Friday, March 31, 2017

Dr. James Tabor: " Paul and Jesus"

James Tabor

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
James D. Tabor (born 1946 in Texas) is a Professor in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, where he has taught since 1989 and served as Chair from 2004-2014. He previously held positions at Ambassador College (1968-70 while a student at Pepperdine University), the University of Notre Dame (1979–85), and the College of William and Mary (1985–89).

KIRKUS REVIEW



The Apostle Paul has long been a controversial figure to modern Christians, but in recent years, his life and writings have spawned a plethora of books dedicated to reevaluating his role in the Christian faith. Tabor (Religious Studies/Univ. of North Carolina, Charlotte; The Jesus Dynasty: The Hidden History of Jesus, His Royal Family, and the Birth of Christianity, 2006, etc.) throws his hat into the ring, attempting to define Paul and his version of Jesus Christ against that of the original Jerusalem church, headed by James. The author stresses that the traditional view—that Paul was in harmony with the original apostles, ministering to the gentiles while they ministered to Jews—is a complete fabrication. Instead, he believes that Paul was in direct conflict with James, Peter and the rest of the original Christian church. This conflict was based not just on personality or approach; it spoke to Paul’s fundamental understanding of the identity of Jesus Christ, which differed from that taught by the original apostles. It is Paul’s understanding of Jesus, Tabor avers, that won the day, coming down to us in Scripture and doctrine. The author blames this historical legacy on a conscious effort by Paul’s followers to minimize the influence of James and the Jerusalem church, while promoting Paul’s theology. Books of the Bible such as Acts, he explains, were written specifically to present a Paul-focused version of emerging Christianity. Tabor tends to sensationalize tenets of Christian doctrine to highlight his view that Paul’s ideas were radical, while also pushing the conspiracy theories (e.g., “process of mythmaking”) about New Testament Scriptures that have been covered by such authors as Bart Ehrman.
His ultimate claim that Paul saw himself as a second Messiah seems like an inflated reading of the Pauline letters, and it will prove controversial with most Christians.

16 comments:

Glenn said...

That is an excellent book in my opinion. Helped me understand the struggle between various factions in early Christianity. Also helped me better understand the origins of HWA's theology

Black Ops Mikey said...

Oh, I have the book in my bookshelf. I got it just a couple of weeks ago. Good book.

There seem to be a rash of these books from people who attended Ambassador College and went on to get a real PhD. Absolutely demonstrates the uselessness of Armstrongism. It's kind of worse than that, but for our purposes, that's enough.

It's so amazing that people keep refusing to believe they could ever be wrong and that it was a mistake to have ever believed one thing Herbert Armstrong said.

Too bad people don't have the courage these days to admit they were wrong.

It makes you wonder how much they have lost?

Anonymous said...

These are 'shoot the messenger' books. People fail as Christians, then turn around and condemn the bible. It's like the Pharisees who accused Christ of performing miracles using Satans power. Nope, the miracle of the bible is of God.
Christ warned of this reaction when He said not to throw your pearls before swine.

Anonymous said...

Tabor carries as much weight as Dennis when it comes to biblical understanding....

DennisCDiehl said...

Anonymous said...
These are 'shoot the messenger' books. People fail as Christians, then turn around and condemn the bible. It's like the Pharisees who accused Christ of performing miracles using Satans power. Nope, the miracle of the bible is of God.
Christ warned of this reaction when He said not to throw your pearls before swine."

Well being called a pig for searching out a matter and the contradictions and conflicts that are obvious in the texts, especially when it makes extraordinary claims, as being a failed Christian. I recognize the Sunday School version of the Bible is about all most can fathom, but others find great interest in searching out the story behind the story.

The default explanation for some here concerning those who look deeper because they see more, is all too often "oh, your just bitter" . I suspect you have never read such a book that recognizes, in the Book, what you probably never thought of or did and don't wish to.

"Sit down before fact as a little child, be prepared to give up every preconceived notion, follow humbly wherever and to whatever abysses nature leads, or you shall learn nothing. I have only begun to learn content and peace of mind since I have resolved at all risks to do this."

Thomas Huxley

DennisCDiehl said...

Me sai:

"Well being called a pig for searching out a matter and the contradictions and conflicts that are obvious in the texts, especially when it makes extraordinary claims, as being a failed Christian."

Me meant: (It's early)

"Well being called a pig for searching out a matter and the contradictions and conflicts that are obvious in the texts, especially when it makes extraordinary claims, and being labeled a failed Christian, is a new one."

Someone once called me a High Priest of Marduk, but that was kinda cool and original. :)



Zippy said...

You're pretty consistent in contrasting the gospel Jesus vs. the Pauline ("cosmic?") Jesus; then, how do you explain Luke\Acts having a single author but not bridging the gap, so to speak?

Black Ops Mikey said...

Zippy said...
You're pretty consistent in contrasting the gospel Jesus vs. the Pauline ("cosmic?") Jesus; then, how do you explain Luke\Acts having a single author but not bridging the gap, so to speak?


