This fascinating examination of the earliest years of Christianity reveals sharply competing ideas about the significance of Jesus and his teachings and shows how the man we call St. Paul shaped Christianity as we know it today.
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 the apostle 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 reveals that the familiar figures of James, Peter, and Paul sometimes disagreed fiercely over everything from the meaning of Jesus’ message to the question of whether converts must first become Jews. 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 gives us a new and deeper understanding of Paul as it illuminates the fascinating period of history when Christianity was born out of Judaism and became the religion we recognize today.
The "Christianities" of Paul and Jesus Defined!
By Ross K. Nichols - November 13, 2012
Paul and Jesus, How the Apostle Transformed Christianity by James D. Tabor
In November 2012, the author of The Jesus Dynasty once again releases a book that is sure to challenge our thinking when it comes to Christian Origins. In his latest work, published by Simon and Schuster, James D. Tabor turns his academic attention to a thorough investigation of a particular way of defining and understanding Christianity. Of all the works he has published in more than thirty years as a Biblical scholar and historian of Christian origins, this may prove to be Tabor's most important contribution yet to our understanding of how and why we have come to believe the way we do. Tabor asserts and then sets out to prove that Catholics, mainstream Protestants and evangelicals have all inherited much of their Christianity, not through the teachings of Jesus but through the teachings of the Apostle Paul.
Even though this book may challenge readers, Tabor presents his convincing... read more
Best New Book on Paul and Early Christianity!
By NCMovie Fan - November 16, 2012
Dr. Tabor's new book, "Paul and Jesus", is the culmination of the author's thirty-year examination of the life of Paul, the meaning of his message, and nature of his relationship with the Jerusalem apostles and with James, the brother of Jesus. In this eminently readable and ultimately challenging investigation into these issues, Tabor refreshingly portrays Paul without the added reinterpretation provided by the later church. Basing his analysis almost exclusively on the authentic letters of Paul, Tabor re-introduces us to a man many of us might have thought we already knew. We quickly realize that the popular image of Paul has been heavily based on the Acts of the Apostles, which is little more than an "Acts of Paul", written as late as the early second century according to the author, and thus by someone who never knew Paul.
In this fascinating and revealing portrait of the Apostle to the Gentiles, Tabor makes it clear that not only did Paul never meet Jesus, he paid... read more
By Jeffrey J. B?tz "pastor, professor, author" - November 13, 2012
Paul and Jesus is a major, game-changing book. James Tabor is a meticulous historian who carefully and convincingly lays out the actual Jewish theology of earliest Christianity which lies shrouded in the New Testament. While it has been attempted before, this book persuasively shows with utmost lucidity how the innovative Hellenistic-Jewish teachings of Paul contrasted and ultimately collided with the more traditional Jewish teachings of the Nazarene movement led by Jesus' brother, James. Tabor's thorough yet succinct writing style brings a welcome new clarity to our understanding of the development of Christianity. While this book may disturb many Christians, Paul and Jesus lays down a challenge the church can no longer ignore, but must openly engage and ultimately accommodate if it wishes to proclaim an authentic gospel in the 21st century. - The Rev. Jeffrey J. Bütz, S.T.M., adjunct professor of Religious Studies, Penn State University, author of The Brother of Jesus
This friendly letter sent by Paul to Christians whom he referred to as his joy and crown, is an epistle to believers of all times and in all places. This is so because it meets us just where we are, ...