A Handbook on the Jewish Roots of the Christian Faith Edited by Craig A. Evans and David Mishkin
This is a comprehensive handbook that serves as an introduction to the Jewish roots of the Christian Faith. It includes Old Testament background, Second Temple Judaism, the life of Jesus, the New Testament, and the early Jewish followers of Jesus. It is no longer a novelty to say that Jesus was a Jew. In fact, the term “Jewish roots” has become something of a buzzword in books, articles, and especially on the internet. But what does the Jewishness of Jesus actually mean, and why is it important?
This collection of articles aims to address those questions and serve as a comprehensive yet concise primer on the Jewish roots of the Christian faith. It consists of thirteen chapters, most of which are divided into four or five articles. It is in the “handbook” format, meaning that each article is brief but informative. The thirteen chapters are grouped into four major sections: (1) The Soil, (2) The Roots, (3) The Trunk, and (4) The Branches.
Jesus and the Remains of His Day: Studies in Jesus and the Evidence of Material Culture
Archaeological evidence is essential for enhancing our understanding of Jesus’s life and the society in which he lived. Illuminating the material culture of the first century, Evans offers thirteen essays exploring topics such as the importance of artifacts, hanging and crucifixion in Second Temple Israel, postmortem beliefs in Jewish and pagan epitaphs, and more. “. . . a splendid collection of state-of-the-art-question essays . . .” Dale Allison, Princeton Theological Seminary 400 pages, Hendrickson Publishers (November 2015) ISBN-13: 978-1619707054 Buy now on Amazon
Jesus and the Jihadis: Confronting the Rage of ISIS: The Theology Driving the Ideology, by Craig A. Evans and Jeremiah J. Johnston
As ISIS dominates news headlines, attention is given to the terrorist group’s ideology when the true motive of their mayhem is actually revealed in their theology. Understanding their theology, Evans and Johnston argue, is the key to defeating ISIS’s regime of terror.
Major General Michael K. Nagata of the Special Operations forces in the Middle East explains that “we do not understand the movement . . . and until we do, we are not going to defeat it.”
This is why two leading Biblical scholars offer this go-to guide to understanding ISIS’s distorted theology. Through fresh historical and Biblical insights, discover how ISIS’s acts of violence, terrorism, and persecution impact your life and your faith today.
176 pages, published by Destiny Image (October 2015) ISBN-13: 978-0768408997 Buy now on Amazon - also available as a Kindle E-Book!
God Speaks: What He Says. What He Means.
No matter how familiar or unfamiliar you are with the Bible, God Speaks will bring its timeless truth alive as you view it with fresh eyes and apply its restorative power to your life. Far from a dusty old book of dos and don’ts, the Bible is a relevant and eternal message of love and reconciliation that holds the power to shape society and transform lives. Dr. Craig A. Evans, a consultant on Mark Burnett and Roma Downey’s blockbuster miniseries The Bible, unfolds Scripture with compelling clarity. God Speaks will equip you to provide answers to skeptics’ questions about the Bible’s true message.
By taking readers on a journey through each part of the Bible, God Speaks:
Examines the Bible as a force for progress in economics, justice, charity, and human rights
Explores the Bible’s power to shape culture and transform individual lives
Extols God’s deeply resonant message of forgiveness and hope for all
Equips readers with tools to understand Scripture to apply its ever-enduring precepts to daily living
272 pages, published by Worthy Publishing (July 2015) ISBN-13: 978-1617954818 Buy now on Amazon - also available as a Kindle E-Book!
Getting Jesus Right: How Muslims get Jesus and Islam Wrong By Craig A. Evans and James A. Beverley, edited by Marina Hofman-Willard
Is it possible that muslims are wrong about Jesus and various tenets of Islam? Is the famous Muslim writer Reza Aslan mistaken in his portrayal of Jesus of Nazareth and apologetic for Islam? Professors James Beverley and Craig A. Evans take an in-depth look at subjects at the core of the Muslim-Christian divide: the reliability of the New Testament Gospels and the Qur’an, and what we can really know about Jesus and the prophet Muhammad. Importantly, they also examine the implications of traditional Islamic faith on the status of women, jihad, and terrorism.
