In The Jesus Dynasty, biblical scholar James Tabor brings us closer than ever to the historical Jesus. He sheds new light on Jesus' relationship with John the Baptizer, the role played by his brother James, and how Paul's ministry transformed Jesus' message into what would become Christianity.
James Tabor has studied the earliest surviving documents of Christianity for more than 30 years. He reconstructs for us the movement that sought the spiritual, social, and political redemption of the Jews, a movement led by one family. The Jesus Dynasty offers an alternative version of Christian origins, one that takes us closer than ever to Jesus and his family and followers.
©2006 James D. Tabor; (P)2006 Simon & Schuster Inc.
"This book is accessible and sure to be highly controversial, attracting the attention of reporters, spiritual seekers, historians, and fans of The Da Vinci Code." (Publishers Weekly)
This is not historical mumbo-jumo like the "The Da Vinci Code." Tabors clearly works within the academic tradition, relying heavily on historical-critical method, but he is willing to fashion some unique ideas in his vision of who Jesus and his family member were and what they believed. Some of his ideas I don't buy. St. Matthew is one of Jesus' brothers? Maybe not. The ossuary of James is genuine? Doubt it. James is the ambiguous "beloved disciple" of John's gospel? I'm not so sure. But Tabor does much to restore James to his rightful place in the early church and elevate the importance of his letter. Bottom line: The author is unafraid to toss out novel interpretations while using tried and true methods. Try the book if you like the work of Bart Ehrman, Elaine Pagels or John Dominic Crossan.
-As a newcomer to the "historical" Jesus, I found this audio book hard to put down.
-Indeed, the authors' views come from a critical yet respectful reading of the new testament gospels.
-I thought it was well read.
I would recommend to those who are interested in the history of the times of Christ. If you are offended by challenges to accepted religious teachings, this book will fan the flames of indignation. The facts presented are fascinating, the conjectures interesting, the ruminations are food for thought. His depth of knowledge by archeological experience is evident. I believe the book suffers greatly by abridgment. I do not like the technique of posing, could it be, perhaps, is it possible, so that the listener forms the hypothesis as if it belongs to them. To Discovery Channel. He uses this technique way to much.
Why, Why, Oh Why must authors think they should narrate their own work? Spend the money and hire an actor, it is worth it.
Ignore the fact that the listening gets pretty dry in places. The author begins by debating the accuracy and origins of the accepted Gospels. His criticisms are certainly valid, but having destroyed the credibility of these sources, he immediately turns around and presents evidence to support his thesis from the very same sources. At one point, he complains about the grammar found in the Gospels, which he believes shows that the persons who transcribed the oral tradition had a limited understanding of Greek grammar, but wished to write in Greek so that the Gospels could be understood throughout the Roman Empire. But a significant piece of evidence that he presents amounts to the fact that two people choose differing words (words that mean virtually the same thing, but with slightly different connotations or contexts).
I will admit that the ideas are interesting, and the author brings to light certain ideas and practices of which I was unaware, but ultimately his two-faced attack and dependence on the Gospels makes the whole argument unsatisfying.
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