Unless we understand something of life in the first century, says archaeologist Jonathan L. Reed, we have “no chance of understanding Jesus or Paul, Peter or Mary.” Archaeological finds provide “an intimate glimpse into the past,” he writes, and they help us “imagine the lives of people who were once real, not just names in a book.”
A professor of New Testament at the University of La Verne in California, Reed started excavating at sites in Galilee more than 20 years ago. He is a member of the research council at Claremont Graduate University’s Institute for Antiquity and Christianity and is the author of Archaeology and the Galilean Jesus. He has coauthored two books with John Dominic Crossan—Excavating Jesus and In Search of Paul. His latest book is The HarperCollins Visual Guide to the New Testament.