The Jesus Dynasty

  • by James D. Tabor
  • Narrated by James D. Tabor
  • 5 hrs and 52 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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.


What the Critics Say

"This book is accessible and sure to be highly controversial, attracting the attention of reporters, spiritual seekers, historians, and fans of The Da Vinci Code." (Publishers Weekly)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Provocative book

This is not historical mumbo-jumo like the "The Da Vinci Code." Tabors clearly works within the academic tradition, relying heavily on historical-critical method, but he is willing to fashion some unique ideas in his vision of who Jesus and his family member were and what they believed. Some of his ideas I don't buy. St. Matthew is one of Jesus' brothers? Maybe not. The ossuary of James is genuine? Doubt it. James is the ambiguous "beloved disciple" of John's gospel? I'm not so sure. But Tabor does much to restore James to his rightful place in the early church and elevate the importance of his letter. Bottom line: The author is unafraid to toss out novel interpretations while using tried and true methods. Try the book if you like the work of Bart Ehrman, Elaine Pagels or John Dominic Crossan.
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- Dan

Interesting, but not Satisfying

Ignore the fact that the listening gets pretty dry in places. The author begins by debating the accuracy and origins of the accepted Gospels. His criticisms are certainly valid, but having destroyed the credibility of these sources, he immediately turns around and presents evidence to support his thesis from the very same sources. At one point, he complains about the grammar found in the Gospels, which he believes shows that the persons who transcribed the oral tradition had a limited understanding of Greek grammar, but wished to write in Greek so that the Gospels could be understood throughout the Roman Empire. But a significant piece of evidence that he presents amounts to the fact that two people choose differing words (words that mean virtually the same thing, but with slightly different connotations or contexts).

I will admit that the ideas are interesting, and the author brings to light certain ideas and practices of which I was unaware, but ultimately his two-faced attack and dependence on the Gospels makes the whole argument unsatisfying.
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- Steven

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-28-2006
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio