Synopses & Reviews
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. Jesus, as we know, was the son of Mary, a young woman who became pregnant before her marriage to a man named Joseph. The gospels tell us that Jesus had four brothers and two sisters, all of whom probably had a different father than his. He joined a messianic movement begun by his relative John the Baptizer, whom he regarded as his teacher and a great prophet. John and Jesus together filled the roles of the Two Messiahs who were expected at the time: John, as a priestly descendant of Aaron, and Jesus, as a royal descendant of David. Together they preached the coming of the Kingdom of God. Theirs was an apocalyptic movement that expected God to establish his kingdom on earth, as described by the Prophets. The Two Messiahs lived in a time of turmoil as the historical land of Israel was dominated by the powerful Roman Empire. Fierce Jewish rebellions against Rome occurred during Jesus' lifetime.
John and Jesus preached adherence to the Torah, or the Jewish Law. But their mission was changed dramatically when John was arrested and then killed. After a period of uncertainty, Jesus began preaching anew in Galilee and challenged the Roman authorities and their Jewish collaborators in Jerusalem. He appointed a Council of Twelve to rule over the twelvetribes of Israel, and among the Twelve he included his four brothers. After Jesus was crucified by the Romans, his brother James -- the Beloved Disciple -- took over leadership of the Jesus dynasty.
James, like John and Jesus before him, saw himself as a faithful Jew. None of them believed that their movement was a new religion. It was Paul who transformed Jesus and his message through his ministry to the Gentiles. Breaking with James and the followers of Jesus in Jerusalem, Paul preached a message based on his own revelations, which would become Christianity. Jesus became a figure whose humanity was obscured; John became merely a forerunner of Jesus; and James and the others were all but forgotten.
James Tabor has studied the earliest surviving documents of Christianity for more than thirty years and has participated in important archaeological excavations in Israel. Drawing on this background, Tabor 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.
This is a book that will change our understanding of one of the most crucial moments in history.
Based on close analysis of early Christian documents and recent archeological discoveries by the author and other experts, "The Jesus Dynasty" offers a bold new interpretation of the life of Jesus and the origins of Christianity. of illustrations. (Christian Religion)
andlt;iandgt;The Jesus Dynastyandlt;/iandgt; 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." andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt; In andlt;iandgt;The Jesus Dynastyandlt;/iandgt;, 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. andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt; 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.
About the Author
James D. Tabor is Chair of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He holds a Ph.D. in biblical studies from the University of Chicago and is an expert on the Dead Sea Scrolls and Christian origins. The author of several previous books, he is frequently consulted by the media on these topics and has appeared on numerous television and radio programs.
Table of Contents
Preface: Discovering the Jesus Dynasty
Introduction: A Tale of Two Tombs
Part One: In the Beginning Was the Family
1. A Virgin Shall Conceive
2. A Son of David?
3. An Unnamed Father of Jesus?
4. Children of a Different Father
Part Two: Growing Up Jewish in Galilee
5. The Lost Years
6. A Kingdom of this World
7. The Religion of Jesus the Jew
Part Three: A Great Revival and a Gathering Storm
8. Hearing the Voice
9. A Crucial Missing Year
10. Ushering in the Kingdom
Part Four: Entering the Lion's Den
11. Herod Strikes
12. Last Days in Jerusalem
13. The King Is Dead
14. Dead but Twice Buried
Part Five: Waiting for the Son of Man
15. Go to James the Just
16. The Challenge of Paul
17. The Legacy of the Jesus Dynasty
18. The End of the Age
Conclusion: Recovering Lost Treasures
Timeline of Major Events and Figures