The Jesus Dynasty
The Hidden History of Jesus, His Royal Family, and the Birth of Christianity
By James Tabor
Simon & Schuster, Paperback, 9780743287241, 377pp.
Publication Date: April 2007
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In "The Jesus Dynasty," biblical scholar James Tabor brings us closer than ever to the historical Jesus. He explains the crucial relationship between Jesus, a royal descendant of David, and his relative John the Baptizer, a priestly descendant of Aaron and Jesus' teacher. When John was killed, several of his followers -- including Jesus' four brothers -- joined with Jesus, who continued John's mission, preaching the same apocalyptic message. After Jesus confronted the Roman authorities in Jerusalem and was crucified, his brother James succeeded him as the leader of the Jesus dynasty.
James Tabor has studied the earliest surviving documents of Christianity for more than thirty years and has participated in important archaeological excavations in Israel. His reconstruction of the life of Jesus and his followers, and of the early years of Christianity, will change our understanding of one of the most crucial moments in history.
"Many scholars have undertaken studies of Jesus and his legacy; none has dared advance the boldly provocative theses of The Jesus Dynasty."
-- Bart Ehrman, author of Misquoting Jesus
"Provocative. . . . Takes the search for the historical Jesus to a bold . . . new level." -- Jay Tolson, U.S. News & World Report
"James Tabor stands out among his generation of biblical scholars for his thorough familiarity with the full range of textual evidence from the first centuries, his extensive experience with archaeological excavations, and his imagination and creativity. Tabor has a remarkable ability to discern the contours of vital religious movements from the scattered bits and pieces of evidence that survive from antiquity. Anyone who takes the career of Jesus seriously will have to reckon with his bold, new synthesis."
-- Professor Eugene V. Gallagher, Rosemary Park Professor of Religious Studies, Connecticut College