The Brother of Jesus: The Dramatic Story & Meaning of the First Archaeological Link to Jesus & His Family (Paperback)

The Brother of Jesus: The Dramatic Story & Meaning of the First Archaeological Link to Jesus & His Family By Hershel Shanks, Ben Witherington, III Cover Image

The Brother of Jesus: The Dramatic Story & Meaning of the First Archaeological Link to Jesus & His Family (Paperback)


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The first definitive account of what scholars and the media are calling 'the most important archaeological discovery' about Jesus and his family.

This is the definitive story of the recent discovery of the first–century ossuary (limestone bone box) with the legend 'James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus', and its implications for understanding Jesus, his family (mother, father, brothers), his followers, the first Christians and the Jewish Christian movement in Jerusalem that James led. This ossuary is the first ever archaeological discovery directly confirming the existence of Jesus, and his relationship to his father, Joseph, and brother, James, who became the leader of the important Jewish Christian community in Jerusalem. No one is as qualified and well connected to recount the discovery and its authentication as Hershel Shanks, whose magazine first broke the story.

Hershel Shanks is the premier figure in communicating, through his magazines, books, and conferences, the world of biblical archaeology to general readers. Hershel Shanks is "probably the world's most influential amateur Biblical archeologist," declares New York Times book critic Richard Bernstein. Shanks was also a leading figure in making the complete Dead Sea Scrolls available to the world. He is the editor of the Biblical Archaeology Review, Bible Review, Archaeology Odyssey, and Moment. He is the author and editor of several major books on the Dead Sea Scrolls, Jerusalem, and biblical archaeology, including Understanding the Dead Sea Scrolls, The Mystery and Meaning of the Dead Sea Scrolls, Ancient Israel: From Abraham to the Roman Destruction of the Temple, Christianity and Rabinnic Judaism, The Search for Jesus, Recent Archaeology in the Land of Israel, Archaeology and the Bible, and Jerusalem: An Archaeological Biography. He lives in Washington, D.C.

Ben Witherington III is professor of New Testament at Asbury Theological Seminary. The author of more than thirty books, including The Brother of Jesus, he has twice won the Christianity Today award for one of the best biblical studies books of the year, and he has presented seminars for churches, colleges, and biblical meetings not only in the United States but also in Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia. Witherington writes for many church and scholarly publications, is a regular contributor to Christianity Today and, and has been featured widely in the national media.

“Anyone with an interest in archaeology or the historical Jesus will find this book fascinating.” — Booklist

“Readers...will learn much about archaeology and early Christianity from this good example of archaeological and biblical popularization.” — America Magazine

“A most interesting and helpful book...a thorough and balanced job. An essential purchase for libraries of all sizes.” — Library Journal