Craig A. Evans

Craig A. Evans
Craig A. Evans is Payzant Distinguished Professor of New Testament at Acadia Divinity College, Acadia University, in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, Canada. He earned a doctorate in biblical studies at Claremont Graduate University in 1983. Prior to his appointment at Acadia he was Visiting Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, and for twenty-one years was Professor of Biblical Studies at Trinity Western University in Langley, British Columbia, where for many years he chaired the Religious Studies Department and directed the graduate program in Biblical Studies. He was also for one year a Visiting Fellow at Princeton Theological Seminary in Princeton, New Jersey.
Professor Evans is author or editor of more than fifty books. Among his authored books are Jesus and His Contemporaries: Comparative Studies (1995), Jesus and the Ossuaries (2003), Ancient Texts for New Testament Studies (2005), Fabricating Jesus: How Modern Scholars Distort the Gospels (2006), with N.T. Wright, Jesus, the Final Days: What Really Happened (2009), and The World of Jesus: The Archaeological Evidence (2012).
Currently Professor Evans is serving on the editorial boards of Dead Sea Discoveries, the Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus, and New Testament Studies.
Professor Evans has given lectures at Cambridge, Durham, Oxford, Yale, and other universities, colleges, seminaries, and museums. He also regularly lectures and gives talks at popular conferences, including the Biblical Archaeology Society’s Bible and Archaeology Fest, as well as fall sessions at the annual Society of Biblical Literature meetings. He has lectured on the Dead Sea Scrolls, Jesus and archaeology, canonical and extra-canonical Gospels, and the controversial James Ossuary and has appeared frequently on television programs. He has appeared in the History Channel presentation on the Historical Jesus and the recent BBC and Discovery Channel presentation on Peter the apostle. He was also featured in Dateline NBC’s specials “The Last Days of Jesus” and “Jesus the Healer,” Dateline NBC’s “The Mystery of Miracles” and “The Birth of Jesus,” as well as History Channel’s “The Search for John the Baptist.” National Geographic Channel’s documentary on the recently discovered Gospel of Judas and in Dateline NBC’s “The Mystery of the Jesus Papers.” He also appeared in National Geographic Channel’s recently aired documentary sequel to the Gospel of Judas, entitled “The Secret Lives of Jesus,” and several segments of the program Day of Discovery. He has recently been interviewed for documentaries investigating the extracanonical Gospels, the resurrection of Jesus, and the controversial Talpiot Tomb in Jerusalem. He also served as consultant for the epic television miniseries The Bible, produced by Mark Burnett and Roma Downey.
Professor Evans lives in Kentville, Nova Scotia, with his wife Ginny; they have two grown daughters and a grandson.

Presenter at

  • Seminar at Sea, January 25–February 1, 2014
    The Art and Archaeology of Ancient Literacy
    The nature and extent of ancient literacy are discovered not simply through the survival of manuscripts, but also through inscriptions, graffiti, and artwork. Graffiti can tell us a lot about who could read and write, what interested people in late antiquity and how they understood the world. Graffiti can be humorous, colorful, and vulgar. Artwork tells us about writing techniques and how literacy was viewed in the ancient world. The evidence as a whole suggests that literacy rates in late antiquity were higher than previously thought.
  • The Oldest Biblical Manuscripts as Art and Artifacts
    Just how old are our oldest Biblical manuscripts? How were they constructed and composed? What do they tell us about the skill and competence of the scribes who penned them? Besides preserving text, what else do the old manuscripts preserve and what do they tell us? You will be surprised how much we can learn from the physical characteristics of an old scroll or codex.
  • Archaeology and the Gospels Outside the New Testament
    Besides the four Gospels of the New Testament there are over thirty Gospels and Gospel-like writings. Several date to the first century and some scholars think a few of them contain authentic first-century traditions about what Jesus said and did. Some of these claims lie behind controversial theories that suggest Jesus was very different from his New Testament portraits. Study of the manuscripts and related archaeology sheds light on this debate.
  • Jesus, Cynics, and the Archaeology of Galilee
    For a number of years a handful of scholars have suggested that Jesus is best compared to the Cynics of late antiquity, or as one writer put it, the “hippies of the Augustan age.” Was Jesus a Cynic? Were there Cynics in the city of Sepphoris, just a few miles from Nazareth? We will consider this controversial proposal in light of archaeological evidence.
  • Jesus and the Exorcists of Antiquity
    Jesus was well known as an effective healer and exorcist. Where there other healers and exorcists in his time? What were their practices? What were their secrets? Were Christians the only ones who called upon the name of Jesus for healing and help? You will be surprised at what the evidence demonstrates.
  • The Art of Crucifixion
    Crucifixion was a gruesome form of execution, whose purpose was to terrify and deter. Not everyone agrees with respect to the configuration of the cross. Is there early evidence for the traditional shape of the cross? How far back does our earliest art go that depicts Jesus on the cross? Do we have archaeological evidence of crucifixion?
  • Jewish Burial Traditions and Jesus
    Was Jesus buried, as the New Testament Gospels say he was, or was he left hanging on the cross for days, until picked apart by animals? Or was his body cast into a ditch and eaten by dogs? Is the story of the burial of Jesus in a known tomb a fiction? Archaeology and early historical sources shed helpful light on these important questions. Jewish burial traditions and laws are vital for an intelligent understanding of the Gospel narratives.
  • Special Report: During the course of the program, Dr. Evans will report on his recent visit to the Vatican and his dinner with the Pope.