Archaeology & the New Testament

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    Evans, Craig A.

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    Archaeology and the Historical Jesus: Recent Developments

    "A major driving force behind biblical archaeology in its early days were apologetics. In recent years these interests have been eclipsed by the new quest for context and meaning. By and large, this new quest has seen major advances on many fronts, especially where it concerns the historical Jesus...Here might be mentioned three important areas of archaeological findings in recent years that shed light on aspects of the life of Jesus and the world in which he was active: (1) the Jewishness of Galilee, (2) the existence of pre-70 synagogue buildings, and (3) Jewish burial traditions."
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    McRay, John

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    Archaeology and the Book of Acts

    "The winds of biblical scholarship have blown toward the Book of Acts from a largely theological direction for the past quarter of a century, providing a corrective to the pervasive concern with questions of historicity fostered by the work of W. Ramsay almost a century ago. However, the winds are changing again, and interest is once more being kindled in questions relating to the trustworthiness of Acts. These changing winds are blowing from such unlikely places as the University of Tubingen itself, whose extremely critical views were held by Ramsay prior to his sojourn in Asia Minor."
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    Reed, Jonathan

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    Excavating Jesus

    "Who was the historical Jesus? Scholars usually answer this question either by re-reading more closely the gospels or by reconstructing more precisely his context from ancient literary texts. But I think those interested in the historical Jesus should appeal to stones as well as texts, to ground and gospel, material remains and scribal remains, and use the work of the archaeologist and the work of the exegete. Words talk. Stones talk, too. To find out who Jesus was, archaeologists who dig down amidst the stones must be consulted to reconstruct his world, just as much as biblical scholars who dig down exegetically amidst the texts to reconstruct his sayings and deeds. Only so can Jesus be located in his world, his vision and his program put in its time and place."
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    Witherington III, Ben

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    Top Ten New Testament Archaeological Finds of the Past 150 Years

    "Mention archaeology to most people and they think of dramatic finds of artifacts that confirm or confute some cherished belief about antiquity or ancient history. The truth about archaeological explorations, however, is somewhat less dramatic and much more mundane most of the time. Rarely does one find something that relates to a specific person or a specific event. Most of the time one must be content with helping fill out the picture of the social world or context of some part of the ancient world—evidence of how people lived, what burial customs they followed, what sort of houses they built, what sort of artisanship they showed. This is why some have said that archaeology is the study of durable rubbish. But occasionally something comes to light that is certainly more significant than rubbish, and even relates directly to a figure in the Bible. Such an event occurred recently when the James ossuary came to light. To appreciate the significance and rarity of that find, it will be useful to first review the top finds of the last 150 years insofar as they have relevance to the study of the New Testament, and more particularly of Jesus and his context."