Jesus and His World: The Archaeological EvidenceBy Craig A. Evans (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2012), 208 pp., $25 (hardcover)
Written for the nonexpert and student, this book examines the archaeological discoveries of the last century and a half that are important to understanding the life and world of Jesus. The information comes not only from archaeological finds in published excavation reports, but also from the author’s visits to the various sites and museums and from interviews with archaeologists.
Jesus and His World centers around five areas of investigation. The first is a discussion of the archaeological finds from Sepphoris, a city neighboring the village of Nazareth. How does this relate to the first-century world of Jesus? The author distinguishes between archaeological finds that were dated to the earlier part of the first century C.E. and finds dated to the latter part of that century. The finds from the pre-70 C.E. period indicate a Jewish community, while the finds from the post-70 C.E. period (after the Roman destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple) point to a more Greek and Roman way of life in Sepphoris.