Sunday, 9 December 2012

Tabor's latest book

Browsing through a North Shore branch of Whitcoulls today I was amazed to find James Tabor's new opus, Paul and Jesus, staring back at me from a bottom shelf. It's not that I didn't know that it had been published - in fact I'd downloaded a copy from Amazon soon after it was released. But I had no idea it would reach these distant shores so quickly in hard copy form.

To be honest, my previous impressions of Dr. Tabor's work have been a bit jaundiced. He has seemed to me to be a scholar often driven by his own agendas, especially on the Jewish nature of Christian faith.  But this latest book is, in my opinion, a cut above his previous efforts - at least that's the impression so far, having not yet quite reached the final page.  Indeed, I feel a warm recommendation coming on, and perhaps some more disciplined remarks to follow than these.

In any case James, if you see this, as a peace offering for the rather unappreciative (some might say churlish) review I gave to Restoring Abrahamic Faith, I hauled the two hardback copies off the bottom shelf and placed them prominently, covers facing out, onto the top shelf. At nearly NZ$50 a copy I figured any small boost would help.  May they sell swiftly.


  1. Gavin, strange that I would have even seen this but somehow some link came to me this morning and I was glad to see your blurb here! You are all forgiven, no problem. As I told you back in the day, all we need are a few beers together in a good pub and we would be okay, even on RAF I think...

    Thanks for the marketing placement! Wow, all the way to NZ so quickly...yes, I am impressed. BTW, how much is NZ$50? I hope you can do a more extensive review when you are done. I would be pleased to know what you think of this one.

  2. What are the odds that an ex-Armstrongite would uncover a more Jewish
    layer of Christianity contra Paul?

  3. Minimalist, I'm thinking that had to be tongue in cheek? Like myself, you must be aware of the huge subset of ex-Armstrongists doing exactly that. Some go so far as to say that Paul was a cypher for Simon Magus, or vice versa.

    I enjoyed Dr. Tabor's Jesus Dynasty, and am glad to know of this latest opus. Will be checking it out soon myself.


    1. Some go so far as to say that Paul was a cypher for Simon Magus, or vice versa.

      I've heard the one about Simon Magus being a cypher for Marcion - since both tried to buy an apostleship with money. I believe that was/is the theory of Hermann Detering. Of course, if the Pauline epistles were actually written by Marcionites and edited by the orthodox proto-catholics and Acts was written as a polemic against the Marcionites, it would make sense. However, that theory looks like a lot of guesswork based on a premise with no evidence to support it.

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