I received word that a new book edited by Craig A. Evans titled The World of Jesus and the Early Church: Identity and Interpretation in the Early Communities of Faith is set to release next month. The blurb from the back of the book is as follows:

Religious communities that possess sacred documents define themselves, at least in part, by how they understand and interpret their sacred tests and how those sacred texts inform the community. Craig Evans has brought together thirteen outstanding contributors to The World of Jesus and the Early Church in order to explore recent understanding of the ways in which the early Jewish and Christian communities of faith functioned and how they defined themselves, as well as how they interpreted their scriptures.

The contributors’ work encompasses archaeological, sociological, economic, ritual, and textual discoveries. They shed light on these communities of faith and draw out implications for both the academy and the church today.

Whether revealing new understandings of the trial of Jesus before Pilate, the rituals surrounding the execution and burial of criminals, or the problems with the dating of ancient manuscripts, this work draws the reader into the world of the early Christian and Jewish communities in fresh and insightful ways.

The book is divided into two parts: (1) Identity in Jewish and Christian Communities of Faith and (2) Interpreting the Scriptures in Jewish and Christian Communities. The list of contributors includes the likes of J.J. Collins, Craig A. Evans, Larry Hurtado, Margaret Y. MacDonald, Dorothy M. Peters, and others. You can see any additional blurb and the full chapters list on the Hendrickson.com book page here.