts for New Testament Studies. He has recently served on the advisory board of the Gospel of Judas for National Geographic Society and has appeared frequently as an expert commentator on network television programs such as Dateline, and in various documentaries on the BBC, the Discovery Channel and the History Channel.
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