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Distinguished Scholar Examines the First Followers of Jesus
By Stacie Kizer   |  Feb 21, 2014

Louisville, Kentucky, USA—Internationally distinguished historical Jesus scholar Craig A. Evans explores a tumultuous chain of events that led to the formation of Christianity in a new study from Westminster John Knox Press. In From Jesus to the Church: The First Christian Generation, Evans explores key questions related to the early church and first followers of Jesus: Who were those first followers? Did Jesus actually intend to found a church separate from Judaism?

Evans focuses specifically on a chain of events from 30-70 CE that begins with Jesus’s entry into Jerusalem and subsequent crucifixion and ending with the destruction of the temple. He explores how these events led to the separation between the followers of Jesus (eventually called Christians) and other Jews. In his introduction, Evans writes: “When Jesus of Nazareth entered Jerusalem, shortly before Passover, and quarreled with the ruling priests, he set in motion a chain of events that would change the world. The purpose of this book is to examine the first link in this chain. This link is made up of the first generation of the Jesus movement, a movement centered in Jerusalem. It was almost entirely Jewish and was very much focused on the redemption and restoration of Israel.”

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Craig A. Evans is Payzant Distinguished Professor of New Testament at Acadia Divinity College, Acadia University, in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, Canada. The author or editor of more than fifty books and hundreds of articles, Evans is a regular guest on many national media outlets, including NBC, The History Channel, The Discovery Channel, and the BBC. He is an internationally distinguished authority and lecturer on the historical Jesus. For more information, visit

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