Jesus and the Manuscripts: What We Can Learn from the Oldest Texts

by Craig A. Evans

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Retail: $59.95
Size: 6 x 9 inches
Binding: Stamped Case with Jacket
Pages: 600
Pub Date: October 2020
ISBN: 9781683071624
ISBN-13: 9781683071624
Item Number: 071624
Categories: Biblical Studies and Interpretation; Theology

Product Description

Jesus and the Manuscripts, by popular author and Bible scholar Craig A. Evans, introduces readers to the diversity and complexity of the ancient literature that records the words and deeds of Jesus. This diverse literature includes the familiar Gospels of the New Testament, the much less familiar literature of the Rabbis and of the Qur’ān, and the extracanonical narratives and brief snippets of material found in fragments and inscriptions. This book critically analyzes important texts and quotations in their original languages and engages the current scholarly discussion. Evans argues that the Gospel of Thomas is not early or independent of the New Testament Gospels but that it should be dated to the late second century. He also argues that Secret Mark, like the recently published Gospel of Jesus’ Wife, is probably a modern forgery. Of special interest is the question of how long the autographs of New Testament writings remained in circulation. Evans argues that the evidence suggests that most of these autographs remained available for copying and study for more than one hundred years and thus stabilized the text.

Key points and features:
• Written by popular author and Bible scholar Craig A. Evans
• Includes 20+ pages of high-quality color photos
• Walks readers through the various works of ancient literature, both biblical and non-biblical, that mention Jesus
• Critically analyzes important texts and quotations in their original languages and engages the current scholarly discussion


“One does not need to be a prophet to predict that anyone reading this new publication by Professor Craig Evans will learn something new about the Gospels and other primary sources relevant for New Testament and patristic studies, discover neglected secondary sources, and be challenged, in the best academic tradition, to think again about convictions one has taken for granted. Scholars and students alike will benefit immensely from this handsomely produced volume.”

—Eckhard J. Schnabel, Mary F. Rockefeller Distinguished Professor of New Testament, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

“While often somewhat marginalized in scholarly discussions in favor of the so-called higher criticism, the importance of textual criticism for the study of the New Testament can hardly be overstated. In this well-written book, Craig Evans shows how textual criticism, in addition to the more technical aspects associated with this method, may shed important light on a range of exegetical questions with theological implications. Not everyone will agree with all of Evans’ assessments, but this is a book that should be read and discussed by all serious students of the New Testament.”

—Anders Runesson, Professor of New Testament, University of Oslo, and author of Divine Wrath and Salvation in Matthew

Author Bio

Craig A. Evans, PhD, DHabil, is the John Bisagno Distinguished Professor of Christian Origins at Houston Baptist University in Texas. He is a frequent contributor to scholarly journals and the author or editor of over eighty books, including Jesus and His Contemporaries.