Excavating the Evidence for Jesus

The Archaeology and History of Christ and the GospelsTitus Kennedy

Examine the Evidence Surrounding Jesus

No other figure has impacted history like Jesus. Yet today, he’s often seen as a mythical character whose legend increased over time. So what does the historical and archaeological evidence say about Jesus?

Archaeologist Dr. Titus Kennedy has investigated firsthand the discoveries connected to Jesus’ birth, ministry, crucifixion, and resurrection. He has visited and excavated where Jesus walked, and examined the artifacts connected to Jesus’ life. Here, he presents an up-to-date and comprehensive overview of the research and findings that illuminate the historicity of Christ as presented in the Bible.

Excavating the Evidence for Jesus progresses chronologically through the Gospels, noting the many relevant archaeological, historical, geographic, and literary findings. As you read, you’ll be able to decide for yourself whether the evidence confirms the existence and story of Jesus, and determine whether the Gospels are worthy of being approached not as legends, but as history. Further, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the historic basis of Christianity, a richer knowledge of the ancient world, and an evidence-based perspective on the reliability of the Bible.

Editorial Reviews

In this beautifully illustrated, extensively documented and clearly written book, Titus Kennedy provides the most comprehensive archaeological defense yet in print of the historical reliability of the Gospels and their account of the life of Jesus of Nazareth. Kennedy marches systematically through the different phases of the life of Jesus — from his birth to his ministry, trial, crucifixion, and resurrection — as recorded in the New Testament. As he does, he shows that in each case, a surprising body of evidence supports the reliability of the Gospel accounts of these events. Who knew that the actual site of the trial of Jesus before Pilate has been identified by archaeologists? Or that each of the major figures in that trial — Caiaphas, Herod Antipas, Pilate, Peter, and Jesus himself — have all been independently attested by archaeological and documentary historical evidence in recent years?

Kennedy skillfully shows his readers the evidence — photographic and otherwise — that documents these important people, places, and events. A unique resource for anyone wanting to investigate the real historical Jesus.

Dr. Stephen C. Meyer, PhD, History and Philosophy of Science, Cambridge University; author, Return of the God Hypothesis

In Excavating the Evidence for Jesus, Titus Kennedy illuminates the world of late second-temple Judaism. Kennedy’s lucid prose simplifies complicated matters such as the nativity census of Quirinius. He explores various theories and conspiracies and presciently shows readers where the weight of evidence lies. I highly recommend this well-written and well-researched book to my students and colleagues.

Scott Stripling, PhD, Provost and Professor of Biblical Archaeology and History, The Bible Seminary, Katy, TX; Director of Excavations at Shiloh and Khirbet el-Maqatir

How credible are the Gospels, and how strong is the evidence for the historical Jesus? Kennedy’s Excavating the Evidence for Jesus is an exceptional in-depth companion to the Gospel accounts, summarizing the relevant archaeological finds and providing essential historical background for New Testament times.

Organized around specific events in the life and ministry of Jesus, one can take a bite- sized deep dive into any particular question and come back with a satisfying archaeological and historical evidence-based answer each time. Of course, one also can sit down and easily flow through the book from cover to cover: Sufficient details are provided so that one feels the weight of the evidence yet is not bogged down or overwhelmed by technicalities. In some details, Kennedy offers an evidence-based alternate to the traditional interpretation that is true to Scripture and worth considering.

What I found especially effective is Kennedy’s use of the historical evidence provided by the early scoffers of Christianity and from the records detailing the early Roman efforts to stamp out this radical cult: The descriptions provided by the ancient enemies of Jesus confirm the highlights of his life. These details could not have been invented by the church centuries later if they were common knowledge and mentioned by Christian critics in the first and second centuries.

Easily accessible and readable, the refreshing message again and again is that behind the Gospel accounts are real places, real people, and real events — in short, real history. The Gospel writers were telling us what they saw and heard, not what they (or followers centuries later) imagined or hoped. In an age where it seems that skeptics have the microphone in the popular media, Kennedy provides a detailed and convincing response: Even 2,000 years later, striking amounts of evidence survive to show why Jesus is the most important figure in human history and worth trusting. Every Christian and seeker will be strengthened by reading this book.”

John A. Bloom, PhD, PhD, Professor of Physics; Director, MA of Science and Religion Program, Biola University, La Mirada, CA

Excavating the Evidence for Jesus is an up-to-date and comprehensive treatment of the archaeology surrounding the life of Jesus as recorded in the four Gospels. The chronological format is logical and easy to follow, and the many high-quality photos of sites and artifacts help the reader to visualize the Scripture text and showcase the ancient world of Jesus. With the most recent archaeological discoveries included plus a presentation of controversial discoveries, both students and enthusiasts of archaeology, history, and the Bible will find this a useful resource.

Eric Metaxas, #1 New York Times bestselling author and host of the nationally syndicated Eric Metaxas Radio Show

Titus Kennedy

Fellow, Center for Science and Culture
Dr. Titus Kennedy is a field archaeologist working primarily with sites and materials of the ancient Near East and the Mediterranean world. He has been involved in archaeological projects at 18 sites spanning 6 countries, including directing and supervising multiple projects from the Bronze Age through the Byzantine period. He earned his doctorate from the University of South Africa in Biblical Archaeology with an emphasis on archaeological demographics. He is a research fellow at the Discovery Institute, an adjunct professor at Biola University, and editor of the Near Eastern Archaeological Society bulletin.