Let me answer that.

We don't know who the author was of Luke and Acts. It seems that maybe someone named Theophilus who apparently was one of these rich guys some time in the First Century that commissioned various people to write about Jesus (and the apostles).

This was made up stuff, which the Catholics assembled in the Fourth Century by decree of Emperor Constantine I. They didn't have the original documents. They relied heavily on stories and myths that had grown up over two or more centuries.

So we have hagiographies which were mostly forgeries. II Peter is an obvious one. Six or more of the epistles of Paul were hagiographies (forgeries).

There were no accounts directly from eye witnesses. We can't really know if Jesus existed.

James Tabor attempts to lay out what seems to be: That Paul mostly invented Christianity as it is in the wider realm. The cults, of course, seize upon various obscure Scriptures and spend a lot of time in the Old Testament, becoming, as it were, Olde Testament Christians, which, by the account of the New Testament is akin to the Pharisees devoid of anything we could call the Holy Spirit and certainly devoid of New Testament Scriptural Faith, along with lacking the whole set of the other proclaimed fruit of the Holy Spirit.

It would just seem that it might not be that valuable for a person to keep the physical rituals of the ancient Israelites, because as sure as death, taxes, revenge and the fury of a woman scorned (and not a few men, too), the ancient Israelites were promised nothing for all their devotion but a fairly decent life with physical prosperity, but waiting for some future where they could actually know God the Father (who wasn't around for the Old Testament according to Jesus), have redemption (without the blood of bulls and goats) and attain the salvation of eternal life.

So the short version is that it was a stupid question everyone should have known the answer to.

Anonymous said...

Dennis
We both know that Christs label of swine refers to people whose behaviour parallels predatory animals. Satan is called a roaring lion for good reason.
You like Darth Vader, have defected to the dark side.

Arno said...

Anonymous @ 11:00 p.m., when any rational and thinking (investigatot/researcher) compares the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, with the teachings of Saul/Paul of Tarsus, it is very difficult NOT to conclude that Paul was an imposter and his motives ever so dodgy... Such a scrutiny sowed that Paul taught the diametric opposit than Jesus. As an aside, did you know that there are THREE DIFFERENT accounts in the book of Acts re. what was supposed to have taken place during Paul's so-called 'Damascus experience'? Go read it ... It's in Your bible ;)

Much more can be said about this extremely interesting topic, but enough for now :)

Anonymous said...

8.07 AM
The reason the bible uses so much repetition is to guard against 'different accounts' which can happen with imperfect translation. I suggest you look at the core of Christianity rather than joining Dennis in non-profitable nit picking.

Arno said...

Anonymous @ 8.07 AM (I hope it's the same Anonymous as the guy or girl at 11:00 p.m.):

>>The reason the bible uses so much repetition is to guard against 'different accounts' which can happen with imperfect translation. I suggest you look at the core of Christianity rather than joining Dennis in non-profitable nit picking.<<

I'm confused by you stating that "the bible uses so much repetition ... to guard against 'different accounts' which can happen with imperfect translation."

Just what are you referring to? I assume you refer to my mention of three different accounts re. Paul's conversion. Have you actually read those accounts? If you're not sure where to find them, here are the references for your convenience, i.e. Acts 9:1-19; 22:3-21 and 26:1-23. Please read them with attention to detail, and try answering my question again, because, with all respect, your reply above makes no sense to me. Oh, while you are reading the accounts, ask yourself where the spirit was that actually inspired the author to pen those three accounts.

Would you mind also explaining (as brief or elaborate as you prefer) just what the "core of Christianity" would be? Just bear in mind that there are quite a smattering of splinter COGs out there, each with his or her own "core of Christianity."

So, what is Your version?

Respectfully - Arno

Anonymous said...

1.29 PM
You are the one making the accusation that there are three different accounts of Paul's conversion. The onus is on you rather than the reader to make your point. Please do the heavy the lifting yourself rather than dumping it to your readers. It is the responsibility of each individual Christian to discern the core of Christianity. That is the meaning of the bibles 'prove all things.' A multitude of differing beliefs in the world and Christianity, does not mean that the truth is not discernible, as implied in your answer.

Anonymous said...

I never watched Star Wars, never, not until I got curious who "Darth Vader" is, from someone's comment here. I kind of shed tears in The Force Awakens when a grandson killed his own Pop. Like Satan killing his own maker. Why are we so cold to each other and fighting a lot? It does not make anyone of us happy or satisfied. I'm not judging you Mr Diehl, nope and never will.

Arno said...

To Anonymous @ 1:29 P.M.: I rest my case as far as you are concerned. File closed. :)

Anonymous said...

3.42 AM
I believe it was the son rather than grandson killing his father. Yes, Harrison Ford is very old. I never thought of your comment about Satan killer his maker part before. I have never heard that before. Excellent point.