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The Jesus Dynasty: The Hidden History of Jesus, His Royal Family and the Birth of Christianity

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The Jesus Dynasty offers a startling new interpretation of the life of Jesus and the origins of Christianity that is grounded in careful analysis of the earliest Christian documents and recent archaeological discoveries, including the much-discussed "Jesus family tomb."In The Jesus Dynasty, biblical scholar James Tabor brings us closer than ever to the historical Jesus. He The Jesus Dynasty offers a startling new interpretation of the life of Jesus and the origins of Christianity that is grounded in careful analysis of the earliest Christian documents and recent archaeological discoveries, including the much-discussed "Jesus family tomb."In The Jesus Dynasty, biblical scholar James Tabor brings us closer than ever to the historical Jesus. He explains the crucial relationship between Jesus, a royal descendant of David, and his relative John the Baptizer, a priestly descendant of Aaron and Jesus' teacher. When John was killed, several of his followers -- including Jesus' four brothers -- joined with Jesus, who continued John's mission, preaching the same apocalyptic message. After Jesus confronted the Roman authorities in Jerusalem and was crucified, his brother James succeeded him as the leader of the Jesus dynasty.James Tabor has studied the earliest surviving documents of Christianity for more than thirty years and has participated in important archaeological excavations in Israel. His reconstruction of the life of Jesus and his followers, and of the early years of Christianity, will change our understanding of one of the most crucial moments in history.


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The Jesus Dynasty offers a startling new interpretation of the life of Jesus and the origins of Christianity that is grounded in careful analysis of the earliest Christian documents and recent archaeological discoveries, including the much-discussed "Jesus family tomb."In The Jesus Dynasty, biblical scholar James Tabor brings us closer than ever to the historical Jesus. He The Jesus Dynasty offers a startling new interpretation of the life of Jesus and the origins of Christianity that is grounded in careful analysis of the earliest Christian documents and recent archaeological discoveries, including the much-discussed "Jesus family tomb."In The Jesus Dynasty, biblical scholar James Tabor brings us closer than ever to the historical Jesus. He explains the crucial relationship between Jesus, a royal descendant of David, and his relative John the Baptizer, a priestly descendant of Aaron and Jesus' teacher. When John was killed, several of his followers -- including Jesus' four brothers -- joined with Jesus, who continued John's mission, preaching the same apocalyptic message. After Jesus confronted the Roman authorities in Jerusalem and was crucified, his brother James succeeded him as the leader of the Jesus dynasty.James Tabor has studied the earliest surviving documents of Christianity for more than thirty years and has participated in important archaeological excavations in Israel. His reconstruction of the life of Jesus and his followers, and of the early years of Christianity, will change our understanding of one of the most crucial moments in history.

30 review for The Jesus Dynasty: The Hidden History of Jesus, His Royal Family and the Birth of Christianity

