AUTHOR

James Tabor

Messiahs in the Time of Jesus

Messiahs in the Time of Jesus Josephus mentions dozen or more “messiah” figures beginning with Hezekiah/Ezekias c. 45 BCE whom the young Herod defeated whom he variously labels as “brigands” (ληστής) or “imposters” (γόης)—though he calls Judas the Galilean a “wise man” (σοφιστής) and credits him with the founding a the “fourth philosophy” (Jewish Antiquities18.23). [...]...

Revisiting Morton Smith: Jesus the Magician

Of the hundreds of books that are written in biblical scholarship every year, few make a long term impact and have an extended shelf life.   Very few indeed deserve to be read and reread thirty-five years after their original appearance.  Morton Smith’s Jesus the Magician is one of them, a twentieth-century classic, uncannily smart, incredibly [...]...

Mysterious 1st Century Graffiti: Vestiges of A Magical Mystery Tour Most Have Forgotten

A first century CE mikveh or ritual bath was was uncovered in 2015 just south of the Old City and east of Hebron road in the Arnona neighborhood of Talpiot as a result of construction of a kindergarten.  At the time of its discovery Shimon Gibson and I were been invited by the IAA to [...]...

Sunrise over Mount Zion

In this photo is represented the past 30 years of my life, including 67 trips to Israel since 1990, tracking Jesus, with most of my work related to this panorama of the City…...

The 1980 Discovery of the East Talpiot “Jesus Tomb”: What We Now Know in 2019

In March, 2007, when all the publicity on the Talpiot Jesus tomb broke, I wrote a blog post that summarized what we knew at the time regarding the 1980 discovery and excavation of the “Jesus tomb,” and perhaps more important, what we did not know. It is still worth reading for comparison and contrast and you [...]...

Happy New Year to all my Readers…

Happy Biblical New Year, Nisan/Aviv 1, the 1st day of the 1st month…Exodus 12:1 “This new [moon] shall be the beginning of the months [news moons] for you…A time to think back and forward and begin afresh, with Spring Sprung and the early “harvest” getting ripe. Aviv means “spring” or new....

Morton Smith and His “Secret Gospel of Mark”

There has been a lot of discussion over the past 45 years regarding the late Columbia University historian Morton Smith and his discovery, publication, and interpretation of a so-called “Secret Gospel of Mark” in 1973. According to Smith, fifteen years earlier he had come across, quite by accident, a copy of a letter of Clement [...]...

How, Why, and When Was the Human Figure of Jesus Was Transformed into the Heavenly Christ

How did it happen that the way Jesus came into the world, and how he left—Christmas and Easter—came to define Christianity itself? I have spent my thirty-year career as a scholar of Christian Origins investigating the silence between two back-to-back statements of the Apostles’ Creed, namely that Jesus was: “Conceived by the Holy Ghost, Born [...]...

Visiting Jerusalem in 1873: A Virtual 3-D Time Machine

This incredible 13 x 17 foot zinc model of 19th century Jerusalem created was created by Hungarian Catholic Stephan Illes in the 1870s. It was first exhibited in 1873 at the Vienna International Exhibit, then lost and forgotten until the 1980s until tracked down by an enterprising Hebrew University instructor Rehav Rubin: Rehav Rubin, an [...]...

The 1980 Discovery of the East Talpiot “Jesus Tomb”: What We Knew and Did Not Know in 2007

The east Talpiot tomb, exposed to view by demolition by the the Solel Boneh construction crew, was reported by engineer A. Shochat to the Israel Department of Antiquities on March 27, 1980. That was a Thursday. Neighbors, including local children, visited the tomb that afternoon and also called the Department of Antiquities to report its [...]...