Cover image for Jesus and the ossuaries
Jesus and the ossuaries
Evans, Craig A.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Waco, Tex. : Baylor University Press, [2003]

Physical Description:
x, 168 pages ; 23 cm
General Note:
"A Markham Press Fund publication."
Jewish burial practices in late antiquity -- Inscriptions--non-burial -- Burial inscriptions--themes -- Burial inscriptions--names -- Significant ossuaries in the historical Jesus.
Geographic Term:
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DS111.9 .E93 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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In Jesus and the Ossuaries , Craig A. Evans helps all readers, expert and layperson alike, understand the importance this recent find might have for the quest for the historical Jesus and any historical reconstruction of early Christianity. Evans does this by providing an overview of the most important archaeological discoveries before examining nine other inscriptions (six on ossuaries, three on stone slabs) that pertain in one way or another to the historical Jesus. He then surveys the arguments for and against the authenticity and identification of the recently discovered James Ossuary. Evans concludes his volume with a measured consideration of the historical value of the archaeological data afforded by the several inscriptions.

Author Notes

Craig A. Evans is the Payzant Distinguished Professor of New Testament at Acadia Divinity College, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

This new book by Craig (Acadia Divinity College) constitutes an important contribution to the study of the material culture of biblical times. Recent archaeological discoveries have assisted scholars in understanding the historical, social, economic, and cultural context out of which the Bible grew and its relation to its wider cultural and intellectual milieu. Study of ancient Jewish burial customs and ossuary inscriptions, although well represented in scholarly literature, made little impact on the general public until the discoveries of ossuaries (i.e., bone boxes used for burial) bearing the inscribed names of Caiaphas (who is named as High Priest in Matt 26:3, 57; Luke 3:2; John 11:49, etc.) in November 1990 near Jerusalem, and "James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus" (who is named in Mark 6:3; Matt 13:55; Gal 1:19, etc.) in 2002. This book examines personal names and themes found on relevant inscriptions (both burial and some nonburial) in Aramaic, Greek, and Hebrew from Palestine during the time of the Herodian Temple (ca. 20 BCE-70 CE), places them in their proper historical context, and discusses their importance for New Testament study. The volume is informative, well written, well organized, and easy to read. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. Informed general readers, upper-division undergraduates, graduate students, and scholars. P. C. W. Murray independent scholar

Table of Contents

Prefacep. ix
Introductionp. 1
1 Jewish Burial Practices in Late Antiquityp. 17
2 Inscriptions--Non-Burialp. 31
3 Burial Inscriptions--Themesp. 53
4 Burial Inscriptions--Namesp. 67
5 Significant Ossuaries for Research in the Historical Jesusp. 91
6 Conclusionp. 123
Abbreviationsp. 125
Bibliographyp. 131
Index of Biblical Literaturep. 159
Index of Modern Writersp. 165