AUTHOR

James Tabor

What is Going to Happen on September 23, 2017–A Prediction of My Own!

  I am teaching a course this semester called “The End of the World as We Know It” after the REM song of that name. We are examining ideas associated with Biblical prophecy and the Apocalypse, both Jewish and Christian (and towards the end, a bit of Islam), in the West for the past 2500 [...]...

Jacob Neusner: Teacher, Scholar, and Friend

Jacob Neusner, renewed scholar of the ancient Judaism, who so profoundly shaped the academic study of religions in terms of both method and content, died last October 8, 2016, on the Sabbath, at age 84. On the Jewish calendar that would be next Sabbath–called Shabbat Shuvah, which falls between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur–when the [...]...

The New Covenant is NOT a Book!

Happily, I come out of a Christian tradition in which the Hebrew Bible carries as much authority as the New Testament. No different weight is given to one or the other. The Bible is one, Old and New, in my particular tradition. My own interest is far more in the Hebrew Bible. My religion is [...]...

A Married Jesus: Why I Changed My Mind

Back in 2015 I published a piece in the Huffington Post dealing with what I consider to be reasonably strong evidence for a “married Jesus” and within hours it drew thousands of responses and hundreds of comments–positive, negative, and even threatening and denunciatory.  Clearly this is a topic that generates more heat than light–both then and now. The [...]...

The Origin of the Idea that “Pantera” is a Not a Real Name

As some of you know, and as I mention in my book, The Jesus Dynasty, the most commonly accepted explanation for the tradition that Jesus is “son of Pantera” is that the word pantera is a pun for the Greek word parthenos or “virgin” in Greek and not a “real name.” In other words, the [...]...

Crucifixion: “That Most Wretched of Deaths” What Do We Know?

So the soldiers, out of the wrath and hatred they bore the Jews, nailed those they caught, one after one way, and another after another, to the crosses, by way of jest, when their multitude was so great, that room was wanting for the crosses, and crosses wanting for the bodies. (Jewish War 5:446-451) Joseph [...]...

The Story of Sodom and Gomorroah: Where, When, and Whether?

The story of the fiery destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah is one of a diminishing few biblical narratives of which our culture is familiar. Though few might have read the extended account, set in the time of Abraham, that runs through Genesis 18-19, the imagery has become proverbial. This was already the case in the [...]...

A Conversation with Colleagues: What Do We Know About Jesus?

I was recently pleased to participate in a wide-ranging conversations with my colleagues at UNC Charlotte as a guest on their ongoing series “Conversations about Buddha, Jesus, and Mohammed.” You can listen to or download from iTunes. This program is dated 8/17/2017 but please browse some of the previous ones as well and bookmark or [...]...

The Fading Fifth Month of Av in Jewish History and Tradition

[This post refers back to August 1st when I had been traveling out of the country for six weeks and could not post so easily. It is interesting that in our English tradition we refer to the “Dog Days of August” which corresponds to this time of death and sorrow that is essentially lifted as [...]...

Whitehead on Pantera: Poetic Remembrances

This post is a follow-up to a previous one where I recount the remarkable story of my discovery of the late great Poet James Whitehead and his historical and literary interest in the sources that refer to Jesus of Nazareth as “Yeshua ben Pantera.” Whitehead, who died in 2003, co-founded the prestigious Creative Writing Program [...]...
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