Book Plunge: Excavating The Evidence for Jesus

What do I think of Titus Kennedy’s book? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

This book is certainly thorough. Kennedy goes step by step through the Gospels showing how archaeology impacts every aspect of what goes on, even starting before the birth of Jesus by giving us a look into the culture of the time and who was on the throne in Rome and who was on the throne in Judea. When we get to the birth of Jesus, this will even include looking at the census and his explanation for where the magi came from.

One aspect I found interesting of the early years was that of the massacre of the children of Bethlehem. It is said that this didn’t happen because Josephus doesn’t mention it, but Kennedy says Josephus never mentions the incident of Pilate bringing golden shields into Jerusalem as well. It would be a mistake to take the one major source we have on Jewish history at the time and assume he must have mentioned everything.

Not only that, but there had been an omen made according to Suetonius before the birth of Augustus that a king of the Romans would be born. The Senate tried to prohibit the rearing of any male child born that year, but it never worked because some Senators had pregnant wives and they would have wanted to be the father of the king.

From here on, Kennedy explains in what seems like minute details the life of Jesus. Simple stories you think wouldn’t have much are looked at and at times you wonder just how much more can be told about this account. This leaves me looking at the end and thinking this would be a good book to use to give an introduction to the life of Jesus.

Of course, a good portion of the book is spent on the last week of the life of Jesus including the resurrection. Here, he looks at accounts like the crucifixion of Jesus to see what happened and also as with other areas, to discuss where it happened. We don’t just jump to the resurrection though. Nope. We have to go through the burial too and here we will look at claims such as the Talpoit tomb theory and see what we can learn about the James ossuary.

That’s another benefit as this is based on the latest research. You will see replies to Talpoit and the James Ossuary, but also to the Karen King finding asserting that Jesus had a wife. There are also numerous resources listed that you can go to to get further information. This book gives you the start and then tells you where to go.

There is only one problem I have and that is no footnotes. All that is listed is the sources for further reading. It would have been good to know exactly where Kennedy gets a lot of his information instead of just having to point to what he says. If it comes from experience he has personally as an archaeologist, at least tell us that. If an updated version of this comes out, I hope it has footnotes.

Despite that, I still highly recommend this book.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)