“The authors deal with every topic, from ancient manuscripts to terrorism, from Jesus to Muhammad, from the Crusades to colonialism, with accuracy, originality and courage. Getting Jesus Right is a provocative and powerful work.” - David Cook, Associate professor of Religion, Rice University, and author of Understanding Jihad.
“This book is a scholarly and devastating critique of Reza Aslan’s views on Jesus and Islam.” - Robert Spencer New York Times bestselling author of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad.
352 pages, published by Castle Quay Books (May 2015) ISBN-13: 978-1927355459 Buy now on Amazon - also available as a Kindle E-Book!
From Jesus to the Church: The First Christian Generation
Did Jesus intend to found a church separate from Judaism? Who were the very first followers of Jesus? And how did a clash between two families—the family of Jesus on one hand and the family of high priest Annas and their aristocratic allies on the other—eventually lead to the formation of Christianity?
In this study, best-selling author Craig A. Evans looks at how a tumultuous chain of events from 30-70 CE—beginning with Jesus’s entry into Jerusalem and subsequent crucifixion and ending with the destruction of the temple—led to the separation between the followers of Jesus and other Jews. Topics include the following: 1) whether Jesus actually intended to found the Christian Church; 2) the ways in which Jesus’s proclamation of the “Kingdom of God” relate to the Christian Church; 3) the role of James, brother of Jesus, in the new movement in Jerusalem; 4) the tension between James and Paul in the matter of law and works; 5) the conflict between the families and followers of Jesus and those of the high priest Annas before the destruction of the temple; and 6) the aftermath of the Jewish rebellion, whereby the Church moved away from its Jewish roots.
This fascinating volume is suitable for historical Jesus and early church studies, along with anyone else interested in learning about the very first followers of Jesus.
‘What Does the Scripture Say?’ Studies in the Function of Scripture in Early Judaism and Christianity, Volume 1: The Synoptic Gospels Edited by Craig A. Evans and H. Daniel Zacharias
These essays explore new methods and overlooked traditions that appear to shed light on how the founders of the Christian movement understood the older sacred tradition and sought new and creative ways to let it speak to their own times.
In this provocative work, world-renowned scholar Craig A. Evans presents the most important archaeological discoveries that shed light on the world of Jesus of Nazareth. Evans takes on many sensational claims that have been proposed in recent books and peddled in the media, and uses actual archaeological findings to uncover the truth about several key pieces of Jesus’s world. For example, what was the village of Nazareth actually like in the time of Jesus? Did synagogues really exist, as the Gospels say? What does archaeology tell us about the ruling priests who condemned Jesus to death? Has the tomb of Jesus really been found, as has been claimed? Evans’s engaging prose enables readers to understand and critique the latest theories--both the sober and the sensational--about who Jesus was and what he lived and died for.
Questions are included at the end of each chapter, making this book ideal for group or individual study.
This book is a verse-by-verse analysis of the New Testament Gospel of Matthew. It provides a comprehensive introduction to the gospel, which describes the world of Jesus and his first followers. This commentary explores the historical, social, and religious contexts of Matthew and examines the customs, beliefs, and ideas that inform the text. Unfamiliar to many readers of the New Testament, this background will help readers fully understand the text of Matthew, which focuses on what Jesus taught and why the religious authorities in Jerusalem rejected his message and gave him up to the Roman governor for execution. This book will be an important tool for clergy, scholars, and other interested readers of Matthew.
The Book of Genesis: Composition, Reception, and Interpretation Edited by Craig A. Evans, Joel N. Lohr, David L. Petersen Emory University
Written by leading experts in the field, this volume offers a wide-ranging treatment of the main aspects of Genesis study. Its twenty-nine essays fall under four main sections. The first section contains studies of a more general nature, including the history of Genesis in critical study, Genesis in literary and historical study, as well as the function of Genesis in the Pentateuch. The second section contains commentary on or interpretation of specific passages (or sections) of Genesis, as well as essays on its formation, genres, and themes. The third section contains essays on the textual history and reception of Genesis in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. The final section explores the theologies of the book of Genesis, including essays on Genesis and ecology and Genesis in the context of Jewish thought.
