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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. An appendix further explores the reasons behind the rift between the Jesus movement and the synagogue. 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.
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' 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 for discussion and reflection are available at www. wjkbooks. com, 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 the clergy, scholars, and other interested readers of Matthew.
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