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The Jesus Dynasty: A New Historical Investigation of Jesus, His Royal Family, and the Birth of Christianity Audible – Abridged

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Editorial 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. He sheds new light on Jesus' relationship with John the Baptizer, the role played by his brother James, and how Paul's ministry transformed Jesus' message into what would become Christianity.

James Tabor has studied the earliest surviving documents of Christianity for more than 30 years. He 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.

©2006 James D. Tabor; (P)2006 Simon & Schuster Inc.

Product Details

  • Audible Audio Edition
  • Listening Length: 5 hours and 52 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Abridged
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
  • Release Date: March 28, 2006
  • Language: English
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank:

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

305 of 337 people found the following review helpful By Brian N. on April 5, 2006
Format: Hardcover
In response to the person who accused this book of being `flash over substance' and basically a Da Vinci Code rip off, I would say that they probably didn't read the book (Actually, I know that they didn't since the review is dated about a month before the book's release). The Jesus Dynasty is completely unrelated to Dan Brown's book, advocating an entirely different thesis. Tabor states this plainly in his preface and goes on to say of the Da Vinci Code, "while gripping fiction, this idea is long on speculation and short on evidence." The theories that Tabor proposes in The Jesus Dynasty are based entirely on an historical-critical examination of the surviving evidence of Jesus, his family, and early followers and what Tabor sees as the most likely interpretation of that evidence. Tabor brings to this endeavor 40 years of study on the topic at hand and is more than qualified to write this book. One reviewer asserted that `If not for "Da Vinci Code," this tripe would never have even been written.', but I can say as someone who has known Dr. Tabor personally for 8 years that the ideas presented in this book long predate and are not at all dependent on the Da Vinci Code or the pseudo-history of Baigent et al.

The Jesus Dynasty is Tabor's attempt at reconstructing the life of Jesus and his family. In many ways his attempt is quite daring and his ideas unique. The book will no doubt offend many who will not judge the book on its scholarship but will dogmatically reject what it says based on the beliefs which they bring to the book. On the whole, Tabor's attempt is believable, putting Jesus and his followers squarely in the historical context of first century Judaism. Some of the book's claims will certainly be a surprise to many readers.
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105 of 118 people found the following review helpful By shemayah phillips on April 11, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Dr. Tabor asked me to let him know what I thought of the book when I responded to an announcement he sent, so here we go. This is an excellent book with a few "maybe" spots. It presents a good historical background, in some ways reminiscent to Crossan and Reed _Excavating Jesus_, and very easy to read for most people. I will recommend the book, although I am not convinced fully about several of his arguments.

He does support some of my own ideas and teachings and so I am biased. One is that Yeshua was a real claimant for the Davidic throne. He makes it clear that Christianity has misrepresented the actual historical events and intentions of Yeshua, and follows a mythologized religion developed by Paul of Tarsus who never knew Yeshua in the flesh (or otherwise, IMO). The idea that Yeshua's movement was supported by a dynasty is not a secret to anyone familiar with the term desposyni (and I am not talking about "Grail" "DaVinci Code" "stuff"). There are many points to explore and consider in the book but I will mention only a few.

For me the most interesting argument is a double Davidic lineage, from Yosef and MIRYAM! I have been quick to point to the obvious failure of tracing a legitimate Davidic line through Yosef and God. Jeconiah (Y'konyah) disqualifies Yosef's entire branch of the family. I figured that the Lukan geneaology was another crap shoot attempt. In spite of my willingness to accept that Yeshua claimed legitimacy as a Davidic king, I could not remedy two bad geneaologies. But Dr. Tabor offers a solution to the problem via a good explanation of descent through Miryam.

He makes an extremely interesting case for Pantera (mentioned by Celsus and Toldot Yeshu) as the possible father of Yeshua.
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76 of 89 people found the following review helpful By Barrie A. Wilson on April 4, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This is an important book by a first rate archeologist and biblical scholar. Focusing on the family of Jesus, Tabor probes his genealogical antecedents, the contours of life, his personal relationships, mission and subsequent family history. The product of some 40 years working in the field, knowing the primary languages and studying the texts, Tabor investigates Jesus' genealogy, coming up with an innovative way of reconciling the different accounts in Matthew and Luke.

Tabor also provides a fresh perspective on Jesus brothers and their role in Jesus' life. Tabor argues that Clophas (Alphaeus), Joseph's brother, following Jewish law, marries Mary after the death of Joseph and has children with her - four half-brothers (who are named) and at least two sisters. This also allows us to see that Jesus' (half)-brothers are also members of his inner circle of disciples, something Tabor flags as "perhaps the best-kept secret in the entire New Testament" (p.165). I personally found this intriguing and his solution helps resolve a lot of puzzles.

Tabor traces the close connections between the missions of John the Baptizer and Jesus himself; probes the identity of the "beloved disciple;" examines alternative sites for Jesus' crucifixion; and discusses the meaning of "being raised on the third day." There is lot of very important material to reflect on in these chapters as Tabor probes the political aspect of Jesus' mission. One of the most intriguing discussions centers upon why the role of James has been obscured in later Christian tradition. We are only now coming to realize his importance within early Christianity, as the leader par excellence. Tabor investigates what we now know ofJames, asking such questions as: Who was he? What were his beliefs and practices?
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