Archaeology and the Galilean Jesus by
Publication Date: 2002-05-01
This book reconstructs first-century Galilee from archaeological surveys, excavations, and artifacts, and provides descriptions of the material remains relevant to historical Jesus research and New Testament studies. Drawing on his years of field experience in Galilee, Reed illustrates how the archaeological record has been misused by New Testament scholars, and how synthesis of the material culture is foundational for understanding Christian origins in Galilee and the Jewish culture out of which they arose.Part One shows how settlement patterns and artifacts from Galilee point to close ties between Judean and Galilean Jews at the time of Jesus, and how Herod Antipas' urbanization projects at Sepphoris and Tiberias commercialized and aggravated peasant life in agrarian Galilean society. Part Two focuses on the archaeology of two Galilean sites and their import for historical Jesus research: Sepphoris, Antipas' capital and the largest city in Galilee just north of Nazareth, and Capernaum, Jesus' base of operations on the periphery of Antipas' power. Part Three concludes with studies illustrating the necessity of considering the specifically Galilean local conditions when interpreting New Testament texts.Jonathan L. Reed is Professor of New Testament and Christian Origins at the University of La Verne, California. He is the Field Director at the Sepphoris Acropolis Excavations and is co-author of Excavating Jesus: Beneath the Stones, Behind the Texts.