764 pages, published by Brill (March 2012) ISBN-13: 9789004226531 Buy now on Amazon
The World of Jesus and the Early Church: Identity and Interpretation in the Early Communities of Faith Edited by Craig A. Evans
Prominent scholars in the fields of Archaeology, New Testament Studies, and the Dead Sea Scrolls have come together in The World of Jesus and the Early Church to focus on early Jewish and Christian communities of faith and their impact on the collections of texts that were their scriptures (and would become, in due time, part of their various canons).
The Holman QuickSource™ Guide to the Dead Sea Scrolls
This volume gives the reader a strong overview and understanding of the Dead Sea Scrolls and their importance for Christianity. Topics covered include a riveting narrative on the discovery of the Scrolls, notes on the Dead Sea region, the contents and dates of the Scrolls, who wrote and gathered them, first and second generation scholars of the Scrolls and more. Frequently Evans takes readers from biblical texts to particularly illuminating Scrolls to discuss if and how the Scrolls help us interpret the New Testament. Visually-driven yet content-rich, this book is replete with timelines, vivid photos and charts. It is a joy to read: clear, informed and conversational. It will invite the reader into the world of the Scrolls, hold their attention and leave them wanting more.
400 pages, published by B&H Books (February 2010) ISBN: 9780805448528 Buy now on Amazon - now available as a Kindle E-Book!
Jesus, the Final Days: What Really Happened By Craig A. Evans and N. T. Wright
What do history and archaeology have to say about Jesus’s death, burial, and resurrection? How were criminal trials and executions conducted during the time of Jesus? Was Jesus really raised from the dead? Together, Evans and Wright concisely and compellingly convey the drama and the world-shattering significance of Jesus’s final days on earth.
Listen to Evans’s interview about this book on WJK Radio with Dan and Janahere.
Exploring the Origins of the Bible: Canon Formation in Historical, Literary, and Theological Perspective Edited by Craig A. Evans and Emanuel Tov
For those who want to go deeper in their understanding of the canon of Scripture, leading international scholars here provide cutting-edge perspectives on various facets of the writings that make up the biblical canon, including discussion of the forces at work that excluded some writings from the canon. Contributors include James Charlesworth and Stanley Porter.
“These essays not only serve the intended audiences by addressing the status quaestionis of their respective topics and offering thought-provoking discussions but also keep the canon debate alive by presenting new theories and insights into problematic and unresolved issues.” -- Margaret Christi Karwowski, OSF, Catholic Biblical Quarterly
272 pages, published by Baker Academic (October 2008) ISBN: 9780801032424 Buy now on Amazon - now available as a Kindle E-Book!
Fabricating Jesus: How Modern Scholars Distort the Gospels
Why are scholars so prone to fabricate a new Jesus? Why is the public so eager to accept such claims without question? What methods and assumptions predispose scholars to distort the record? Is there a more sober approach to finding the real Jesus? Commenting on such recent releases as Bart Ehrman’s Misquoting Jesus, James Tabor’s The Jesus Dynasty, Michael Baigent’s The Jesus Papers, and The Gospel of Judas, for which he served as an advisory board member to the National Geographic Society, Evans offers a sane approach to examining the sources for understanding the historical Jesus.
Download Intervarsity Press’s Q&A with Evans about this book.
280 pages, published by Intervarsity Press (October 2006) ISBN: 978-0-8308-3355-9 Buy now on Amazon - now available as a Kindle E-Book!
