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Paul and Jesus: How the Apostle Transformed Christianity MP3 CD – Audiobook, MP3 Audio, Unabridged
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*Starred Review* There have been a number of books written about Paul and his relationship to the apostles; to James, the brother of Jesus; and to the early Christian community in Jerusalem. But Tabor, a professor of religion, does a particularly fine job of explaining Paul’s unique view of Jesus and how he originated a gospel that had almost nothing to do with the life of Jesus, nor the messianic message as it was understood by Jesus’ first followers. Tabor contends that Paul’s letters—Corinthians and Romans, especially—are the oldest biblical documents we have dating to Jesus’ time; the Gospels and even the Acts of the Apostles came later. Within this time line, it is possible to trace Paul’s thinking and to come to an understanding of both Paul’s gospel and the schism that developed between Paul and Jesus’ apostles. Tabor does very little speculating, keeping his focus on the texts and placing them within the context of first-century Judaism and early Christianity. The crisp, clear writing gives readers much to consider—especially the fact that it is a Pauline Christianity that most Christians practice today. Tabor writes in the preface that he has spent much of his adult life studying early Christianity in general and Paul in particular. The depth of his scholarship shows, but he also makes this an enjoyable read for those who want to know more about one of history’s greatest mysteries. --Ilene Cooper --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
"Highly recommended to all interested in the historic roots of Christianity, whether or not they are believers. After Tabor, you will never read the NT in quite the same way." ---Library Journal Starred Review
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Top Customer Reviews
As for the deliivery, the book was promised on April 28th and was recieved on time. While the book came in the usual cardboard box for books, the corners was badly damaged and the dust jacket was crumpled in the back and torn on corners. I immediately returned the book and promptly recieved a replacement free of mishandling.
Historically, it seems to me that the more people became interested and converted, the more a hierarchy developed, and the more distorted Jesus' actual teachings became in application because of adapting them to different and evolving cultures. It's much easier to make ideas conform to black and white standards than to prayerfully consider the thing nearest right under the circumstances.
I cannot recommend this book too highly. It does little more than examine what is in the text, the authentic letters of Paul, which are the most authentic and honest documents in the New Testament. And, as Tabor says, he makes what is familiar appear quite strange. If only we ask the right questions about what Paul is up to, what is really going on in his letters, a remarkable story emerges. And I don't know any scholar who does this better than Tabor.
This book also builds on important scholarly research and reflection on the critical figure of James, the brother of Jesus. There is much evidence that James was the real brother of Jesus, that he assumed leadership of the community after Jesus' death, and that he is the source if not the author of the shamefully neglected Letter of James. James is the nemesis of Paul, as Paul himself makes all too clear in the Letter to the Galatians. James preached none of the hellenistic divinizing doctrines about Jesus that Paul preached.
Paul is the one and only founder of Christianity, as we know it.
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