AUTHOR

James Tabor

The Waco Tragedy After Twenty-Five Years: Getting the Facts Straight

So much has been in the media over the past two decades on the 1993 Waco tragedy with a plethora of new TV specials marking the 25th anniversary in 2018. Sorting through the mass of information is a daunting task. In terms of the older productions I recommend in particular “Waco: The Rules of Engagement” [...]...

Waco After 25 Years: The People Who Were There

I have been invited to join Mike Collins “Charlotte Talks,” on WFAE our local NPR station, this Monday, Feb 12th, at 9am, for a Waco Redeux, with the “real” characters, namely survivor David Thibodeau and FBI chief negotiator Gary Noesner—both of whom have published books on the subject. The show is repeated in the evening, Mon-Thurs [...]...

Waco Redux: 25 Years Later

January seems to be the month for a host of retrospective TV documentaries and specials looking back on the disasterous events outside of Waco, Texas during the 51 day siege of the Branch Davidian Mt Carmel Center in 1993. As a result David Koresh and 80 of his followers died, as well as  four BATF [...]...

How I Failed Jonathan Z. Smith

I loved this essay by Bret Colasacco,  one of J. Z. Smith’s undergraduate students in years before he retired. I found it quintessentially “Smith” and those of us who have taken that elevator ride to his office, or sat in one of his amazing courses, will identify with every part of it. I continue to [...]...

A Shapeshifting Jesus: The Earliest Harmonization of the Endings of the New Testament Gospels

Sorting through the New Testament gospels accounts of the “sightings” of Jesus is incredibly complex. I have done my best to lay them out for comparison and interpretation in several posts on this blog, including “How Faith in Jesus’s Resurrection Originated and Developed: A New/Old Hypothesis.” One thing that any reader or researcher must take [...]...

Speaking of Waco…Here Are Some Essential Sources

In terms of perspectives on the 1993 Waco disaster I would particularly recommend the following in order for anyone who wants to get up to speed on what went on, right and wrong. The first chapter of Why Waco is available on-line: https://www.ucpress.edu/book.php?isbn=9780520208995 but the rest of the book gives the whole story. Highly recommend as a start. [...]...

The Quest for the Historical Paul: Sources, Presuppositions, and Method Are Everything

What can we reliably know about Paul and how can we know it?  As is the case with Jesus this is not an easy question. Historians have been involved in what has been called the “Quest for the Historical Jesus” for the past one hundred and seventy-five years, evaluating and sifting through our sources, trying [...]...

Spanking Children: The Bible Tells Me So–or Maybe Not?

Recent polls indicate that up to 70% of Americans, both Black and White, approve of some form of corporeal punishment of children–with Evangelical Christians coming in at over 85%. 15 States in the USA explicitly permit some form of “paddling” in public schools, with 7 States not prohibiting it, leaving 28 States and D.C. that [...]...

Apocalyptic Messianic Eschatology–Now That’s a Mouthful!

To understand Jesus and the movement that developed after his death we need to have a handle on a way of thinking that I call messianic apocalyptic eschatology. This is a way of describing a certain expectation and outlook on the world and human history that was characteristic of certain Jewish groups and movements of [...]...

In Memoriam: Jonathan Z. Smith (1938-2017)

This extended tribute to the memory and work of Jonathan Z. Smith by by Russell T. McCutcheon, University of Alabama in Religious Studies News is particularly noteworthy. http://rsn.aarweb.org/articles/memoriam-jonathan-z-smith-1938–2017  ...
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