The Hidden History of Jesus, His Royal Family, and the Birth of Christianity
Simon and Schuster
Add to Wish List
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 twelve tribes 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.
No comments posted.
Registered users may leave comments.
Log in or register now!