  1. 4 out of 5

    Vegantrav

    Before saying anything else, I must say that this book has absolutely nothing to do with the inane ideas that Jesus survived his crucifixion, married Mary Magdalene, moved to France, and had children whose descendants are alive even today. There is nothing in this book remotely similar to the ideas in Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code or in books like Holy Blood, Holy Grail. The implications of the title notwithstanding, The Jesus Dynasty is a serious work of scholarship by James Tabor, who is a pro Before saying anything else, I must say that this book has absolutely nothing to do with the inane ideas that Jesus survived his crucifixion, married Mary Magdalene, moved to France, and had children whose descendants are alive even today. There is nothing in this book remotely similar to the ideas in Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code or in books like Holy Blood, Holy Grail. The implications of the title notwithstanding, The Jesus Dynasty is a serious work of scholarship by James Tabor, who is a professor of religious studies at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. The dynasty referenced in the title refers to the leadership of Jesus's messianic movement being passed from Jesus to his brothers. Tabor offers a unique perspective on Jesus. Whereas most of the recent historical Jesus work tends to see Jesus as some sort of social and/or religious reformer or revolutionary (Crossan, Borg) or as an apocalyptic prophet (Schweizter, Sanders, and, to a degree, Wright), Tabor paints a portrait of Jesus as primarily a political rebel: according to Tabor (who, unlike most New Testament scholars, sees the genealogies in Matthew and Luke as being somewhat accurate), Jesus was a descendant of David, and thus a legitimate claimant to the throne of Israel, who saw himself as one of two Messiahs (Tabor argues that Jesus shared the beliefs of the Qumran community that there would be two Messiahs: a priestly Messiah, whom Jesus identified as John the Baptist, and a royal Messiah, Jesus himself)) who would lead Israel in its overthrow of Roman rule and usher in the kingdom of God. The kingdom of God was not some spiritual notion for Jesus; rather, according to Tabor, it was an actual kingdom on earth that would be ruled by God's Messiah, Jesus, in accord with the law (Torah) of God. While Tabor's thesis is fascinating, the evidence to support his view is lacking. He makes some rather Carl Lewis-esque leaps to his conclusions. He begins with few solid historical facts and then extrapolates about what might have or could have been the case. This is not terribly good history, but it is great historical speculation. Now, this is not to say that Tabor is wrong in his conclusions but just that he does not have sufficient evidence to prove his case. What I liked best about this book was Tabor's strong presentation of the case for James, the brother of Jesus, being the most important figure in the early Jesus movement, at least until Paul. Clearly, from Paul's letter to the Galations and even in Luke's account of the Jerusalem Council in Acts, James was the leader of the Jerusalem Christians, even more important than Peter. I also found fascinating Tabor's argument that James and several other brothers of Jesus (Simon, Joseph/Joses, and Judas) were all among Jesus's twelve disciples, but other than the similarity of names of some the disciples and Jesus's brothers, there is no real evidence to support this speculation, and yet it seems to me that this would have been quite probable. Tabor also makes a very strong case for Paul basically inventing orthodox Christianity, which is largely a mainstream idea in contemporary New Testament scholarship. Paul never knew Jesus personally and based his theology almost exclusively on his personal visions and revelations. Paul's Christianity, which focused on the Jesus himself and Jesus's death, differed markedly from the Jewish Christianity of James, which focused on the message and mission of Jesus. The Jewish Christians, even after the death of Jesus, tried to carry on Jesus's work, which was the overthrow of the Roman Empire: they were an apocalyptic congregation preparing for the rapidly approaching end of the current age of Roman rule; they anticipated the coming of the kingdom of God when Israel would no longer be subject to foreign masters, and God's justice would rule the world. Obviously, such a temporal, political Christianity is radically different from Paul's otherworldly Christianity where Jesus, rather than being a political revolutionary, serves as an atoning sacrifice who reconciled God and humanity. With the fall of Jerusalem in 70 CE and the eventual complete defeat of the Jewish rebels following the Bar Kochba rebellion in 135 CE coupled with the amazing success of Paul's missionary efforts, Paul's Christianity became orthodox Christianity, supplanting Jewish Christianity and the mission that Jesus himself had begun. Tabor argues, and here I agree with him, that the Ebionites, a sect of Jewish Christianity condemned as heretical by the orthodox church historian Eusebius, were the true heirs of the Jesus movement. Besides the evidentiary problems, there is one other major short-coming with this book: Tabor really does not address the resurrection. If we grant that his thesis is true, what role did the resurrection play in the Christianity of the Jewish Christians, and how did they come to believe that Jesus had been resurrected? I imagine that Tabor would argue that the belief in the resurrection (whatever the cause of this belief) came to symbolize God's justification of Jesus's life and mission, and the resurrection served as a sign that God had not, despite Jesus's devastating crucifixion and death, abandoned the Jewish people but would still intervene in history to bring about the kingdom of God. All in all, despite not presenting strong evidence for his thesis, I found Tabor's arguments still plausible. Tabor presents a Jesus radically different from most of the reconstructions of the historical Jesus that New Testament scholars have presented over the last quarter of a century. This was a thought-provoking read and was also highly entertaining.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Xenophon Hendrix

