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

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9780007220595: The Jesus Dynasty: The Hidden History of Jesus, His Royal Family, and the Birth

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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About the Author:

James D. Tabor is chair of the department of religious studies at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte. He holds a PhD in biblical studies and is an expert on Christian origins. He is the author of several books, among them The Jesus Dynasty. Visit him online at JamesTabor.com.

From Booklist:

Startling claims in nonfiction works about Jesus and early Christianity are hardly new (hello, Holy Blood, Holy Grail), but Tabor, an academic and archaeologist, makes a solid case for the dynastic aspects of the Jesus movement and the importance of James the Just, Jesus' brother, during the period when the early church was forming. That said, the structure of the book seems scattered. Tabor begins with several exciting archaeological finds with which he was involved, including the discovery of a cave that might have been used by John the Baptist and the very recent discovery of a tomb with ossuaries that could be linked to Jesus' family members. This fascinating narrative hooks readers but doesn't quite meld with the rest of the book. Another problem is his emphasis on the genealogies of Jesus presented in Matthew and Luke, which are discounted by many scholars. Yet Tabor dares to go where few authors do: he takes on the subjects of Jesus' earthly paternity (including the case for a Roman father), his relationship to John the Baptist as partner rather than forerunner, and Jesus' expectations for his movement (as opposed to the direction in which it was taken by Paul). This breaks new ground on the journey to find the historical Jesus, and it is certain to prompt much discussion--and not a little controversy. Ilene Cooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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