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Publisher's Summary

Based on a careful analysis of the earliest Christian documents and recent archaeological discoveries, The Jesus Dynasty offers a bold new interpretation of the life of Jesus and the origins of Christianity. The story is surprising, controversial, and exciting as only a long-lost history can be when it is at last recovered.

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.

Critic Reviews

"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)

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  • Overall
  • Dan
  • Wauwatosa, WI United States
  • 08-27-06

Provocative book

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.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Nathan
  • Atlanta, GA, USA
  • 05-09-08


-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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Worth a listen

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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Great Book

A must read for anyone who is interested in truthful history .Dr.Tabor gives a knowledgeable and thoughtful narrative. I have listened to this book more than once each time I learn something new. There is so much information that you may want to buy the hard copy to keep on your personal library.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Steven
  • Martinsville, VA, USA
  • 05-23-06

Interesting, but not Satisfying

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.

4 of 8 people found this review helpful