    I have been looking for a book like this one for over twenty years, an account free of religious doctrine of the historical Jesus and the earliest days of Christianity. Given the relatively scant amount of evidence available, I can't say that I believe Dr. Tabor has provided a history that is definitely true and unchallengeable, but his story makes sense, and to my layman's eyes there appears no straining to get the puzzle pieces to fit. The result is fascinating and highly recommended. Dr. Tabor I have been looking for a book like this one for over twenty years, an account free of religious doctrine of the historical Jesus and the earliest days of Christianity. Given the relatively scant amount of evidence available, I can't say that I believe Dr. Tabor has provided a history that is definitely true and unchallengeable, but his story makes sense, and to my layman's eyes there appears no straining to get the puzzle pieces to fit. The result is fascinating and highly recommended. Dr. Tabor restores the historical importance of John the Baptist, James the brother of Jesus, and the rest of Jesus's family. He explains just where Paul fits into Christianity and where he got his ideas. (Paul's teaching came almost entirely from his own mystical visions.) Tabor explains what Jesus and John the Baptist were trying to accomplish and the importance of the Q document. He helps clear up the mystery of what Jesus was doing between childhood and the start of his ministry. In an epilogue, Tabor gives strong evidence that the tomb of Jesus and several members of his family has been found. The book is well and clearly written. The author does not throw around unexplained jargon. Useful maps and a timeline are provided. The book is copiously footnoted, and references to the Bible are inline so that they can be easily looked up for the reader who wants to check them out for himself. The author also has a website that provides additional material: http://religiousstudies.uncc.edu/peop...

  3. 4 out of 5

    D.M. Kenyon

    It is difficult to find good material on the history of Jesus that is not laced with didactic case-making or atheistic case-breaking. James Tabor, however, present the what mankind knows about 1st Century Israel and the life of Jesus from a scholarly perspective based on archaeological data and not mythology. Surprisingly, the life of Jesus actually takes on great meaning in this agnostic historical context as we learn about a young man who knowingly gave his life in an attempt to restore Judaism It is difficult to find good material on the history of Jesus that is not laced with didactic case-making or atheistic case-breaking. James Tabor, however, present the what mankind knows about 1st Century Israel and the life of Jesus from a scholarly perspective based on archaeological data and not mythology. Surprisingly, the life of Jesus actually takes on great meaning in this agnostic historical context as we learn about a young man who knowingly gave his life in an attempt to restore Judaism that had eroded under Roman Occupation. Tabor makes an incredibly strong case against many myths regarding the life of Jesus. He present the evidence that Jesus was married and had children. We see glimpses of his mother and her ancestral line as well as her adopted father, Joseph. The Jesus Dynasty in my mind is the beginning of a considerable scholastic effort to set the record straight about the real life of this most important historical figure. While it asks more questions than it answers, this book will serve as a marker for further research that will never be complete until outsiders are allowed in the Vatican Library. This book depicts a hero that to my non-Christian mind is more impressive than the legend.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kristin

    I borrowed a copy of this book out from my local library. This book was so cool to read. I loved how the author used more sources than just the Gospels, outside sources, and explained things in a cultural perspective. This year I have tried and tried to sit down and read the Bible, even a little a day and get through the whole thing. In January I did really well. As the days progressed though, it became harder and harder for me to fit it into my schedule, and the readings seemed to get longer and I borrowed a copy of this book out from my local library. This book was so cool to read. I loved how the author used more sources than just the Gospels, outside sources, and explained things in a cultural perspective. This year I have tried and tried to sit down and read the Bible, even a little a day and get through the whole thing. In January I did really well. As the days progressed though, it became harder and harder for me to fit it into my schedule, and the readings seemed to get longer and longer. However, the little that I did read either brought up more questions, or some suspicion. After all, did Noah really live to 900ish years? Getting back to the point, the author of this book made it very believable in his hypotheses, even using statistics to lend a very credible air to his argument that the probability of the "Jesus tomb" being the tomb of the one in the Bible was pretty darn convincing. The way that he explained the way Jesus probably thought culturally, was inspiring. The only thing I didn't like was towards the end, the author seemed to be very anti-Paul. However, maybe it should be, maybe the real Jesus would have been.

