His tragic fall in the late '80s marked the end of a kind of cult experience America rarely sees - or does it? Kids, read and heed before you're tempted to leave home, drink Kool-Aid, die in a hail of bullets, or give up your college money to a conservative, unaccredited institution....
James Tabor and Eugene Gallagher's bold examination of the Waco story offers the first balanced account of the siege. They try to understand what really happened in Waco: What brought the Branch Davidians to Mount Carmel? Why did the government attack? How did the media affect events? The authors address the accusations of illegal weapons possession, strange sexual practices, and child abuse that were made against David Koresh and his followers. Without attempting to excuse such actions, they point out that the public has not heard the complete story and that many media reports were distorted.
The authors have carefully studied the Davidian movement, analyzing the theology and biblical interpretation that were so central to the group's functioning. They also consider how two decades of intense activity against so-called cults have influenced public perceptions of unorthodox religions.
In exploring our fear of unconventional religious groups and how such fear curtails our ability to tolerate religious differences, Why Waco? is an unsettling wake-up call. Using the events at Mount Carmel as a cautionary tale, the authors challenge all Americans, including government officials and media representatives, to closely examine our national commitment to religious freedom.
Historians know almost nothing about the two decades following the crucifixion of Jesus, when his followers regrouped and began to spread his message. During this time Paul joined the movement and began to preach to the gentiles. Using the oldest Christian documents that we have—the letters of Paul—as well as other early Christian sources, historian and scholar James Tabor reconstructs the origins of Christianity. Tabor shows how Paul separated himself from Peter and James to introduce his own version of Christianity, which would continue to develop independently of the message that Jesus, James, and Peter preached.
Paul and Jesus illuminates the fascinating period of history when Christianity was born out of Judaism.
Stanley Gerson is out of the starting blocks with iSly, a story set in the urban, grandeur, risen from a new, techtonic geography in Coos Bay, Oregon.
A perplexing aspect of early Christianity is the rapid and widespread abandonment of the practice of rest on the seventh day Sabbath, as practiced in the Jewish matrix of the Christian movement, even though the seven-day week was retained for time-keeping purposes. It is beyond dispute that this occurred, but there is no unanimity on the question of how and why. There is no passage in the sources to which we can turn to find an explicit answer to the question. This book proposes to explore the reasons for this radical shift in the worship practice of early Christians.
The author uses the classic tools of the historical-critical method, supplemented by newer approaches such as narratology, for a thorough exegetical examination of the relevant passages, not only in the New Testament, but also from other Christian writings of the time (Barnabas, Thomas). The investigation demonstrates that previous models to explain the rapid disappearance of the Sabbath as a Christian worship practice have been inadequate. In their place, a more nuanced, polycausal model is proposed. This sheds light on the question of unity and diversity in the early Christian movement as it began its development from a sect within second temple Judaism to a faith community with its own identity.
Encountering the Rest From God: How Jesus Came to Personify the Sabbath