Sunday, September 5, 2010

Book Review – The Jesus Dynasty

The Jesus Dynasty by James Tabor

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This book was very readable and fascinating. It proposes some very plausible explanations for the “historical” Jesus.


It does say that Christianity as we mostly know it today is based on visions by Paul that are not rooted in actual history so if you are not interested in hearing this, I’d suggest you not read the book.


If you want to read a well-researched alternative view of Jesus, I definitely recommend the book. It is not a Dan Brown, jump-all-over-the-place theory.

From the website (about the author):


James Tabor (Ph.D. 1981, University of Chicago) is Chair of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, where he has taught since 1989. He previously held positions at Notre Dame and the College of William & Mary. His training is as an historian of Christian Origins and Ancient Judaism. Tabor has combined extensive field experience in archaeology in Israel and Jordan with his work on ancient texts, including work at Qumran, Sepphoris, the “Suba” cave, and most recently, Mt. Zion in Jerusalem. He is chief editor of the Original Bible Project, a new scholarly translation of the Bible for the year 2012.

From the website (about the book):


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.

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 from him.  He joined a messianic movement begun by his relative John the Baptizer, whom he regarded as his teacher and as 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.

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I give this book 5 out of 5 butterflies. Well written, easy to understand and thoughtful.


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7 comments:

william said...

sounds like a good read nessa, thanks for sharing xx

Nessa said...

william: I found it very interesting.

Sue said...

Sounds interesting. Glad it is easy to understand - thanks for sharing your review.

Nessa said...

Sue: Gotta throw something different in every now and again.

SandyCarlson said...

Sounds like a good one. I'm a big fan of Marcus Borg. He cuts through the nonsense and gets right to the man named Jesus. Far more interesting than any church gig.

SandyCarlson said...

Sounds like a good one. I'm a big fan of Marcus Borg. He cuts through the nonsense and gets right to the man named Jesus. Far more interesting than any church gig.

Nessa said...

SandyCalson: I have to check out Marcus Borg.

I find the "real" story more fascinating. It amazes me what can grow from such humble beginnings.

Paul doesn't fair well in this book: he comes across as a manipulative person with hallucinations.