  5. 5 out of 5

    EJ Knapp

    Having been raised a Christian, a religious concept I rejected pretty early on, I have a particular fondness for the historical Jesus. During my years in college I did a lot of reading on this subject so, when I came across The Jesus Dynasty: The Hidden History of Jesus, His Royal Family, and the Birth of Christianity by James D. Tabor recently, I snatched it up. Dr. Tabor is the chair of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina and is considered an expert on the De Having been raised a Christian, a religious concept I rejected pretty early on, I have a particular fondness for the historical Jesus. During my years in college I did a lot of reading on this subject so, when I came across The Jesus Dynasty: The Hidden History of Jesus, His Royal Family, and the Birth of Christianity by James D. Tabor recently, I snatched it up. Dr. Tabor is the chair of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina and is considered an expert on the Dead Sea Scrolls and on Christian origins. I am familiar with some of his earlier work and found The Jesus Dynasty to be both an informative and enjoyable read. By examining recent archeological finds in Israel and through the careful reading of existing and more recently discovered ancient texts, Dr. Tabor has painted a much fuller picture of the historical life of Jesus than I ever got back in my college days. A picture which has been grossly edited by later writers to fit Jesus more neatly onto his Christian throne than he ever intended to be. Indeed, it is my belief the poor guy is spinning at a rather high rate of speed inside his ossuary in whatever tomb, possibly as yet undiscovered, that ossuary might be sealed in. As a writer, though, the thing that struck me hardest during my read of The Jesus Dynasty was not so much the facts and informed speculations Dr. Tabor made but rather the picture of the times in which Jesus walked the earth; the poverty and oppression of the populace, the cruelty of the Roman conquerors, the barbarism of the Jewish leaders over their own kind, all of which fomented an undercurrent of rebellion which Jesus and John the Baptizer emerged the leaders of. This Jesus became more human to me, more real, than any religious exposure to him had ever shown me. It was a story of passion and rebellion, of deceit and danger at every turn. Jesus and John, the King and the Priest foretold of in the prophecies of the time, had nothing less in mind than the complete overthrow of the Roman yoke and the coming of the kingdom of their god. And in the end it’s a tragic story. The priest beheaded, the king, through some judicious rereading of the prophecies to account for this unexpected event, walking boldly into the lions den, fully aware of the danger awaiting him, believing that though his god demanded his suffering, he would, in the end, save him from death there-by heralding a new day when the Romans would be vanquished, the overlords scattered and the chosen people would live free and in peace. What a disappointment he must have suffered, along with all the other horrors of the cross, when death came instead of his god.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Makayla

    The Jesus Dynasty by James D. Tabor, religion professor at University of North Carolina, is a fascinating, eye-opening book about the life of Jesus and what we can glean about his true teachings from specific books in the Bible. Tabor follows Jesus as he becomes an apocalyptic preacher in a movement started by John the Baptist. Tabor clearly makes the case that the religious beliefs of Jesus, his brother James, and John the Baptist, are different from that of the future Christian teachings of Pa The Jesus Dynasty by James D. Tabor, religion professor at University of North Carolina, is a fascinating, eye-opening book about the life of Jesus and what we can glean about his true teachings from specific books in the Bible. Tabor follows Jesus as he becomes an apocalyptic preacher in a movement started by John the Baptist. Tabor clearly makes the case that the religious beliefs of Jesus, his brother James, and John the Baptist, are different from that of the future Christian teachings of Paul, who actually never met Jesus. Tabor shows how the Christian religion that took hold in subsequent centuries after Jesus' death was based on the teachings of Paul to the Gentiles, more so than the religious beliefs of Jesus, who was a practicing Jew, and never referred to himself or any of his followers as Christian, nor did he ever refer to himself as "Jesus Christ." This book definitely stretches one's mind and viewpoints when considering the religious history of the establishment of Christianity by the Church as opposed to the true teachings and life of Jesus.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Petra

