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"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. Those inquire about Nazareth, Cana, Bethsaida, Sepphoris, Jerusalem, the Temple, the synagogues, and data on Caiaphas, Pilate, Simon of Cyrene, and many others. He concludes that, "Obviously, we will always have more questions than answers.
A New Perspective:
After a concise introduction by A. Biran, 'Jesus Research and Archaeology' is given a new perspective by the eminent New Testament scholar. This is the core of the 'Jesus Research Symposium.' He clarifies the methodology of the 'Jesus Research' as primarily inquisitive. This is a monograph that reveals Charlesworth's expertise in depth and breadth, in addition to NT languages and literature, his unparalleled works on the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old and NT, the Qumran Scrolls and the Coptic Gnostic writings. Not only did he introduce systematically the new research, but he recounts in an engaging style the archaeological discoveries on the Essene gate, the Galilean boat, the Herodium, and Peters house, and sepphoris theater between many others. His photos proves him a talented photographer!
A compendium of scholarly papers:
The papers of the symposium, edited and reviewed into book chapters, notes were completed and glossary compiled. This took more than a year, with significant computer assistance. 'Archaeology and John's Gospel,' U. von Walde's lengthy study does challenge the readers to upgrade and integrate their understanding of the gospel which has been always the theological cornerstone of orthodox Christology. It would not be feasible to comment on more essays, but I would consider part II of this collective work the most significant for Jesus inquisitive readers. Prof. Emile Puech wrote a compelling essay on the core of Christian belief, Resurrection Faith, starting from early Jewish beliefs in the Qumranic texts. He gracefully proceeds from the Damascus Document, discovered earlier in the Cairo Genieza, through the Thanksgiving hymns to the Messianic Apocalypse on Resurrection.
Dr. James H. Charlesworth, is Princeton's Professor of New Testament Language and Literature. He has written and edited over 60 books on the New Testament, Dead Sea Scrolls, and other Jewish literature. Dr. Charlesworth specializes in the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old and New Testaments, the Dead Sea Scrolls, Josephus, Jesus Research, and the Gospel of John.
The Archeology of the New Testament: The Life of Jesus and the Beginning of the Early Church
Archaeology and the Galilean Jesus: A Re-examination of the Evidence