Christian Beginnings and the Dead Sea Scrolls Edited by John J. Collins and Craig A. Evans
In this volume, six leading scholars--John Collins, Craig A. Evans, Martin Abegg, R. Glenn Wooden, Barry Smith, and Jonathan Wilson--examine some of the major issues that the Dead Sea Scrolls have raised for the study of early Christianity. These cutting-edge articles explore the impact of the Scrolls on Christianity, delving deeper than most surveys on the Dead Sea Scrolls.
Ancient Texts for New Testament Studies: A Guide to the Background Literature
Now in paperback, this thoroughly revised and significantly expanded edition of Noncanonical Writings and New Testament Interpretation examines a vast range of ancient literature, masterfully distilling details of date, language, text, and translation into an eminently usable handbook. Craig Evans evaluates the materials’ relevance for interpreting the New Testament and provides essential biographies.
Published by Hendrickson (November 2005) ISBN: 1565634098 Buy now on Amazon
From Prophecy to Testament: The Function of the Old Testament in the New
“The study of the influence and use of the Old Testament in the New Testament gains immeasurably in depth when we appreciate that the texts and traditions involved were not fixed or static but living, in dynamic interaction with the generations that pondered their words. This book and its various surveys, probes, and well worked case studies will help bring home this insight with renewed force. I commend it warmly.” --James D. G. Dunn, Emeritus Lightfoot Professor of Divinity, University of Durham
Published by Hendrickson (February 2004) ISBN-13: 9780801046186 Buy now on Amazon
Jesus and the Ossuaries: What Jewish Burial Practices Reveal about the Beginning of Christianity
In 2002 an inscribed limestone ossuary or burial box was taken from a private collection and revealed to the world. The most astonishing thing about this ossuary was the inscription which read ‘James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus’. This book is not about the discovery per se (which is covered in a number of other books) but it seeks to use the discovery as an opportunity of highlighting and investigating Jewish burial practices of which it is a part. Putting questions of authenticity aside, Evans discusses a corpus of other ossuaries, largely Palestinian and dating mostly from c.20 BC to AD 70, which provide a context for the find. He explains how these ossuaries and other inscriptions and texts provide insights into burial practices, customs, names, family relationships, social standing, religious beliefs and how they clarify the teachings of the New Testament.
Bible Knowledge Background Commentary (Bible Knowledge Series) Vol 1: Matthew–Luke; Vol 2: Acts–Philemon; Vol 3: John’s Gospel, Hebrews–Revelation By David C. Cook, edited by Craig A. Evans
A biblical examination of the historical, geographical, cultural, and economic background of the New Testament for a 21st century understanding of the first century world.
Published by David C. Cook (2003, 2004, 2005) Buy as a set from Logos
Authenticating the Words of Jesus (Authenticating the Words and the Activities of Jesus, Volume 1) Edited by Bruce Chilton and Craig A. Evans
This volume reviews the criteria, assumptions, and methods involved in critical Jesus research. Its purpose is to clarify the procedures necessary to distinguish tradition that stems from Jesus from tradition and interpretation that stem from later tradents and evangelists, and to inquire into the various forces and situations that led to the emergence of the tradition as we have it.
480 pages, published by Brill (August 2002) ISBN-13: 9780391041639 Buy now on Amazon
Authenticating the Activities of Jesus (Authenticating the Words and the Activities of Jesus, Volume 2) Edited by Bruce Chilton and Craig A. Evans
In this companion volume to Authenticating the Words of Jesus, the authors examine the important issue of the original setting and context in which the words of Jesus were spoken. They proceed on the assumption that authenticating the activities of Jesus is just as important as authenticating his words.
480 pages, published by Brill (August 2002) ISBN-13: 9780391041646 Buy now on Amazon
Jesus and His Contemporaries: Comparative Studies
Jesus was a man from Nazareth who died in Jerusalem. But he was nor ordinary man, or was he? That Jesus existed we are all quite sure, but what were the real, historical facts of his life and death? What, about all that has been said of him, is truly authentic? Who is the real Jesus? Not only does Evans paint a realistic portrait of Jesus, but he helps lay a firmer foundation upon which one can begin to understand the emergence of Christian theology.