    In this book, Dr. Tabor looks at the original gospels & texts, as well as recent archaeological finds, ancient Jewish customs & beliefs and puts them all together, trying to find Jesus the man. This is an interesting look at the findings and he has some extremely interesting ideas of where the evidence is taking the story of Jesus, his times and his family. This book was well laid out, well explained and well thought out. Dr. Tabor never says that the evidence can only be read one way; he states In this book, Dr. Tabor looks at the original gospels & texts, as well as recent archaeological finds, ancient Jewish customs & beliefs and puts them all together, trying to find Jesus the man. This is an interesting look at the findings and he has some extremely interesting ideas of where the evidence is taking the story of Jesus, his times and his family. This book was well laid out, well explained and well thought out. Dr. Tabor never says that the evidence can only be read one way; he states that more research is needed and more findings. Some interesting ideas in this book: who is Jesus' earthly father? is a fairly recently discovered tomb the tomb of Jesus' family? What did Jesus & John have in mind when starting the movement? Who was Jesus? Why was Jesus' family (very much a part of his group) effectively written out of the gospels? An interesting and enjoyable read.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Taracuda

    I had no issue with the subject matter explored in this book, such as Trabor's theories around the paternity of Jesus or role of John the Baptist. I did, however, have issues with the way he presented his supporting evidence. He was dealing in possibility, but he presented it as probability. He would leap from "hey, this was a common name for Romans soldiers in the area" to "THIS COULD BE THE TOMB OF JESUS' HUMAN FATHER" without documenting compelling evidence. Maybe the evidence is there, but i I had no issue with the subject matter explored in this book, such as Trabor's theories around the paternity of Jesus or role of John the Baptist. I did, however, have issues with the way he presented his supporting evidence. He was dealing in possibility, but he presented it as probability. He would leap from "hey, this was a common name for Romans soldiers in the area" to "THIS COULD BE THE TOMB OF JESUS' HUMAN FATHER" without documenting compelling evidence. Maybe the evidence is there, but it was considered too esoteric and involved for a popular press read? I kept wanting to review his source material to see if I would draw the same conclusions. It was ok. I learned somethings about first century Jewish life from reading it. I was expecting something more academically rigorous, I guess.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Josh

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Tabor's extensive research really shows in this book. The premise that James, not Peter, as the successor of Jesus' movement may seem outlandish, but Tabor pulls it off. Looking at Jesus as a historical figure, rather than a divine one, may be too much for most Christians to swallow. And at the end of the day, Tabor acknowledges that there are some things we'll never know definitively (Jesus' real father, his rightful successor, etc.), but until better answers come along, this will suffice. I gr Tabor's extensive research really shows in this book. The premise that James, not Peter, as the successor of Jesus' movement may seem outlandish, but Tabor pulls it off. Looking at Jesus as a historical figure, rather than a divine one, may be too much for most Christians to swallow. And at the end of the day, Tabor acknowledges that there are some things we'll never know definitively (Jesus' real father, his rightful successor, etc.), but until better answers come along, this will suffice. I greatly appreciate Tabor's transparency and willingness to admit that he doesn't have all the answers. It is the scholars who claim they do that concern me.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Walter

    This book empowerd my take off into the most Historical time of my life.. The vision and the imaginative mind set you will get from this book will have you looking for more.. If you want to stand out amoung your frends and co-workers, James Tabor present a seriously will biblical and historical analysis of the earliest Christian... With maps Notes that will keep you involved with your study of Jesus and Christianity.. This book provides a detailed examination of Jesus dynasty, the real thing...

  11. 5 out of 5

    John Law

    Really enjoyed reading this. And liked the balanced academic but very readable approach to the subject. Thoroughly recommend this to anyone, like me, who was brought up in a Christian family and who feels the need to question many of the foundations of the faith one has lived with for many years. Excellent.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jo

    This non-fiction book was a great story of the historical Jesus. I discovered much about the time he lived and the people he loved, but I especially was enthralled with John the Baptist and his influence on Jesus.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Martin

    A really interesting book. This author amplifies the difference between St Paul's Christianity and the Jewish version of Jesus' brother James. Although there are some unnecessary, somewhat sensationalist claims over tombs and excavated sites, it offered a new and convincing perspective for me. A really interesting book. This author amplifies the difference between St Paul's Christianity and the Jewish version of Jesus' brother James. Although there are some unnecessary, somewhat sensationalist claims over tombs and excavated sites, it offered a new and convincing perspective for me.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Michel Yan

