Jonathan Reed begins the first chapter of The HarperCollins Visual Guide to the New Testament with the assertion that "archaeology is imperative for the study of the New Testament." This much most students of the New Testament and early Christian literature would grant. But how and to what degree is archaeology important to biblical studies is less clear and can be at times a contentious issue. The expectation that archaeology should provide proof of the historical reliability of the New Testament has for decades sent many a would-be Indiana Jones off in search of this or that biblical site with inconclusive if not entirely disappointing results.
Dupertuis, R. R. [Review of the book The HarperCollins visual guide to the New Testament: What archaeology reveals about the first Christians, by J. L. Reed]. The Fourth R, 21(4), 22-23.
The Fourth R