532 pages, published by Brill (October 2001) ISBN-13: 9780391041189 Buy now on Amazon
Word Biblical Commentary Vol. 34b, Mark 8:27-16:20
The Word Biblical Commentary delivers the best in biblical scholarship, from the leading scholars of our day who share a commitment to Scripture as divine revelation. This series emphasizes a thorough analysis of textual, linguistic, structural, and theological evidence. The result is judicious and balanced insight into the meanings of the text in the framework of biblical theology.
Who Was Jesus?: A Jewish-Christian Dialogue Edited by Paul Copan and Craig A. Evans
This volume is a collection of articles revolving around the dialogue between Jewish New Testament scholar Peter Zaas and Christian apologist William Craig, with a focus on the differing Jewish and Christian assessments of Jesus of Nazareth, and the question of Jewish-Christian relations. Their points of agreement and disagreement, as well as how interest in the historical Jesus continues to promote dialogue and controversy, are fascinating and informative.
Luke and Scripture: The Function of Sacred Tradition in Luke-Acts By Craig A. Evans and James A. Sanders
“Luke and Scripture is an important contribution to the study of comparative midrash and the role and function of authoritative, sacred tradition in the life of the early Christian community. This book sharpens the definition of midrash criticism in relation to other methods both in theory and practice and in the process sheds further light on Luke’s understanding of Jesus, the origin of early Christianity, and his own experience in terms of Israel’s sacred tradition and institutions.” - Mikeal C. Parsons, Baylor University
Originally published by Fortress Press (1993), reprinted by Wipf and Stock (May 2001) ISBN: 9781579106072 Buy now on Amazon
Dictionary of New Testament Background (The IVP Bible Dictionary Series) Edited by Craig A. Evans and Stanley E. Porter, Jr.
In a time when our knowledge of the ancient Mediterranean world has grown by leaps and bounds, this volume sets out for readers the wealth of Jewish and Greco-Roman background that should inform our reading and understanding of the New Testament and early Christianity. No other reference work presents so much in one place for students of the New Testament.
1328 pages, published by Intervarsity Press (December 2000) ISBN: 978-0-8308-1780-1 Buy now on Amazon - available now on Kindle E-Book!
Life of Jesus Research: An Annotated Bibliography (New Testament Tools and Studies, V. 24)
Completely revised and updated, this volume offers annotated bibliographies for all the major areas of critical scholarship in the historical Jesus. Arranged in chronological order and providing complete bibliographical information, brief introductions and indexes, the work is an indispensable tool for research in this important field of study.
335 pages, published by Brill (September 1996) ISBN: 9004102825 Buy now on Amazon
Word and Glory: On the Exegetical and Theological Background of John’s Prologue
Word and Glory challenges recent claims that Gnosticism, especially as expressed in the Nag Hammadi tractate Trimorphic Protennoia, is the most natural and illuminating background for understanding the Prologue of the Fourth Gospel. Scriptural allusions and interpretive traditions suggest that Jewish wisdom tradition, mediated by the synagogue of the diaspora, lies behind the Prologue and the Fourth Gospel as a whole, not some form of late first-century Gnosticism. Word and Glory also develops and tests criteria for assessing the relative value of post-New Testament sources for the interpretation of New Testament documents.
250 pages, published by Bloomsbury (November 1993) ISBN-13: 9781850754480 Buy now on Amazon
Luke: New International Biblical Commentary
Plenty of important questions vie for attention in contemporary Lucan scholarship. In this NIBC volume, Evans not only demonstrates a firm grasp of them, but makes them perfectly comprehensible to laypeople. His clear writing and logical explanations lay open both difficult Lucan passages and scholarly arguments about them.
“This commentary is probably the best popular-level one on Luke’s gospel!” - Max Turner, London Bible College
Originally published by Hendrickson (1990), it has been reprinted by Koorong under the title Luke (Understanding The Bible Commentary Series) ISBN-13: 9780853646570 Buy now on Amazon - now available as a Kindle E-Book!