    Amazing but convincing

  15. 4 out of 5

    Tony Sunderland

    Most independent (non Christian) historians avoid investigating the historical validity of the life of Jesus. Some historians, have even contended that Jesus of Nazareth was not a real person but rather a mythical construction made to fit Judaism within the realm of other pagan religions. Various ancient religious traditions included stories about a god who dies and comes back to life. Osiris from the Egyptian religion, Heracles from the Greeks and the Mesopotamian myth of Tammuz are all example Most independent (non Christian) historians avoid investigating the historical validity of the life of Jesus. Some historians, have even contended that Jesus of Nazareth was not a real person but rather a mythical construction made to fit Judaism within the realm of other pagan religions. Various ancient religious traditions included stories about a god who dies and comes back to life. Osiris from the Egyptian religion, Heracles from the Greeks and the Mesopotamian myth of Tammuz are all examples of a god who rises from the dead. Other scholars, who are also sceptical about the historical validity of Jesus, argue that he may have been a mythical personification of Jewish wisdom. The Old Testament gives lifelike qualities to wisdom, a divine creation of God that exists outside earthy existence. Another theory that rejects the validity of the historical Jesus contends that the story of Jesus and his life’s mission was based on a rebellious Jew who lived around a century before the commonly accepted time of Jesus’s death. However, there appears to be enough evidence to conclude that Jesus of Nazareth was indeed a real person who preached a form of apocalyptical Judaism in the early years of the first millennium. Professor James Tabor is brave enough in this book, to give us new and unique take on the life and times of Jesus of Nazareth. Tabor argues that the real words and works of Jesus are contained in the lost sources (Q) and the Letter of James. They show a human Jesus who is also a Messianic Jewish prophet. He concludes that a new interpretation of the life of Jesus that embraces both his Jewishness and his humanity can create a bridge of understanding between Judaism, Islam and Christianity. From the book: ‘If nothing else, the insights revealed through an understanding of the Jesus dynasty can open wide new and fruitful doors of dialogue and understanding among these three great traditions that have in the past considered their views of Jesus to be so sharply contradictory as to close off discussion.’ Controversially, Tabor also argues the following with regards to the Jewish ‘Jesus dynasty’; • Mary, the mother of Jesus most probably became pregnant by another man whilst engaged to Joseph. • Mary would marry at least two times. First to Joseph, then upon his death to his brother Clophas. • Mary would give birth to seven children; five boys (including Jesus) and two girls. • John the Baptist was a cousin of Jesus and had almost an equal part in the mission of Jesus. John was seen as the predicted priestly Messiah whilst Jesus was the kingly Messiah of the House of David. • The end of days was upon all humanity and God would intervene at a crucial moment and redeem the righteous. Jesus did not expect to be put to death; rather he would be saved by divine intervention. • The Council of 12 would rule over the new Kingdom of God on Earth. • James, Simon, Jude and Jose would each take the position of leader of the Jewish Christians. Professor Tabor’s vision of a possible reconciliation of the Abrahamic faiths hinges on the idea that Jesus was an itinerant Jewish preacher who lived and died as a faithful Jew of his time.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Layla

    This is a fascinating, engaging, and well-written investigation into the historical life of Jesus Christ. The author produced a very responsible and respectful hypothesis into the life of Jesus, his message, and what followed his death. He makes it clear that his theories are based on the removal of theological context, and he tries - at all points - to place Jesus in a historical context, in essence making him a man of his place and time, with all that that would entail. I found it to be a very This is a fascinating, engaging, and well-written investigation into the historical life of Jesus Christ. The author produced a very responsible and respectful hypothesis into the life of Jesus, his message, and what followed his death. He makes it clear that his theories are based on the removal of theological context, and he tries - at all points - to place Jesus in a historical context, in essence making him a man of his place and time, with all that that would entail. I found it to be a very interesting treatment of the subject and one which doesn't aim to take sides or marginalize any group or school of thought. The conclusion he comes to is one which seems intuitive - that Jesus was transmitting a message from God that had been passed down from the time of Abraham, that he was not ushering in a 'new' religion, but was reforming and refining an existing one. It is a fascinating tale. And I commend the author on his careful and respectful treatment of such a sensitive topic. Nowhere is the author's aim better expressed than in this passage from the conclusion: "It is impossible to gaze upon 'facts' without interpretation. [...] There is no absolutely objective place to stand. As long as we recognize our limitations of method and resist equating our own reconstructions with absolute truth we can at least seek to approximate a standard of best evidence. [..] A conscious humility before the evidence is absolutely essential."

