Now Available in Paperback with a New Epilogue and Update on the "Jesus Family Tomb"
Based on a careful
analysis of the earliest Christian documents and recent archeological
discoveries, The Jesus Dynasty offers a bold new interpretation of the
life of Jesus and the origins of Christianity.
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
twelve tribes of Israel, among whom he included his four
brothers. After he 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, preaching
a message based on his own revelations that 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 archeological 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. The story is surprising and controversial, but exciting as only a long-lost history can be when it is at last recovered.
This is a book that will change our
understanding of one of the most crucial moments in history.
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.
Visit Dr. James Tabor's personal website and blog at: JamesTabor.com