  17. 5 out of 5

    Judith

    Informative. Enlightening. Provocative. Dr. James D. Tabor is chair of the Dept. of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and is an expert on the Dead Sea Scrolls and Christian origins. He has studied the earliest surviving documents of Christianity for more than 30 years and participated in important archaelogical excavations in Israel. This book presents a reconstruction of the life of Jesus, his family and the Jerusalem Nazarenes. It is chock-full of historical a Informative. Enlightening. Provocative. Dr. James D. Tabor is chair of the Dept. of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and is an expert on the Dead Sea Scrolls and Christian origins. He has studied the earliest surviving documents of Christianity for more than 30 years and participated in important archaelogical excavations in Israel. This book presents a reconstruction of the life of Jesus, his family and the Jerusalem Nazarenes. It is chock-full of historical and biblical facts, and compelling evidence, but it is surprisingly easy to read and flows smoothly from introduction to conclusion. Dr. Tabor pursues the true story of the historical Jesus by working with surviving evidence like a CSI investigator. I felt like I was reading about someone I thought I knew, whose family was known to me, and whose traditional legacy to the world was a given ... but with each new discovery presented by Dr. Tabor, every newly unearthed piece of evidence, a whole new person, family, legacy are revealed. Fascinating reading.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Dennis Dupuis

    I loved this book. The information was thought-provoking and comforting at the same time. It reaffirmed my questions and provided some potential answers while leaving my faith IN CHRIST, intact. I'll read this one again. It's a history book that feels a little closer to the truth than the version selectively captured in the bible. I loved this book. The information was thought-provoking and comforting at the same time. It reaffirmed my questions and provided some potential answers while leaving my faith IN CHRIST, intact. I'll read this one again. It's a history book that feels a little closer to the truth than the version selectively captured in the bible.

  19. 4 out of 5

    casey

    This book was really good. It is not a Catholic book, but it gives you other ideas of how Jesus lived, christianity, and his family. I learned quit a bit about where Mary came from, Joseph, and the environment during the time of Jesus. I will definately read this again one day.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Pete daPixie

    Tabor is chair of religious studies at the University of North Carolina. He uncovers the family of Jesus that has been hidden by time and early Christianity. Excellent interpretation that takes us closer to the truth of Jesus, his family and movement.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kimberly Kieffer

    An expertly written work exploring the life of the historical Jesus, this book uses biblical archeological data and literary critique to illuminate who Jesus and his family were and there place in ancient world.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    One of the most fascinating books I have ever read. It actually makes sense of the Gospels and ties together so many of the people mentioned.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Keith Akers

    This is the best known modern historian of Jewish Christianity. He talks about the family of Jesus.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Indranil Sinha

    amazing book ! thorough research ! changes the very concepts on which christianity stands .

  25. 4 out of 5

    Tamsin Ramone

    I've read a lot on the history of Jesus and its hard to find information that isn't based on the ignorance of the reader. Tabor does a brilliant job, best book I read in 2011. I've read a lot on the history of Jesus and its hard to find information that isn't based on the ignorance of the reader. Tabor does a brilliant job, best book I read in 2011.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Franz

    A very thought-provoking book. Excellent read. I had started this book in January of 2015, then dropped it and picked it up again (re-reading what I had read previously) in May of 2016.

  27. 5 out of 5

    John Christian

    Readable, intelligent, brilliantly and thoroughly researched, an absolute necessity for anyone interested in the birth of Christianity or the life of Jesus of Nazareth.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Sanda Kateley

    Very interesting look at several different sources and comparing of facts.

  29. 5 out of 5

    T.M. Mike Brown

    Want to challenge your knowledge of the facts that you need to know to solidify your faith, it's a must read. Want to challenge your knowledge of the facts that you need to know to solidify your faith, it's a must read.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Thomas Potter

    Interesting Puts the life of Jesus into perspective as he lived life as a Jewish man. A very thought provoking book.

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